Demonstrations have began all over Europe on Wednesday in commemoration of the three Kurdish women who were assassinated in France 9 January 2013, and in protest over the ineffective investigation by the French authorities who have failed to identify the organisation behind the attack and bring them to justice nine years after the crime.
Rallies are planned on Saturday and Sunday in different cities of France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Cyprus and Australia.
The biggest rally is likely to take place in the French capital on Saturday, starting at noon in front of the Gare du Nord, the neighbourhood where the three women were killed.
Sakine Cansız, one of the co-founders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and a legendary figure in the Kurdish women’s freedom struggle. Fidan Doğan, the representative in France of the Brussels-based Kurdish National Congress (KNK), and Leyla Söylemez a young Kurdish political activist in France, were all killed at the office of the Kurdistan Information Centre located on 147 Rue La Fayette in Paris by an assassin who would later be identified as Ömer Güney.
The assassination had taken place less than two weeks after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish prime minister at the time, indicated on the Turkish state TV that they were having talks with the imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.
The Paris assassination was widely interpreted as a move to sabotage the so called ‘peace talks’ between the officials of the Ankara administration and Öcalan, and the way the assassination was conducted and the perpetrator involved soon made it clear that it was a professionally organised killing.
The three victims were all killed by shots received to the head, and 10 bullets were fired by a single weapon used by Ömer Güney, who had recently began acting as a driver for Sakine Cansız and who was revealed, in the course of the criminal investigation, to be an infiltrator previously living in Germany with close contacts in the circles of the ‘Grey Wolves’, a ultra right wing paramilitary organisation affiliated with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) of Turkey.
After Güney drove Cansız to the Kurdistan Information Centre on the night of 9 January 2013, he returned a short time later and entered the premises silently, then it is alleged that he killed all three women who were at the office in cold blood.
It would later also be revealed that on his mobile phone Güney had photos of membership cards from a Kurdish association he became a member of soon after he had moved to Paris, and which he had recently broken into during the night.
Another thing that was revealed during the investigation was that Güney had visited Turkey numerous times within the three months prior to the assassination, and he had made phone calls to a series of numbers in Turkey that was not actually registered with a name to any subscriber.
As Güney’s contacts in Turkey continued to remain shrouded in secrecy during the almost four years following the incident, the case was eventually closed after Güney died on 17 December 2016 at a French hospital where he was treated for a brain tumor.
The case was re-opened, however, in May 2019, after a complaint was filed by the three victims’ relatives against ‘unknown persons’ for complicity in the murders.
İsmail Hakkı Pekin, the former intelligence chief of the Turkish military general command, had blatantly stated on 15 February 2021 on Turkish news channel CNN Türk that the Turkish state had earlier carried out an operation against Kurdish targets in Paris.
“They have elements in Europe. We have got to do something against these elements in Europe. Well, it had actually been done earlier in Paris,” he’d said.
He confirmed on a live show a few days later on Medya Haber TV that assassinations against Kurdish political targets in Europe like the one in Paris was a necessity.