Three Kurdish Women, Including PKK Co-Founder, Assassinated in Paris
The PKK, Kurdistan Workers Party, has been leading the peoples war for decades for the liberation of the Kurdish people from oppression by its Turkish occupiers. It had setbacks many years ago with the capture of their leader Ocalan, but the struggle is protracted and continues on many fronts. Recently three Kurdish leaders were killed in what looks like a targeted assassination. Thousands have rallied in Paris demanding justice, chanting “we are all PKK.” We salute these fallen comrades. The national liberation struggle of Kurdistan will continue until victory.
Three Kurdish women have been found shot dead in Paris. One of them is a co-founder of the PPK separatist movement. Hundreds of people have gathered to protest what the French Interior Minister dubbed “intolerable assassinations.”
The women were found outside the Kurdish institute in the French capital at 01:00 GMT.
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls told France-Info radio, “These assassinations are intolerable, and I hope the inquiry will make rapid progress but let’s allow the investigators to do their work.”
The minister also stressed that the killings were “surely an execution.”
“Rest assured that French authorities are determined to get to the bottom of these unbearable acts,” added Valls.
The three victims of the attack are Sakine Casiz, a co-founder of the militant PPK, 32-year-old Fidan Dogan, a representative of the National Congress of Kurdistan, an organization based in Brussels, while the third woman was young activist Leyla Soylemez.The women are believed to have held Turkish passports.
Cansiz and one more other victim were reportedly shot in the head, a French police source told Reuters. The third was shot in the stomach, Kurdish media reported.
The murder weapon was believed to have been fitted with a silencer, according to the Firat news agency, which is close to the group.
All three women were last seen on Wednesday, late in the afternoon, in the building of the Kurdish institute.
The killer or killers locked the door of the office where the attack took place, according to Turkey’s ambassador to Paris, Tahsin Burcuoğlu.
Police responding to the scene of the crime were forced to break in when they arrived and the “attackers had locked the doors and then left,” Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News quoted Burcuoğlu, as saying.
In the meantime, hundreds have taken to the streets of the French capital, after the Federation of Kurdish Associations in France (Feyka) called for a demonstration in Paris. The demonstrators were chanting “We are all PKK!” and “Turkey assassin, Hollande complicit”, referring to French President Francois Hollande, AFP reported.
The PKK (Parti Karkerani Kurdistan, or Kurdistan Workers’ Party) is an organization which has been battling for greater autonomy for Kurds in Turkey for decades, with 40,000 people killed during the 28-year conflict. Turkish authorities have recently said they were holding talks with the group’s imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, with a peace plan reportedly being agreed. He was jailed in 1999 on the western Turkish island of Imrali.
“Ocalan and the Turkish government have started a peace process, they want to engage in dialogue, but there are parties that are against resolving the Kurdish question and want to sabotage the peace process,” leader of the Kurdistan National Congress, an umbrella group of Kurdish organizations in Europe, Remzi Kartal, told Reuters.
“This is a political crime, there is no doubt about it,” he added.
In the meantime, Turkish authorities have hinted that the killings could have been the result of some internal feud within the PKK.
“We have an ongoing process against terrorism in Turkey; this might be a provocation to harm the process, or an internal feud … we don’t know yet,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quoted by Hürriyet Daily News as saying.
The Kurdish institute, as posted on its website, is “an independent, non-political, secular organization, embracing Kurdish intellectuals and artists from different horizons as well as Western specialists in Kurdish Studies.”
The United States, Turkey and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist organization.