Brussels cancels ‘Kurdish Culture Week’ event
BRUSSELSBrussels Municipality has cancelled a planned “Kurdish Culture Week,” months after Turkey angrily reacted to an earlier event in the Belgian capital accusing officials of promoting outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) propaganda.
Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur announced that the event was cancelled without giving further details.
The third edition of the event, for which the organizers had already received approval, was scheduled to be held on Sept. 23.
The event was organized by Turkey’s Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and other associations that the Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency claims are affiliated with the PKK.
Ankara has repeatedly criticized events held by the PKK abroad, complaining that the outlawed group – recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU – is openly allowed to conduct propaganda.
In March, prior to the Brussels attacks committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that killed 32 people, the Belgian government allowed PKK supporters to pitch tents near the European Union Council building during a Turkey-EU summit. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu criticized Belgium at the time for “showing double standards in tolerating terrorist groups,” saying the PKK should be “treated in the same way as ISIL.”
Security operations against PKK militants have been ongoing in eastern and southeastern Anatolia since a cease-fire between the militant group and Ankara broke down in July 2015.