A commemorative event in Paris on Tuesday evening honours Kurdish activists Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Saylemez, who were tragically assassinated in the city on this date in 2013. The event, marking the conclusion of a series of memorial activities, will be attended by Alexandra Cordebard, Mayor of Paris 10, who will open the evening with a speech.
The programme, which will begin at 6:45 pm local time, includes the screening of ‘Trois femmes à abattre’, a documentary film about the victims, followed by a panel discussion led by journalist Laure Marchand, Antoine Comte, the lawyer for the civil parties, and Berivan Firat, spokeswoman for the Kurdish Democratic Council in France (CDK-F). A musical segment was also featured to pay homage to these influential figures in the Kurdish struggle.
The 2013 Paris massacre, which took the lives of Cansiz, Dogan and Saylemez, remains shrouded in controversy and secrecy. The murders occurred at a Kurdish information centre in Paris, with each victim suffering a fatal gunshot wound to the head. The prime suspect, Ömer Güney, allegedly connected to Turkey’s intelligence services (MİT), died in prison under suspicious circumstances before his trial.
Despite initial closure, the case was reopened in 2019, but the French domestic intelligence service has treated the details as state secrets, withholding critical information. This lack of transparency continues to fuel anger and frustration within the Kurdish community.
In a related development, Paris witnessed another attack on 23 December 2022, where three Kurdish activists were killed at a Kurdish cultural centre. This incident, occurring weeks before the tenth anniversary of the 2013 killings, has been linked by many in the Kurdish community to the earlier murders, suspecting Turkey’s involvement.
Both incidents have significantly strained relations between the Kurdish community and French authorities, with accusations that France was protecting Turkey by not conducting thorough investigations. These events have occurred against the backdrop of complex geopolitical dynamics, including peace talks between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and Turkey’s military actions in northern Iraq and North and East Syria.
The Kurdish community’s demand for justice and transparency continues, as they seek answers and accountability for these attacks.