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Kurdish community in Scotland being “terrorised” by police

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Condemnation follows dawn raids

Police have been accused of terrorising the Kurdish community in Scotland.

This follows a series of dawn raids on family homes and arrests in Edinburgh under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Officers have been accused of persecuting by searching for evidence of support from banned organisations, such as the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK) and the YPG militia, which has been instrumental in driving back ISIS terrorists in Syria.

Detectives have entered the homes of Kurdish families searching for scarves and flags in the colours of Kurdistan. Last year police confiscated flags, magazines and other materials, including badges supporting the YPG.

The raids began just one week after the European Union Court of Justice ruled that listing the PKK as a terrorist group is wrong.

Meanwhile in Turkey, opposition groups are denounced as terrorists, journalists are jailed and trade unionists detained in a wider-ranging crack-down.

Kurdish communities throughout the world, including that in Scotland, have condemned these actions.

They have lobbied governments to stop supporting the Turkish government with cash, arms and trade deals.

Supporters say this is one reason the Kurdish community in Scotland is being targeted.

Public meetings have been called in Edinburgh and Glasgow to support the Scottish Kurdish community.

Speakers will include members of the community, trade unionists, MSPs and the writer James Kelman.

Kelman said: "It is shocking to hear this is happening in Scotland. No doubt the police will defend their actions on the grounds of just following orders. The Scottish people have a right to ask: whose orders are we talking about here? When Turkey barks Britain jumps. Is that what it is about? The Scottish Government must answer these questions."

The Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan group has called on Scottish politicians to reassure the Kurdish community that they are as welcome in this country now, as they have been for the last 30 years or more, and that they remain free to speak openly on any political matter, even where the Turkish government is concerned.

Meetings will take place on Tuesday, 11 December at 6.30pm in Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, and on Wednesday, 12 December, at 6.30pm in the STUC building, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow.