POLITICS > Masses turn out to pay final respects to PKK members

DIYARBAKIR - Hürriyet Daily News

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Hüseyin Hayatsever Hüseyin Hayatsever huseyin.hayatsever@hdn.com.tr

A huge funeral ceremony for three female members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who were shot dead in Paris last week has been held in Diyarbakır's Batıkent Square with the participation of tens of thousands of people.

Some had expressed fears of provocations and sabotage before the ceremony, but no public order problem was experienced, and the crowd dispersed peacefully at the event’s conclusion. Meanwhile, police officers especially avoided approaching too closely to the square.

The bodies of the PKK members were brought to the ceremony area with hearses while thousands of people marched alongside the vehicles. People wore black symbolizing their grief and wore head coverings symbolizing peace.
Sakine Cansız, one of the founding members of the PKK; Fidan Doğan, the Brussels-based Kurdistan National Congress' (KNK) Paris representative; and KNK Youth Union member Leyla Söylemez were murdered in the office of the Kurdistan Information Center in central Paris on Jan. 9. Their bodies arrived in Diyarbakır late Jan. 16.

The coffins were wrapped in flags of the PKK while posters of the murdered female members were held aloft by the public. People carried banners saying "We are all Sakine," "We are all Leyla," and "We are all Fidan," and chanted slogans such as "The PKK is the people, the people are here," and "martyrs never die." After the coffins arrived at Batıkent Square, white pigeons symbolizing peace were released.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies also delivered speeches expressing their sorrow during the event.

"Everybody is expecting sensitivity from us. But here, our people have showed that they are ready for peace although we have lost three of our comrades. But peace can be possible with mutual respect," said Ahmet Türk, an independent deputy and co-chair of Kurdish umbrella organization Democratic Society Congress (DTK).

Türk also said it was impossible to speak about peace when Kandil, a mountain in northern Iraq where PKK militants are mainly based, are being bombarded by Turkish jets.

"I'm appealing to those who call on us to be sensitive for peace. Mr. Prime Minister, how can you talk about peace while Kandil is being bombarded? What kind of peace is being sought with this?" Türk said.

BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said people in the square were demanding an "honorable peace." "As mothers bid farewell to their children, they did not promise revenge. They demand peace. When will the world understand this stance?" Demirtaş said.

The BDP co-chair also lamented the air strikes on Kandil. "As we were talking about peace, seven Kurdish young people died on Kandil. It's not possible to make peace while making war at the same time. If you seek peace, you have to be brave," Demirtaş said.

Demirtaş, however, reiterated his party’s support for government officials' recent talks with Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the PKK. "We support the resolution proposal that Mr. Öcalan has introduced or will introduce," he added.

Following the ceremony in Diyarbakır, Cansız was set to be buried in the eastern province of Tunceli; Doğan was to be sent to Elbistan in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş, while Söylemez was to be interred in the southern province of Mersin.

Crowds gather for PKK members' funeral ceremony


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Notice on comments

Adam Polk

1/18/2013 2:53:46 PM

these are Kurdish people who became president, prime minsters, ministers before. some of them still important politicians, turgut özal, abdulkadir aksu, dengir mir mehmet fırat, hüseyin çelik, recep akdağ. kurdish people are represented in every election. whoever says opposite hate seeing turkey together, one piece.there is nothing a kurdish citizen can not do. so what does PKK ask with guns?


1/18/2013 2:24:40 AM

This county of ours is a vey strange place, one of a kind really.

david coors

1/17/2013 11:57:11 PM

How could they support an organization which murdered over 45 thousands innocent human beings? Call them terrorists or murderers, what difference does it make? The fact does not change. Over 45 thousands innocent human beings have been murdered.

turkic voice

1/17/2013 10:02:00 PM

good riddens to all terrorist

Turk Uzan

1/17/2013 6:25:31 PM

@ Chris bar, 4000 terrorists and 1 to 3 million supporters ... in a nation of nearly 80 million and 15 to 17 million Kurds, 1 to 3 million is a LOT, but still a minority of a minority But we should ALL thank AKP for scenes like these because it's clear that they want PKK to get more support and even more sympathy, if the AKP keeps pursuing this strategy withing 5 years the PKK's support will go from 10/15%to 30/40% which will be enough for a civil war Shame on the AKP

Lovable Dude

1/17/2013 6:25:26 PM

As you all can see in the picture that the Kurdish issue and the PKK CAN NOT be solved through war and violence .....!! This peace process must go on with any necessary means to achieve peace and stop lose of the young people of the Kurdish and Turkish mothers and fathers in Turkey !! And anyone who doesn't want this then YOU are the real terrorist !! My God help everyone in this Peace process !!

Adam Polk

1/17/2013 5:45:15 PM

last night PKK attack killed a policeman in Mardin. peace loving butterflies...

Nadiri Başaran

1/17/2013 4:56:29 PM

It is clear to see from this crowd why the fight against the PKK must go on.

Chris Bar

1/17/2013 3:27:44 PM

According to the picture (and video) that Hurriyet has posted Turkey must have too many "terrorists"! Doesnt she?

Turiddu Giuliano

1/17/2013 1:37:49 PM

Rest in peace, I ardently hope that your tragic death will serve at least to restore peace between the Turkish people and the Kurdish one.
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