European Kurdish organisations have organised mass demonstrations in Paris, France on Saturday, to call on authorities for justice for three Kurdish women murdered in the French capital in 2013.
The protest, organised by the Kurdish Democratic Council of France (CDK-F), the Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe (TJK-E) and the European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCDK-E), aims to draw attention to the lack of accountability for the triple murder, allegedly orchestrated by the Turkish intelligence service MİT.
The victims, Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) co-founder Sakine Cansız, Kurdish National Congress (KNK) Paris representative Fidan Doğan and youth activist Leyla Şaylemez, were shot in broad daylight by a Turkish gunman in the offices of a Kurdish information centre in Paris on 9 January 2013. The Kurdish community in Europe have since been organising marches to commemorate the victims and call on the French government to uncover the incident.
Investigations have revealed documents, audio recordings and witness statements which point to a contract killing orchestrated by the MİT. However, the French domestic intelligence service has treated the case as a state secret and refused to disclose the elements in its possession.
The alleged hitman, Ömer Güney, who was arrested after the attack, died in prison under suspicious circumstances shortly before the trial was due to start in December 2016.
In December 2022, three more Kurdish activists were killed in Paris, just a few weeks after the tenth anniversary of the 2013 killings. A French gunman, 69, attacked a Kurdish cultural centre and several Kurdish businesses, shooting dead the three activists. Strong evidential links point to the involvement of accomplices. No justice has been served in the case and the TJK-E has warned that a lack of accountability increases the risk of further attacks.
The KCDK-E claims that France is protecting Turkey by not carrying out proper investigations into the two attacks. They accuse the French authorities of prolonging – and deliberately not completing – the investigation regarding the 2013 attack, thus enabling the second attack in Paris in 2022.
The KCDK-E further demands the French government apologises to the families of the victims of both attacks, and insists the perpetrators are held to account. The Kurdish community in Europe call for clarity and justice, emphasising that these attacks target the Kurdish community and the Kurdish women’s movement.