Schulz meets with Kurdish protesters who stormed European Parliament
President of the European Parliament (EP) Martin Schulz met on Tuesday with representatives of Kurdish protesters who forced their way into the EP building in Brussels as part of Europe-wide demonstrations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's (ISIL) advance on a predominantly Kurdish town on the Syrian-Turkish border, Today's Zaman reported.
Releasing a press statement regarding the meeting, Schulz said that a number of Kurdish protesters forced their way into the EP on Tuesday, and he met with representatives of these protesters to listen to their grievances.
Following the meeting, President Schulz stated: "I decided to meet the representatives of the Kurdish protesters to listen to their demands and grievances, insisting that they end their protests peacefully. Although I stressed that this is not the way to express one's demands, I fully shared their concern for the situation of civilian populations in Syria and Iraq, and specifically on the situation in the border town of Kobani in Syria."
Reiterating the EP's support for an international coalition fighting against ISIL in Syria and Iraq, Schulz also added: "In this respect, I will speak with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg; the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso; the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy; and High Representative Catherine Ashton."
The Kurdish protesters are demanding more help for the besieged Kurdish forces struggling to hold on to Kobani. Some European countries are arming the Kurds or firing airstrikes against the Islamist extremists, but protesters say it isn't enough.
ISIL fighters backed by tanks and artillery engaged in heavy street battles with the town's Kurdish defenders.
Hundreds of thousands of Kurds live elsewhere in Europe, and mobilized quickly via social networks to stage protests after the attack on Kobani.
About 50 Kurdish protesters had smashed a door and pushed past police to get into the European Parliament building in Brussels. Once inside, a delegation of the protesters was received by Schulz.
In Germany, home to Western Europe's largest Kurdish population, about 600 Kurds demonstrated in Berlin on Tuesday, according to police.
A group of 500-600 people marched from the Turkish consulate to the US consulate in Frankfurt overnight, calling loudly but peacefully for tougher action against ISIL.
There were also demonstrations by a few hundred people each in Bremen, Hamburg, Göttingen and other German cities.
Kurdish protesters peacefully occupied the Dutch parliament building for several hours Monday night, and met Tuesday morning with legislators to press for more Dutch action against the insurgents, according to local media.