Three PKK members killed in Paris attack
An office of the Kurdistan Information Center in Paris was attacked by unknown people in the French capital Paris late yesterday, resulting in the deaths of three women, including one of the founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Sakine Cansız, one of the PKK founders in 1978, Brussels-based Kurdistan National Congress' (KNK) Paris representative Fidan Doğan, and Leyla Söylemez were found dead in the office, located near Gare du Nord station.
The women were alone in the office at noon yesterday, the Kurdish association representative Leon Edart said, daily Le Parisien has reported. Their bodies were discovered at around 01:30-02:00 a.m. this morning.
"There is no sign outside indicating that the place is the Kurdish Institute. They might have opened the door onto their assassins," Edart said.
Italian daily La Republica has also claimed that Sakine Cansız and Leyla Söylemez went to the first floor of the building to meet with Fidan Doğan, noting that the building had an electronic lock system that allows entrance only with a numerical code.
"Sakine was in Paris due to her health problems," a Kurdish journalist told French daily Le Figaro.
Two of the women were shot in the neck while the third had wounds to her forehead and stomach, the Kurdish federation said.
French police have launched an investigation into the incident.
A neighbor living in the building claimed she heard a boom at around 18:00 p.m. in the evening, according to Turkish broadcaster NTV.
In an interview with France24 , Armel Taverdin, a lawyer for one of the three victims, said, “This triple murder was fomented by the forces opposed to a solution to Kurdistan, the forces who are looking for a provocation.”
Taverdin added that the French police had plenty of evidence to work on in the case since, he maintained, at least two of the three victims had been under surveillance by the French police, France24 has reported.
BDP calls for protest in Diyarbakır to 'embrace the martyrs'
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has issued a statement condemning the incident and calling on followers to "embrace the martyrs," through the party's official Twitter account.
The BDP Diyarbakır Provincial Directorate has called for a protest to be held at the Koşuyolu Park in the eastern province of Diyarbakır at 13:00 p.m., adding that the party would be issuing an official press statement at the meeting.
Co-leaders of the BDP, Gülten Kışanak and Selahattin Demirtaş, have strongly condemned the killing of three Kurdish women, one of whom was said to be one of the founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Kışanak and Demirtaş will travel to Paris to speak with French authorities about the issue and attend funeral ceremonies for the victims, the BDP said in a written statement.
“We extend condolences to all Kurdish people. We expect the French government to immediately bring to light this massacre without leaving room for hesitation,” Kışanak and Demirtaş said in a written statement, noting that these murders could not be covered up. The three women were murdered in the most popular region of Paris.
“Those in every place of the world who deem the Kurd worthy of only death should know that we will not avoid paying the cost of freedom for our people, whatever that cost is. We bow with respect before the memories of these three precious Kurdish female politicians who devoted their lives to the future of their people,” they said.
Kışanak and Demirtaş also called on people to stage protests throughout the world to urge Parisian authorities to find the perpetrators of “the martyrs of the Kurdish people” so that “this massacre” would not be covered up.
A group of around 200-300 people has gathered in front of the building following the attack, shouting slogans such as, "They are not dead", "We are all PKK", "Turkey assassinates, Hollande complies," according to Le Parisien.
There are around 150,000 Kurds in France, the vast majority of them of Turkish origin, AFP has reported.
French police in October detained a suspected European leader of the PKK and three other members of the group as part of a probe into terrorism financing and association with a terrorist group.
A source close to the case said investigators were probing whether those arrested had been trying to obtain weapons of war.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in September accused France and Germany of obstructing Ankara's fight against the PKK.
Erdogan's government recently revealed that Turkish intelligence services had for weeks been talking to Ocalan, who has been held on the island prison of Imrali south of Istanbul since his capture in 1999.
Under the reported peace roadmap, the government would reward a ceasefire by granting wider rights to Turkey's Kurdish minority, whose population is estimated at up to 15 million in the 75-million nation.
Who is Sakine Cansız?
Sakine Cansız was one of the founders of the PKK.
After graduating from high school she was arrested in 1979 and sent to Diyarbakır Prison, where she was reportedly subjected to heavy torture. After being released she began working for the PKK with the code name "Sara."
She was removed from active missions following her disapproval of the execution of PKK member Mehmet Şener, and was subsequently sent to Europe.
Known for her opposition to the alleged head of the PKK's armed-wing, Syrian citizen Ferman Hussein, Cansız was also known to be in disagreement with the PKK's alleged financial head, Zübeyir Yılmaz. According to claims that have been reported in the Turkish media, Yılmaz had committed sexual harrasment against Sakine Cansız.