What scenario does Kışanak have in mind?

What scenario does Kışanak have in mind?

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
What scenario does Kışanak have in mind

Gültan Kışanak, the BDP’s co-chair, carries coffin of one of the three Kurdish women slained in Paris. DHA photo

The demand for peace coming from the Kurds at the funerals of Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez, all murdered in Paris, have raised hopes for a solution. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government had previously taken a step toward a solution with the first Kurdish Opening in 2009, but that process ended in Habur. The second step came in Oslo, but that process ended with the Silvan attack. The AKP took a third step with the current Öcalan talks, and then came the Paris assassinations. However, this time, the killings look as if they have reinforced wishes for “peace.” This week, the AKP will carry the process one level higher with its motion on “defense in mother tongue.”

After that, further İmralı and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) talks are planned, and the fourth judicial package is on the way. However, there is no doubt that if the Paris assassination is also solved, then the Kurds will be much more facilitating.

Both Turkish and Kurdish people are looking for the answer to this question: Who is, or who are, those who want to sabotage the new process by these killings? I had the opportunity to talk to Gültan Kışanak, the BDP’s co-chair, about her impressions of the Paris incident and about the ongoing process. Kışanak told me about how she and Cansız were cell-mates in Diyarbakır Prison. She kept repeating to me: “The murderers must be found.”

After the incident, Kışanak went to Paris - together with fellow BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş - and talked to several French officials, including the Interior Minister. She said she started the conversation with a correction: “The door of the Kurdish Institute where the murder was committed is not coded; it is constantly open. The main entrance of the building is coded. And that code is shared by many residents of the building.” The French Interior Minister therefore told her that it must have been “an extremely professional murder.”

Kışanak was told that French anti-terror teams were closely monitoring the Kurds in Paris. “The anti-terror unit conducts investigations into Kurds over there, and is also one that conducts operations. It is not a neutral unit from the perspective of Kurds there,” she told me. She also conveyed the following comment to the French minister: “This office was under your surveillance 24/7. Your criminal departments, the police, and intelligence units were closely monitoring the PKK’s and the Kurds’ activities. The French authorities knew Sakine was there. She was murdered in an information office that was under heavy surveillance, although it had no covert activities and had been conducting its lobbying in line with French laws for 20 years. It looks a bit like the Dink murder in Turkey.”

Obviously, Kışanak is concerned about France neglecting the incident. Several other names within the BDP, while expressing their suspicions about the perpetrators, imply that it came from “outside of Turkey.” Moreover, Kışanak pointed out that a solution for the murders would be very difficult to find unless Turkey gave its full support. It means that certain names within the BDP have certain opinions about who committed these murders.

I asked Kışanak, “Who do you suspect?” She said: “Let me put it bluntly: I am putting Iran among the list of ordinary suspects, a country that has committed such political murders against the Kurds in Europe and political Kurdish actors. In other words, it has the capacity to conduct this as a state and its record shows that it has done such deeds in the past … If it is Iran, it should be found out.”

Ahmet Türk also offered a similar interpretation about Iran. My impression is that on the list of suspects in the minds of BDP members, the deep state within the Turkish state, Turkey itself, or an intra-PKK feud are very low, even non-existent. A Kurdish politician told me that the view that the incident could have been conducted by Iranian agents within the PEJAK and through Syria was widespread in the corridors.

Well, what will happen if the murders are not solved? Kışanak said this clearly: “If these political murders are not solved, then it will remain an obstacle in front of us.”


The condolence visit of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Tunceli deputy Hüseyin Aygün to the family of murdered Kurdish militant Sakine Cansız evoked fury in the party’s nationalist wing. The team of Deniz Baykal and those names close to Önder Sav are uncomfortable. The Sav team is preparing to warn the administration with a statement. However, all the wings are not yet in the position of adopting a serious stance. According to what I have heard, those opponents within the party are waiting for the outcome of the local elections, and depending on the outcome, they will join forces and press the button against the current administration.


Our master in the profession, Mehmet Ali Birand, has passed away. I covered many stories in the Parliament and other major events side by side with him. He was an expert in the profession, but he never lost his reporter spirit. He was, at the same time, a school investing in people, training journalists. From the black-and-white days of television, he had become the window of Turkey opening to the world with his legendary news program ‘32. Gün’ (32nd Day). He was among the pioneers of original broadcasting. He was a master whose spot will not be easily filled. We will miss him…