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Parisians shocked as streets descend into chaos on Christmas Eve amid pro-PKK protests

December 26, 2022 at 8:30 pm

Demonstrators hold portraits of victims of the Enghien Street shooting in Paris on December 23, 2022, and those of La Fayette street murders in 2013, as they take part in a march to pay tribute to them and in solidarity with the Kurdish community in Paris on December 26, 2022 [JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images]

Paris turned into a battleground over the weekend as violent protests by supporters of the PKK terrorist organization clashed with police, injuring 30 officers on the French capital’s streets as residents were preparing to celebrate Christmas.

Thousands of the terror group’s supporters marched to the Boulevard du Temple chanting pro-PKK slogans and carrying posters of the terrorist organization’s ringleaders.

The police intervention at the scene was rather subdued, as they occasionally used tear gas against the protesters who ripped off paving stones from the road to lob at security forces, as well as nearby homes and shops.

The clashes erupted after a shooting in a busy Paris district left three dead and three others injured at the hands of a 69-year-old gunman on Friday.

PKK supporters took to the streets as they used fireworks and sparklers to descend the city into turmoil, destroying bus stops and other public and private property.

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In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. Though normally officially banned, the terrorist group also has a presence in numerous European countries.

‘Political exploitation’

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, French journalist Jean-Michel Brun, editor-in-chief of the Musulmansenfrance news website, said the violence raised the “question of political exploitation.”

“When we see the images of these demonstrations where people come to smash cars or set fires, throw projectiles at the police, we can clearly see that it is most definitely not a demonstration of support for the families of the victims, but a question of political exploitation,” he said.

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“I hope that this political exploitation will not fool the French people and the French government.”

He added that the attackers were the members of the PKK terror group and have expressed hostility to Turkiye and the Turkish government.

Some have also voiced hatred for the Turkish people, he claimed.

‘Very saddening’ on Christmas day

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, residents of Paris have also shared their concerns and expressed how they were shocked by the violence that erupted in their city.

“They broke everything,” said one French citizen. “Trucks, cars, scooters. Everything.”

Another eyewitness said she was “surprised to see so much violence and vandalism on Paris’ streets.”

“It’s very saddening to see this on Christmas day,” she added.

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.