It has been ten years since a gunman allegedly linked to Turkish intelligence killed three female Kurdish activists, including Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) founding member Sakine Cansız, in Paris.
The murders remain unresolved after the gunman died in prison in 2016, a month before his trial was to begin.
Journalist and author Fuat Kav has written an article in two parts for MedyaNews, detailing all the suspicions and documents about the political murders and attacks Turkey has allegedly organised against the Kurds in Europe in the last decade.
Read below the first part of Kav’s exclusive article about assassinations in the history of the Turkish deep state and the strategy shifts of the government under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the war against the Kurds. Part 2 is to be published tomorrow, 10 January.
A decade has passed since the Turkish deep state, ruled by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and National Intelligence Agency (MİT) Chief Hakan Fidan, carried its war against Kurds over to Europe.
On 9 January 2013, a man affiliated to Turkish intelligence shot up the Kurdistan Information Centre in Paris, killing Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) founding member Sakine Cansız, Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) member Fidan Doğan and Kurdish youth activist Leyla Şaylemez. The murders remain unresolved after the gunman died in prison in 2016, a month before his trial was to begin.
But the common question on everyone’s mind was: How were Erdoğan and Hakan Fidan daring enough to commit such a bloody murder in the middle of Paris in broad daylight?
The truth was that Erdoğan and Fidan’s team, failing to achieve results in the dirty war they had been waging against the Kurdish people and the guerilla, were now adopting an all-out war campaign. But first, they needed to reshape the state according to this new strategy.
Their mission was to transform the conventional functioning of the state, to narrow down and centralise the fragmented and dispersed decision-making mechanisms and divest the parliament of its agency so the deputies and ministers would have no authority, each to be employed as clerks and advisers to the ruling clique. This was the period when Süleyman Soylu and Hulusi Akar, who had several bloody operations under their belts already, were appointed interior minister and defence minister respectively.
The police and gendarmerie, and in particular bureaucrats, the army and MİT were to be handed over to this clique. In short, the classical structure of the Turkish state would be completely overhauled and a contra-state structure would replace it.
The aim of this new concept was to develop a policy based on deployment, offensive and occupation on every area where Kurds are located.
The invasions, repression, massacre and genocidal policies in Southern Kurdistan and North and East Syria were carried out to this end.
Europe was also involved in this, as the basis of what known as the “smash-up plan”. The Kurdish Movement based in Europe was now the target of this smash-up concept, at any risk.
However, it was not possible to implement this concept without the approval of the US and certain European countries. It is now obvious that some joint decisions were taken regarding this issue in secret diplomacy talks held in the name of “saving” Turkey, as a NATO member state. However, it would soon come to light that these decisions were not limited solely to criminalising and arresting Kurds in Europe, and raiding and shutting down Kurdish institutions, as the assassinations that began to take place afterwards proved they further included unconventional warfare methods to be used for intimidating the Kurds and breaking their will to struggle.
For these purposes, the Turkish deep state organised private units within the intelligence service with the mission to hold consultations and to implement accordingly. These private sections are divided into further specific units deployed in Germany, France, Belgium and other countries, all operating undercover through secret relations and all independent of each other. The head office that gathers these units under a single roof consists of three “chiefs”, who are totally independent of each other as well. This three-person unit called “Chief” which organises all the assassinations in Europe, is directly subordinate to MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, and Fidan to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The local units gather intelligence about the targets and this information is given to the units that will carry out the assassinations.
And the rest is state terror and bloodshed…
The first target: Armenians
The teams assigned by the Turkish deep state that operate abroad actually date back to 1980s. As an instance, the strike teams formed after the coup d’état in September 1980 particularly targeted Armenians living in Europe.
Turkish intelligence officials of the period, Hiram Abas ve Korkut Eker, formed assassination teams with names including mafia leaders and deep state agents such as Abdullah Çatlı, Alaaddin Çakıcı, Oral Çelik, Mehmet Şener, Yalçın Özbay and Yavuz Çaylan. These teams attacked Armenians in several European countries, especially in France.
By the 2000s, the Turkish state, realising that Europe serves as a strategic area for the Kurdish freedom movement, began to spread its warfare and assassinations beyond its borders. Of course, many murders took place outside Turkey before that, but in the 2000s it was all to morph into systematic attacks.
So the ‘Erdoğan clique’ formed a new unit to organise the assasinations in Europe. The task of this unit was to commit arson against Kurdish institutions and organisations in Europe, to carry out acts of sabotage and provocation, and to target people who were seen as dangerous and those symbolic for the Kurdish movement.
The identities of those people assigned with executing these tasks were crucial and therefore they had to be carefully selected. The expected profile was supposed to be etatist, pro-Erdoğan, money-grubbing and anti-Kurdish at the same time. It did not take long to find people who fit the required qualifications…
Fuat Kav is a political activist, journalist and author. His memoirs on the notorious Diyarbakır Prison were published in the 2011 novel Blue Ring.