World Bulletin / News Desk
Groups of protestors carrying PKK flags, banners and posters -- bearing the insignia of the illegal group or the likeness of its jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan -- have been seen recently on the streets of the U.K. capital.
PKK supporters have been observed shouting anti-Turkish slogans and were able to mount propaganda without interference from the authorities, despite laws that regard some of their actions on these marches as criminal offences.
In recent rallies, two young Turkish citizens were attacked, a policeman was injured and some members of the general public were harassed.
The U.K. listed the PKK and various front groups as illegal organizations in March 2001. According to the Home Office, this means all their activities are banned, as is membership of or inviting support for such groups.
The PKK -- listed as a terror organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July last year. Since then, more than 300 civilians and nearly 800 security personnel in Turkey have been martyred. Around 8,000 PKK have been killed or apprehended.
However, London police have denied turning a blind eye to protests backing an illegal group.
Following a demonstration on Nov. 6 in the city's Green Lanes area, the Metropolitan Police told Anadolu Agency it would not “allow a protest by a proscribed organization to take place in London”.
In an email, a spokesman added: “On this occasion the demonstrations were spontaneous. Where there is evidence that an individual is committing offences, officers will take action when and where appropriate.”
However, another procession held in central London on Nov. 12 was not spontaneous, having been planned, discussed and organized on a social media page for about a week beforehand.