Alexandra Cordebard, mayor of Paris’s 10th Arrondisement, said the targeting of the French capital’s Kurdish community near the Ahmet Kaya Cultural Centre on Friday was “very tragic”.
The Kurdish community centre, a restaurant and a hairdresser were targeted in the shooting on Friday morning by an elderly Caucasian man who has since been arrested. Paris Prosecutor François Molins told reporters that the man had a record for attacking migrant communities in the past, pointing to a possible racist component that was not specifically anti-Kurdish, but Kurdish organisations point to France’s failure to prevent past incidents and believe the most recent attack was organised by Turkey’s intelligence service.
“This is a multicultural quarter where Kurdish people live. Several communities live here peacefully. This attack is a tragedy for us,” Cordebard said. “We are sorry about the way that the Kurdish community have been the target of bullets.”
As Cordebard spoke, a crowd nearby chanted, “Erdoğan, terrorist” referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and “Turkish state, assassin,” reported AP News.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo offered condolences to the families and loved ones of those affected by the attack.
“Thoughts for the victims and solidarity with the Kurds. We are together,” Rémi Féraud, former mayor of the 10th Arrondisement, said in a tweet. Féraud also cited the triple murders of 2013 in his message.
Former MP Jean-Luc Mélenchon expressed “sadness and anger” at the attack and said, “Ten years ago, almost to the day, three leading Kurds were assassinated in the heart of Paris. Enough! Protect our Kurdish allies here, and there.”
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin offered condolences and announced a visit to the site. “All my thoughts go out to the victims’ loved ones. The perpetrator has been arrested,” he said.
The elderly Caucasian man arrested in relation to the shooting has not been publicly identified at the time of writing for this article, however, authorities have announced that he had been previously arrested over attempted murder of several migrants in a camp last December, BBC reported.