The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Kurdistan Communities Organisation (KCK), and several women’s organisations linked to the Kurdish freedom movement remembered the victims of the 2013 Paris massacre and called on the people to continue protests until the 10-year-old incident is uncovered.
On 9 January that year, three Kurdish female activists, including Sakine Cansız, one of the co-founders of the PKK, were killed by a Turkish gunman in a Kurdish information centre in Paris. The Kurdish community in France and beyond have been organising marches to commemorate the victims and call on the French government to uncover the incident. The tenth anniversary of the 2013 massacre came a few weeks after another three Kurdish activists were killed, allegedly by a 69-year-old racist French gunman who attacked a Kurdish cultural centre and a number of Kurdish businesses on 23 December.
“In the name of justice, we condemn the fact that the French state and government have still not tried the real perpetrators and called the killers to account,” the PKK leadership said in a statement. “We declare that this is why the massacre was repeated ten years later and, a further three Kurdish revolutionaries and patriots were murdered in Paris. We call on the French judiciary to expose these two Paris massacres, carried out by the same forces ten years apart, reveal the connections between them, and call the murderers to account”.
While the French authorities are treating the 2022 murders in Paris as a separate attack carried out by a lone wolf, most Kurds believe that the two incidents are connected and that Turkey played a role in both.
“It is very clear that in the ten years since, Kurdish women in particular and Kurdish people in general and their friends, have not stopped, and have worked tirelessly to stand up for the 9 January Paris Martyrs, to get light shed on the massacre and to get the killers put on trial,” the PKK said, pointing to the contributions of the three women to the Kurdish freedom movement and to the women’s struggle.
The co-presidency of the KCK also released a statement to mark the tenth anniversary of the Paris assassinations.
“Since 9 January 2013, our people living in Europe have continued to call the murderers to account with their glorious resistance. They have displayed a very strong and noble resistance and struggle since the second Paris massacre too,” the KCK said. “We salute and celebrate the honourable and noble stance of our people with respect and love. Our people will continue their resistance and multidimensional struggle in the strongest possible way and will certainly ensure that the truth is revealed,” it added.
The 2013 Paris Massacre can never be considered an ordinary criminal attack, but should be seen as a continuation of the Turkish state’s genocidal policies, which in recent years have been embodied in Turkey’s existing government, according to the KCK.
“The second Paris massacre, which took place as a result of these policies, was undoubtedly carried out by the Turkish MİT [intelligence service], which has turned into a murder and crime network,” the organisation said.
France should immediately shed light on both attacks, if it does not want to become complicit in the Turkish state’s policies, the KCK said. “If this is not done, France will be considered guilty in the eyes of all humanity, especially of the Kurdish people, and will also prepare the ground for new massacres to take place. For this reason, we call on France to protect the common democratic values of humanity and of Europe and not to sacrifice them to political interests. We also call on our people and international friends in Europe to lead all the forces of freedom and democracy and continue their democratic activism until these massacres are clarified,” it added.
The Community of Women of Kurdistan, (Komalên Jinên Kurdistan, KJK), was also among the organisations that commemorated the three victims of the 2013 massacre, recalling the contributions of female activists to the Kurdish freedom movement. The organisation stressed that the murder of another leading figure of the Kurdish women’s movement in the December attack was not a coincidence, but an attempt to prevent the women’s revolution and Kurdish women’s liberation.
“Our people, our friends in the women’s struggle know very well who the murderers are,” the KJK said, referring to Turkey’s fascist policies and the role played by the Turkish intelligence.
The KJK saluted the protests organised Europe-wide since the 23 December attack. “Those marches, our struggle should not be limited to this period, but our demonstrations should continue in the strongest way possible until those responsible of this massacre are brought to justice,” it said.
“Since the first Paris massacre 10 years ago, the Turkish state has systematised the murder of female Kurdish pioneers because they know they can get away with all their crimes against Kurds. In the last 10 years, the Turkish state has committed similar political murders in different countries and has never been prosecuted for any of them,” the Kurdish Women’s Relations Office (REPAK) based in Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq said in a statement.
“The Kurdish Women’s Movement has a long and deep-rooted history of struggle. The Turkish state sees the biggest threat in the Kurdish women’s movement, which has made significant progress towards freedom by rejecting all gender norms and dismantling the patriarchal system,” REPAK said.
“Their real war is against us women. Their biggest fear is organised women who are on their way to freedom. That is why they kill, imprison, discredit and marginalise them. Since all states feed on the same mentality, they cover up each other’s crimes,” it added, saying that the Paris massacre is just another example of patriarchal states’ war on women.