Germany: German-Kurdish cultural centre raided after allegations of storing PKK images

Police raided a German-Kurdish cultural centre in Hamburg, Friday morning, searching for flags depicting the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan, as well as other symbols and placards of the Kurdish party, which is banned in Germany. According to members of the cultural centre, the police officers broke down the door and entered the premises at about 05:00 am (03:00 GMT... Еще). «This morning at 05:00, the German police carried out a raid. They searched everything», explained one member. Police also searched a flat of one the centre's members in Steilshoop, as he was suspected having the flag with Öcalan at home. Politician from German party Die Linke («The Left»), who was present in the aftermath of the raid, commented that the search operation is «difficult to bear» and «disproportionate», considering that it was conducted «without the attempt to contact members of the association». The list of confiscated items remains unknown. According to one of the centre's members, Yavuz Fersoglu, police officers took about «70 posters, banners and so on». Germany outlawed the PKK in 1993 and recognises the organisation as a terrorist group. The German government has since banned PKK symbols including flags and portraits of the founder of the party, Abdullah Ocalan.

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