Thousands of Kurds Protest Against Erdogan in Frankfurt

About 9,000 Kurdish supporters gathered in Frankfurt, Germany on Saturday to denounce Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s rule. Hundreds of police monitored the demonstration, and no major clashes were reported. Demonstrators warned against a “yes” vote in Turkey’s April 16 referendum, a controversial vote that many fear will lead to full-on authoritarianism by expanding Erdogan’s powers. Many demonstrators waved flags in support of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, a group banned in Germany and considered a terrorist organization in the European Union and the U.S. Others compared Erdogan to a terrorist, Reuters reported. “The Europeans should hear us, empathize with our suffering and help us. It would be best if they imposed economic sanctions on Turkey,” one protester, Sinan Anin, was cited as saying in the report. The demonstration came after German authorities said they would allow the approximately 1.4 million Turks living in the country to cast their ballots for the referendum. The Turkish government has sought to rally the support of Turks living abroad for the referendum, a move that caused some controversy in the E.U. Some rallies in support of the referendum were blocked in Germany, and the Netherlands canceled the Turkish foreign minister’s landing permission to prevent him from speaking at a rally in Rotterdam earlier this month. Erdogan lashed out at both countries for the move, condemning Germany’s “Nazi”-like practices, and calling the Netherlands “Nazi remnants.”