By Ayse Humeyra Atilgan
Turkey has condemned "provocative demonstrations" organized by PKK sympathizers across Europe on Sunday night, which included the occupation of a French news agency.
"We strongly condemn the fact that a blind eye was turned … to simultaneous and provocative demonstrations held by … members of the terrorist organization PKK yesterday [Oct. 15] evening in various cities of Europe," the country's foreign ministry said on Monday.
One group of protestors stormed the headquarters of Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Paris, chanting slogans and carrying banners depicting Abdullah Ocalan, the PKK leader currently in jail in Turkey for terrorist offences.
A banner of Ocalan was hung from AFP’s building. Protestors only left after over an hour of chanting and a meeting with the agency’s editors.
"It is noteworthy that during some of these demonstrations, public buildings were raided by a terrorist organization, listed as such by the European Union," the Turkish ministry statement added.
"The fact that this terror organization was allowed to make its propaganda and use its symbols is a clear indication as to how PKK terrorism is gaining strength day by day in Europe."
According to the statement, PKK backers were "able to organize these events simultaneously as a result of tolerance shown in Europe".
The PKK is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Turkey has long complained that despite the PKK’s banned status, European countries allow it to operate with impunity on their soil.
For more than 30 years, the PKK has waged a terror campaign against Turkey leading to the deaths of more than 40,000 people -- security forces and civilians alike -- including more than 1,200 since July 2015 alone.
"On this occasion, we once again remind our counterparts that taking necessary measures against [the] PKK is of vital importance not just for the security of Turkey but for theirs as well," the foreign ministry statement added.
Turkey has said the ambassadors of those countries where demonstrations were held would be summoned to the foreign ministry "to express our reaction in view of these events".