1.The intensifying Turkish Kurdish war in Syria and Turkey is spilling over to the European countries to which these ethnic and linguistic groups have immigrated.
2 .Violent attacks by Kurdish youth groups have increased across Europe after Turkey arrested twelve parliamentarians from the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) on November 3. The Apoist Youth Initiative (AYI), a Europe-based Kurdish nationalist group formed in the summer of 2015, has claimed six attacks on Turkish owned business and organizations in Germany and two attacks in England since November 3, and unknown activists have committed three additional attacks in solidarity in Spain and France. The attacks have increased in frequency and intensity, and the embassies and consulates of the Republic of Turkey are increasingly likely targets.
3.Concurrently, the Kurdish diaspora populations have protested in major cities in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and France. Alawite populations in Europe have also joined the protests in support of Turkish Alawites, who as Shi'a Muslims fear the ruling Sunni Justice and Development Party (AKP). Protests in Cologne, Germany are growing, from attracting thousands on November 5 to tens of thousands on November 12. Germany is the center of the Kurdish diaspora, with a population of at least 700,000 ethnic Kurds. France has the second largest population of ethnic Kurds, numbering at least 120,000.
4.Turkish state media has attributed all the attacks and demonstrations to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - a designated terrorist group which is currently fighting an active insurgency against Turkey. On November 16, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany of giving the PKK support "implicitly or explicitly." He then accused Belgium of supporting antiTurkish militants, calling it "an important center for [the] PKK." Erdogan's accusations against the European governments are overstated, but the unrest does show some links to the PKK. The AYI openly seeks the release of PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan, who has been imprisoned in Turkey since 1999. At the demonstrations, protestors have been carrying placards with Öcalan's picture. Although European governments have condemned the arrests, they have yet to respond to the protests or attacks officially.
5.Indicators that the unrest will continue are continued calls for protests by leaders of the Kurdish diaspora. The situation could escalate if the AYI injures a Turkish national. Additionally, if Erdogan-loyal Turkish populations begin counter-protesting, the likelihood for violence is high. The continued AYI attacks and Kurdish protests have the potential to further damage the already fraught relationships between the European Union and Turkey.
6.European governments will attempt to prevent attacks on consulates but will not suppress Kurdish protests due to protection of free speech, angering a repressive Erdogan. European failure to protect Turkish property or to denounce protest movements could further damage European-Turkish relations. This burgeoning problem could undermine the March 18, 2016 deal between the EU and Turkey, wherein Turkey promised to stem the flow of refugees to Europe in exchange for financial aid, visa free travel for Turkish citizens, and additional progress towards EU membership. Additionally, soured relationships, as indicated by further statements by Erdogan, could hinder cooperation between Europe and Turkey on the anti-ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria and further Turkish-Russian rapprochement. ( adapted from ISW)