Clashes in Belgium Between Turkish and Kurdish Communities

In Heusden-Zolder and Houthalen-Helchteren, Belgium, violent clashes erupted between the Turkish and Kurdish communities. The incidents were reportedly triggered by Kurdish Newroz celebrations, marking the Kurdish New Year.

Social media footage suggests the violence may have been initiated when a caravan of cars bearing Kurdish flags was attacked by individuals from the Turkish community. This confrontation escalated, leading to attempts by Turkish individuals to target Kurdish homes and vehicles. In response, Belgian police deployed water cannons and conducted a large-scale operation for dispersal, involving a federal police helicopter and fire trucks for assistance. Reports indicate that an individual from the Turkish community was allegedly injured, and several cars were damaged.

The conflict is said to have involved sympathizers of the Grey Wolves, a Turkish ultra-nationalist organization linked to the Nationalist Movement Party, with individuals seen making hand signs associated with the group. Active since the late 1960s, the Grey Wolves are known for their political activism and instances of violence both within Turkey and internationally, leading to the organization facing accusation of terrorism.