Protest in front of the German Embassy in Nicosia against the PKK ban

In Cyprus, activists and parliamentarians protested in front of the German Embassy in Nicosia against the PKK ban in Germany and demanded the release of Kurdish activist Kenan Ayaz, who is imprisoned in Hamburg.

A demonstration against the PKK ban and the criminalisation of Kurdish activists in Germany took place in Nicosia on Saturday. The demonstrators marched from the Ministry of the Interior to the German Embassy, chanting "The PKK is the people and the people are here!". The protest was supported by Cypriot Green Party leader George Perdikis and AKEL MP Giorgos Koukoumas.

Speaking in front of the German Embassy, Kurdish activist Lezgin Serhat stated that Germany is responsible for fulfilling the wishes of the Erdogan regime within Europe and is criminalising Kurds. "The German state is implementing the policies of the fascist Turkish state. Politically active Kurds in Germany are sentenced to years in prison without having committed a criminal offence. Most recently, our friend Kenan Ayaz was arrested in Cyprus at Germany's request and extradited to Germany. He is now on trial in Hamburg and is accused in a terror trial. His legal, democratic and political activities are being interpreted as terrorism. When it comes to Kurds, the legal system does not apply. Erdogan was in Germany on Friday. For Erdogan, Hamas is not a terrorist organisation, unlike under German law. Erdogan's statements constitute a criminal offence under German law, but the German authorities are keeping quiet about this. They are not complying with their own laws and are complicit in the offence."

Green politician George Perdikis gave a speech in which he condemned the criminalisation of Kurdish activists in Germany and expressed his explicit solidarity with Kenan Ayaz: "We will continue to fight for Kenan's freedom, because Kenan is fighting for a just cause. I call for the PKK to be removed from the EU's terror list. The PKK is fighting for the freedom of a people, and that is not terrorism. Abdullah Öcalan must also finally be released. It should be clear to everyone by now that there will be no peaceful solution to the Kurdish question without Öcalan. That's why I say: freedom for Öcalan, freedom for Kenan Ayaz, freedom for Kurdistan!"

AKEL member of parliament Giorgos Koukoumas, who is deputy chair of the Human Rights Commission in the Cypriot parliament and was in Hamburg at the start of the trial against Kenan Ayaz in early November, also called for the ban on the PKK to be lifted. "Kenan Ayaz is still strong and upright," said Koukoumas and reported how the defendant made the victory sign as he entered the courtroom and was greeted with great applause by the trial observers. The charges against him are a farce and are based on political considerations of the EU, NATO and the German government, said the MP: "According to my observations, the extradition decision does not reflect the opinion of the people of Cyprus. On the contrary, the majority view the extradition as a disgrace. For this reason, I would like to take this opportunity to declare once again that we stand in solidarity with the Kurdish movement's fight for the freedom and rights of the Kurds, for the freedom of Öcalan, for the freedom of Kenan Ayaz and for justice."