On Thursday between 21.00 and 21.30, Turkish nationalists attempted to burn down the Kurdish institute in the Belgian capital Brussels.

The Kurdish Institute of Brussels was established in 1978, advocates cultural rights for the Kurds and works closely with the Belgian authorities.

The attack followed a protest by thousands of Kurds in Brussels who condemned the increasing authoritarian policies in Turkey and the arrests of hundreds of members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Tensions are increasing in Europe between Turks and Kurds as a result of crackdown on Kurdish media and political parties by the Turkish authorities following the failed coup attempt last summer.

We call on the Belgian authorities to take urgent steps and prosecute these extremists. We also draw the attention to the fact that the real perpetrators are not in Brussels but in the Turkish capital Ankara.