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08:34, 25 March 2018 Sunday
14:53, 11 March 2018 Sunday

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Turkish mosque set on fire in arson attack
Turkish mosque set on fire in arson attack

1 day after threat by PYD/PKK sympathizers, Berlin mosque of Turkish community firebombed, latest in string of attacks

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Turkish mosque in Berlin was set alight on Sunday morning, a day after the PYD/PKK terrorist group threatened to carry out more violence against Turkey.

The Koca Sinan Mosque, belonging to the Turkish-Muslim organization DITIB, was badly damaged in the arson attack.

“Witnesses told us that three assailants with covered faces threw burning material and immediately ran away,” said Bayram Turk, the head of the mosque association.

PYD/PKK sympathizers threatened on Saturday to carry out more violent attacks against Turkish institutions and associations in Germany, to protest Turkey’s ongoing counter-terrorism operation in northwestern Syria.

Since Jan. 20, when Turkey begun a major military operation against PYD/PKK terrorist targets in northwestern Syria, supporters of the terrorist group have attacked more than a dozen mosques in several German cities.

On Friday, a PYD/PKK-affiliated webpage claimed responsibility for an arson attack that targeted a Turkish community mosque in Lauffen am Neckar, and posted the video footage of this attack.

The PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993, but it remains active, with nearly 14,000 followers among the country's Kurdish immigrant population.

Turkey has long criticized Germany for not taking serious measures against the PKK, which uses the country as a platform for their fund-raising, recruitment, and propaganda activities.

Germany has a 3 million-strong Turkish community, many of whom are second- and third-generation German-born citizens of Turkish descent whose grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s.

Ankara launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats posed from the region to Turkey.

The Turkish General Staff has stressed that the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

The military also underlined that only terror targets are being destroyed and “utmost care" is being taken to not harm civilians.

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