A meeting between a Kurdish politician and a Dutch cultural centre in the Netherlands was canceled on Thursday after Turkish ultra-nationalists threatened to riot.
The meeting was to include Tuba Hezer, a Kurdish MP from Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and take place at Rozet on Short Street. However, the meeting was canceled after it was fiercely criticised by Turkish nationalists.
The Turkish pro-government news website dutchturks.nl accused the meeting of being organized by “PKK terrorists.” The Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) is an outlawed political party which has waged a decades-long struggle against the Turkish state.
The meeting had been organized by the Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK), a union of anti-capitalist parties in Turkey. The cultural center had several meetings with the local police and municipal officials who believed that the Rozet meeting would be difficult to secure.
A spokesman for the congress, said: “I would have liked to hear what [Tuba Hezer] has to say. I also like to hear her response to criticism. My impression is that the Turkish nationalists are out to polarize.”
Tensions between Turks and Kurds in the Netherlands have risen since the ceasefire between the PKK and Turkey broke down in July 2015, effectively ending the peace process.
After a failed military coup last summer, The Turkish government has also cracked down on Kurdish organizations and put pressure on Western countries to shut down pro-Kurdish media outlets.
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