Turks vs. Kurds in the Streets of the Hague

The following video shows a report from De Telegraaf about Kurdish demonstrations last month in the Hague. The Kurds were protesting the pullback of American troops in Syria as well as the actions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Partway through the demonstration some Turks showed up carrying a Turkish flag, and were promptly beaten up by Kurds. Regardless of the strategic or tactical value of allying with the Kurds, they are still Muslims and Middle Easterners, and behave pretty much the same as Turks and Arabs. Having them in one’s country provides roughly the same amount of cultural enrichment as having Turks, Yemenis, Moroccans, Pakistanis, or Afghans.

Many thanks to C for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:14   Hi. I am Jeroen, and this is “The Netherlands is angry”!
00:17   Nowadays there are a lot… whoa…
00:21   Nowadays we’re dealing with a lot of discontents… right, left, white, black.
00:26   It seems as if everybody is angry. Hence this series,
00:29   in which I visit protests to find out why people are angry.
00:45   Today I’m on the Malieveld, where Kurds are protesting the Turkish invasion of Syria.
00:54   Why are you so angry? —We are angry because innocent people die!
01:00   These people have nothing to do with politics, all children, elderly people.
01:04   I’m just very angry! —And why are you so angry? Because terroristic Erdogan comes to our country.
01:10   Why we’re angry? We’re angry because Erdogan decided to invade north-eastern Syria.
01:15   But are you angry more with the Turks or with the West?
01:18   Angry at politics in general, and the West and the Americans.
01:22   And of course, that fascist Erdogan.
01:49   Can I ask you something? I speak several languages, but I have no idea what you’re shouting now.
01:55   Long live the Kurds and Kurdistan. —Yes.
01:58   Long live the area that’s now caught up in the war. —Yes.
02:01   And long live those people who are fighting now. And “Erdogan terrorist”
02:05   at the end; I could understand that. Yes, you could understand that, everybody can understand that.
02:09   OK. Because why is he a terrorist? —Well, you see, in the end
02:13   he’s the one who is killing innocent people.
02:16   He wants to ban all Kurdish… Kill. —Yes. Are you very worried?
02:22   Yes. I think he’s very weird. And we are really Kurdish.
02:27   And we’re 58 million people, and we have no territory.
02:32   He is a second Hitler. [?] in 2019 [?] he wants to kill all people, all Kurds.
02:39   He wants the Kurds gone from this world. You’re a Kurd, I think?
02:42   No, no, unfortunately I’m not a Kurd.
02:45   So what are you? —I’m just a Dutch citizen.
02:48   So you feel connected with this cause, I think? —Yes, absolutely. I support the Kurds.
02:53   We need to show solidarity with north-east Syria. They’ve beaten ISIS, for God’s sake.
02:57   Can you explain what’s so beautiful about protesting? Is it even beautiful?
03:01   Absolutely, I find it beautiful. The beautiful thing about it is that all Kurds, not just
03:04   all Kurds, but all people who are in favor of rights come to this place to protest.
03:09   So it gives people a sense of belonging? —Absolutely, a feeling of belonging.
03:13   Will it work? That’s maybe important too. —That’s often the case. Protests, do they really work?
03:18   I doubt it, to be honest. —Personally I don’t think so, to be honest.
03:22   It won’t work? Why are you here then? —It’s about the feeling of coming together.
03:26   That’s our support for the people over there.
04:20   Hello. —Hi. —I think the top of your sign is missing?
04:23   Yes. It’s pouring. —The wind broke it off?
04:26   Yes. —The weather is not in your favor, huh? No. But it’s really a sad day,
04:31   a sad time, and it’s raining, and I think that’s a little bit poetic.
04:37   How sad are you? —Very sad. My sister died.
04:43   We feel very much for the people who are there, and that we can’t do much here.
04:49   Is this also an outcry against the West, this protest? —Yes.
04:52   Because they just withdrew their troops. —What is the point
04:56   you’re trying to make? What do you want to achieve?
05:00   Just… a no-fly zone, for Rojava. Yes.
05:05   That’s quite concrete. —That’s quite… —I just want to say… in the town
05:09   I was born in, this morning ten people… ten people passed away.
05:13   Two were my nephews. And this is in Turkey. Not even in Syria!
05:18   It is my native… do you see that building? That is Qamishli [?] And this is Nusaybin, Turkey,
05:24   And that’s where people died. What are we talking about? What are we talking about now?
05:28   Wake up! Wake up people, wake up! —What do you think should happen? Concretely.
05:35   We need sanctions! —What kind? —America turned its back!
05:39   Let me say this! There are prisoners now who want to escape. I’m talking about ISIS.
05:44   What if they come to Europe soon, and commit terrorist attacks?
05:48   Where did the Kurds go, people will say, right? Yes, then you’ll be too late!
06:01   Sir, what happened there just now? —What happened just now?
06:04   There was a man, he was carrying a Turkish flag. — A Turkish man?
06:07   Yes, a Turkish man, he was provoking us with a Turkish flag.
06:10   And then he was punched. —Yes, he got slapped around a bit.
06:13   Is that necessary, guys? That’s going very far. This is not supposed to happen.
06:17   I don’t think it’s necessary either. But it happens anyway. —So why does this happen?
06:20   I don’t know, really. —Things were going well, it was peaceful, and suddenly you’re brawling!
06:26   Yes, because a few Turks. —They can’t help that they’re Turks.
06:31   Yes that’s true, they can’t help it. —Just like you can’t help being Kurdish.
06:36   Some people ask for it. We have the right to protest here.
06:40   Yes, but not the right to beat somebody up. —No, that’s not really necessary.
06:43   But if you keep up the provocations, well… —He earned it!
06:46   He was acting all tough, provoking us. Wasn’t necessary!
06:50   But it’s a shame, man. This is really a peaceful protest.
06:54   Many people support you, and you punch somebody in the face!
06:59   Yeah, but he asked for it, as I said. —But you could also just let it go.
07:03   It’s just a flag! —OK. That’s right, it’s just a flag.
07:06   But for many people here, that’s very sensitive!
07:09   How convinced are you that you’re right? —Very much!
07:12   Isn’t the truth somewhere in the middle? —Not really. Of course, we…
07:17   Can you empathize a little with Turks and Erdogan? —Look, we can just…
07:22   Erdogan, I have no respect for him. But for Turkish people, we can keep the peace between us.
07:28   It’s more about the Turkish president Erdogan. He started all this.
07:32   Guys, that’s it. Click the like button if you liked the video, subscribe to
07:35   the De Telegraaf channel. I’ll see you next video. Bye!