Conflicts & War

Paris rally marks 2013 murder of Kurdish activists weeks after similar attack

Paris, Jan 7 (EFE).- Thousands took to the streets of Paris on Saturday calling for answers to the murder of three female Kurdish activists in 2013.

The march is an annual event after the killing of Sakine Cansiz — a founder of the PKK Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez and comes just weeks after three other Kurds were murdered in the French capital.

The PKK — which has waged a longstanding insurgency against Ankara calling for greater rights for Turkey’s Kurdish minority — is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

The protesters marched from the Gare du Nord station in northern Paris towards Place de la Republique and carried banners with photographs of the victims who were described as “martyrs.”

According to the organizers, 25,000 people joined the demonstration.

Several banners targeted the Turkish government with one reading: “The Turkish government has massacred three more Kurds.”

Kurdish activists in France accuse the Turkish secret services of the killing of the three activists on January 9, 2013, at the Kurdish Cultural Center in Paris, just a few hundred meters from where the rally kicked off.

Investigators quickly apprehended the alleged perpetrator of the massacre, Omer Güney, a Turkish national, but he died of cancer in prison in late 2016 a few weeks before his trial was due to start.

The victims’ families were hoping the trial would clarify whether the triple murder was commissioned and tried to relaunch the judicial procedure in 2017 with evidence that they alleged proved the killer had links with Turkish intelligence services.

Tensions were further flared when on December 23 last year three people were killed in front of the Kurdish cultural center and another three were injured.

The perpetrator, a 69-year-old Frenchman with multiple criminal records who had been released from jail a few days earlier and who was charged with attacking a migrant camp in 2021, was immediately arrested.

William Malet was charged and jailed for what prosecutors described as racist murders, although investigators have found no connection to extremist organizations.EFE


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