A group of supporters of the PKK terror group attacked a member of the public during a protest in London on Saturday.
The attack targeted an Azerbaijani man who was walking on the street near the Picadilly Circus tourist center.
The assailants, a group of men and women, punched the man in the chin and continued to physically assault him before police took him to a store for protection.
The man told Anadolu Agency (AA) that he is from Azerbaijan but works in London.
He said he “saw the anti-Turkish meeting and I couldn’t bear it”, explaining that the members of the group “made the sign of Victory”.
He said he made the sign of the gray wolf – a sign symbolizing patriotism commonly used in Turkic countries such as Turkey and Azerbaijan.
“Men and women, they attacked me. They punched me in the chin. Then the police protected me in a store,” he said.
He added that the police had stopped further attacks by PKK supporters, but he did not know if anyone had been arrested following the incident.
The group of PKK supporters gathered outside the BBC headquarters earlier on Saturday and marched towards Downing Street via central London.
They carried symbols and banners of the PKK/YPG terrorist group and its Iranian branch, the PJAK, as well as pictures of the group’s imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan.
British police were observed marching alongside the marchers, a common practice in PKK protests.
PKK demonstrations are not banned by UK security forces despite being a banned terrorist organization in the UK.
The UK Supreme Court last January upheld the conviction of a man who carried the terror organization’s flag during a similar protest in 2018.
London police arrested these people during recent protests.
The UK listed the PKK and various front groups as illegal organizations in March 2001. According to the Home Office, this means that all their activities are prohibited, as is membership or invitation to support these groups.
Despite its status as a designated international terrorist organization, the PKK enjoys relative freedom in European cities and has a particularly strong presence in Germany as it continues to use European Union territory for propaganda activities. , recruitment, fundraising and logistical support.
Turkey has long criticized European authorities for tolerating the PKK’s activities and is pushing them to take tougher measures against the group’s propaganda, recruitment and fundraising activities.
Germany’s spy chief admitted last week that the country had become a hub for the PKK terrorist organization’s fundraising and recruitment activities targeting Turkey.
“The PKK organizes various fundraising campaigns in Germany and then uses this money to finance terrorist attacks in Turkey,” said Thomas Haldenwang, head of the German domestic intelligence agency BfV, at a press conference in Berlin.
He said the PKK also uses various associations in Germany to recruit young people as foreign fighters, who are then sent to Turkey, Syria or Iraq.
“The PKK remains an international terrorist organization, it continues violent attacks, killings in the region,” he said.