Tonight (Wednesday evening) heavy rioting erupted in Turkish quarters of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. Buses and trams were attacked. Several cars were torched and shops destroyed. Police forces were unable to restore law and order in the boroughs of Sint-Joost-ten-Node and Schaarbeek where since last Sunday the animosity among Turks is running high. Turkish flags are omnipresent. In some streets the Turkish crescent and star adorns almost every house.
The Turks’ anger was provoked by rising tension with Kurds along the Iraqi-Turkish border and by the debate in the American Congress about the Turkish genocide of the Armenians in 1915. On Sunday night Turkish youths in Sint-Joost destroyed the pub of Peter Petrossian, an ethnic Armenian who had to flee for his life. Apparently, some Turks think that by attacking the Armenians in Brussels they can convince the world that the Turks never committed a genocide of the Armenians.
Tonight the youths attacked Kurdish shops. They also set fire to several cars.
Belgium’s Muslim population consists mainly of Moroccans and Turks. In the past rioting Muslim youths were mostly Moroccans. The Turkish community is controlled by the Turkish embassy. The latter used to restrain the Turkish population so as not to upset the Belgian authorities and thwart Turkey’s chances of EU admission. This policy seems to have changed recently. In Antwerp, too, Turkish youths demonstrated tonight.
The events in Brussels indicate that in admitting large numbers of immigrants Belgium has also imported the ethnic quarrels of the Middle East.
Meanwhile in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, Moroccan youths have been burning cars for more than a week now. Today a 15-year old Amsterdam schoolboy was stabbed by youths. The boy survived the attack but is seriously wounded. On 11 October a 16-year old Amsterdam boy was stabbed to death in school. On 4 September a similar incident occurred in the Belgian city of Ghent where a 14-year old Belgian boy fought for his life after being stabbed in the throat by two immigrant youths from his school.