Kurdish protesters occupy European Parliament demanding action against Islamic State

Image: Al Jazeera

Image: Al Jazeera

A group of Kurdish protesters yesterday invaded and occupied the European Parliament building in Brussels demanding Europe to take steps to combat Islamic State militants currently attacking the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane, on the Syria-Turkey border.

The protest came after the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) called for its supporters to demand European military action to defend Kobane, which is currently under siege and is believed to be close to capture.

The call to arms caused protests across Europe, with Kurds of all backgrounds coming out to support the PKK’s demands.

Kurdish protests have also been seen near to the Turkey-Syrian border, where Kurdish groups are demanding that Turkey allows Kurds to move across the border to help defend Kobane. During one recent protest Turkish authorities are reported to have fired live rounds upon crowds, killing one protester.

The death of the Kurdish protester caused much outrage in the Kurdish community, which led to the recent storming of the European Parliament building.

Protesters in the building demanded to speak with EU lawmakers in order to request assistance from European powers. The group called upon immediate military support and also for pressure on Turkey to open the border between itself and Syria.

Turkey has refused to open the closed border and has established a heavy police presence to quash protests and stop the movement of any military groups, which has led to many clashes between authorities and Kurdish groups in recent days.

In response to Turkey’s refusal to open the border the PKK accused Turkish authorities of working against Kurds and not doing enough to combat Islamic State militants. There is a long standing tension between Kurdish groups and Turkey, which many Kurds have cited as the main reason for Turkey’s lack of action in protecting Syrian Turks.

The town of Kobane sits on the border between Turkey and Syria and is mostly populated by Syrian-Kurds, who have called upon their Turkish cousins to help defend themselves against Islamic State militants. As of the writing of this article militants are currently continuing air strikes on the town in a widened attack. Some experts have speculated that the town may be captured at any moment if immediate help is not given.

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