There is a direct link between the killing of Kurdish activist and feminist scholar Nagihan Akarsel on Tuesday and the 2012 Paris massacre of three Kurdish women politicians, the Kurdistan Women’s Communities (KJK) said in a statement following Akarsel’s death.
The Akarsel murder is “not an individual case”, the umbrella organisation for Kurdish women’s movements said.
“Her murder is one in a series of targeted killings of leading figures of the women’s revolution in Kurdistan by the fascist Turkish state,” KJK said, adding that by assassinating key activists over the last 10 years, “the fascist and misogynist Turkish state has tried to stop the Women’s Revolution in Kurdistan.”
KJK cited two other attacks against Kurdish women in recent years, the 2020 killings of three militants in Kobanê, northern Syria, and the killing of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) founding member Sakine Cansız and two Kurdish activists in Paris in 2012.
The killing of four Kurds who supported the Kurdish freedom movement in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) was also relevant as it was carried out by Turkish intelligence, in a sustained series of assaults in the semi-autonomous region, KJK said.
Although the KJK statement did not name the slain Kurds in question, it was likely referring to political activists who have been assassinated in and near Sulaymaniyah since last year, including Suhail Khurshid Aziz, Mehmet Zeki Çelebi and Yasin Bulut.
“We expect from the provincial administration of Sulaymaniyah to urgently take all necessary measures to protect the safety of Kurds in Kurdistan and arrest the perpetrators,” the group said. “This in turn means to prevent all kind of dirty activities by the fascist Turkish state within the borders of Southern Kurdistan.”
Women’s movements everywhere are facing a “global counter-attack of capitalist misogyny, aiming to prevent our century from becoming the age of women’s liberation”, it continued.
As well as condemning Turkey, the KJK held to account “the international state community, whose members claim a ‘feminist foreign policy’ but let the Turkish state kill Kurdish female revolutionaries within and beyond its borders”.
Nagihan Akarsel, member of Sulaymaniyah-based Jineolojî Academy, co-founder of the Jineolojî Research Centre and a leading figure in the development of Jineolojî, the feminist current that developed within the Kurdish movement at large, lost her life in the hospital on Tuesday morning after being shot near her home.
Akarsel was a veteran advocate for Kurdish women’s rights, and had been working on establishing a women’s library at the time of her passing.