Kurds march in Paris and Athens to protest Turkish incursion into Syria

Kurds living in Greece shout slogans during a demonstration against Turkey’s military action in northeastern Syria, in Athens, Greece, October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

ATHENS (Reuters) – Thousands of Kurds and their local supporters rallied in France and in Greece on Saturday to protest against Turkey’s military action in northeast Syria.

In Paris, about 3,000 people gathered at the Place de la Republique after an earlier protest near the Eiffel Tower. People carried banners denouncing the Turkish offensive and calling on France to help the Kurds.

In Athens, about 2,000 Kurds and Greeks marched to the Turkish embassy in central Athens waving Kurdish flags and banners reading “Stop the invasion now”.

“This is a genocide. Please help us, please help us, it’s enough,” Bawan, one of the Kurdish protesters, told Reuters.

A group burned a poster of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

The Turkish incursion in northeast Syria has raised international alarm over a mass displacement of civilians and fears that it could trigger a revival of the Islamic State insurgency in Syria.

Despite their status as NATO allies, relations between Turkey and Greece have historically been tense.

Greece, the route into Europe for nearly a million refugees and migrants in 2015, is dealing with a steep rise in migrants crossing the Aegean to its islands from neighboring Turkey after a relative three-year lull.

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas in Athens and John Irish in Paris; Editing by James Drummond

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