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  • German riot police stand guard during a demonstration by Kurdish protesters in solidarity with the people of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, in Hamburg, Oct. 8, 2014.

    German riot police stand guard during a demonstration by Kurdish protesters in solidarity with the people of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, in Hamburg, Oct. 8, 2014. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 March 2016

Both groups have told media sources a different version of events after clashes resulted in 36 people being arrested.

After clashes between a group of Kurds and Turkish protesters in the German city of Aschaffenburg Sunday, the police have arrested 36 people.

Both groups have told media sources a different version of the story that led to the incident.

According to Turkish sources, protesters of Turkish descent were holding a so-called "anti-terror" rally against both the Islamic State group and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

RELATED: Over 160 Civilians Killed in Turkey's Operation Against PKK

                                                                      

Kurdish-filmed video showing the incident | YouTube/Rojava

According to statements from Turkish protesters, around 600 people were attending the march when roughly 30 supporters of the PKK interrupted the gathering.

The PKK supporters are said to have barricaded themselves in a house from before shouting anti-Turkish government slogans at the Turkish protesters as well as throwing stones and firecrackers at policemen.

According to the police, one officer picked up a slight injury after being hit by a firecracker on the head. The police say they have detained 36 people between the ages of 15-40.

                                                                 

Members of the Grey Wolves shouting "We are the army of Turkey" in Asschaffenburg | YouTube/Denge Botan

Although several German media sources reported the Turkish protest as being “peaceful” and its participants conveying an “anti-terror” message, a video filmed by a witness proves that many of the protesters were in fact members of the “Grey Wolves.”

Officially known as "Ulku Ocaklari," the Grey Wolves are a Turkish nationalist organization, often described as "ultra-nationalist" and "neo-fascist."

And according to witnesses from the Kurdish side, the incident played out quite differently. Participants claim that members of the Grey Wolves attacked a Kurdish cultural center earlier in the day.

RELATED: Criminalizing Our People: Social Impacts of the PKK Ban

After the incident, the Kurds decided to confront the attackers by turning up at the march, resulting in the clashes. Police are still investigating the incident.

The Turkish state and the PKK have been in conflict since 1979 when the Marxist-Kurdish militants launched an insurgency seeking independence and self-rule in the southeast regions. 

However, Turkey’s southeast has been engulfed in some of the worst violence since the 1990s in recent months after the breakdown of a two-year cease-fire with the government and militant group.


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