At least five arrests were made in Frankfurt on Thursday night after a march by supporters of Turkish nationalism descended into bloody violence when they clashed with rival Kurd separatists.
Video of the riot has emerged on the same day Germany announced it will place 4,000 soldiers on standby over the weekend to help with a new wave of up to 40,000 refugees arriving in the country.
Police said The Thursday event was billed as a “solidarity march commemorating fallen Turkish soldiers”. According to FR Online to it was organised by the “Federation of Turkish young people” which campaigns on behalf of Turkey. The fracas involved a group of around 380 participant and started at the city’s main railway station at 18.30.
Soon after the Turkish supporters set off there were attacks by immigrant Kurd counter-demonstrators who used sticks, bottles and stones to attack marchers. One taxi driver reportedly had his car damaged in the brawl.
Police confirmed the counter-demonstrators were of Kurdish origin and quickly withdrew.
More than 40,000 people have died since the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) launched its armed campaign in 1984 calling for an independent Kurdish state within Turkey.
Now immigrants from both sides of that battle are carrying their fight onto the streets of Frankfurt.
Meanwhile, Germany will mobilise 4,000 soldiers in the next 48-hours to help with the entry of up to 40,000 refugees in the country, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.
She told Der Spiegel that she was placing the troops on alert with the expectation they could be asked to do more than just welcome the immigrant arrivals.
“The country can be sure that the Bundeswehr [German army] will be supporting” efforts to care for refugees, Von der Leyen said, adding that the army could do yet more if called upon.
“We are spreading these 4,000 soldiers across the country and they will intervene if the federal states [which are responsible for the initial uptake of refugees] request it,” a Defence Ministry spokesman told The Local.
“They will provide a helping hand, for example to set up a refugee camp, to help with organization, provide buses and drivers, other types of transport, medical services and equipment, anything of that kind.”