Thousands of people joined protests in the streets of Paris, organised for the anniversary of the killing of three Kurdish women, Sakine Cansız (54), Leyla Şaylemez (24) and Fidan Doğan (28) in a chilling execution-styled assassination operation in Paris on 9 January 2013. One of these, Sakine Cansiz, was among the founders of the PKK. The protesters chanted:”Millions are following the case”, making clear they will continue until justice is achieved.
In response to a call by the Kurdish Women’s Movement of France (TJK-F) and the Democratic Kurdish Council of France (CDK-F), tens of thousands gathered at the Gare Du Nord in Paris to join the march, alongside family members of Sakine Cansiz and Fidan Doğan, the chair of Kongra-Gel (the People’s Congress of Kurdistan) Remzi Kartal, former People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP Besime Konca, the Mayor of the 10th arrondissement of Paris Alexandra Cordebard, executives of Armenian associations, and chair of the France-Kurdistan Solidarity Association Sylvie Jan.
At the head of the demonstration, there was the banner, “France is guilty as long as justice remains in the dark”, and there were other banners that read “Justice for Kurds” in several languages.
The participants included members of the French women’s movement, the Communist Party, the Union of Communists, Solidaires Union, MRAP (the Movement against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples), the Anti-Capitalist Party, anarchist groups, the Socialist Women’s Union and revolutionary groups from Turkey.
Speaking at the rally, Remzi Kartal, chair of Kongra-Gel, called for a trial of the perpetrators of the massacre.
“We’ve sent our message to everyone today. We will continue our fight to the end to throw light on the Paris Massacre. so the perpetrators are tried, so the whole world knows about the guilty parties. France is also responsible as long as it fails to shed light on the massacre,” he said.
On behalf of Kurdish Women’s Movement, former HDP MP Besime Konca took the stage and said:
“Sakine heval (comrade) was our future. She was a pioneer of the free women’s movement. She was revenge for the Massacre of Dersim. She was a comrade of Leader Apo (Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the PKK).”
KNK Women’s Comission Statement
The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) Women’s Comission also issued a written statement for the anniversary of the assassination of the three Kurdish Women.
“Nine years have passed since the incident, but the killers and those responsible for the massacre have not yet been brought to justice. This massacre was carried out by the fascist state of Turkey with the silence of the French state.
“The killing of Sakine, Leyla and Fidan targeted the diplomacy, women’s resistance and youth organisations of the Kurdish Freedom Movement.”
The statement also remembered the Kurdish female politicians Sevê Demir, Pakize Nayir and Fatma Uyar, who were killed by gunfire from an armoured vehicle during curfews in Silopi, Turkey.
“Three Kurdish women, Sevê Demir, Pakize Nayir and Fatma Uyar, were assassinated by the Turkish fascist regime on 4 January 2016 in Silopi. As Kurdish women, we sre well aware that the fascist Turkish state is hostile to women. The Turkish state kills women who resist.
“For thousands of years, patriarchal perceptions against Kurdish women have been seen as the greatest threat to their power. When we look at history, women who have resisted and fought for freedom and a dignified life have been murdered by inhumane methods. But the struggle and organisation of Kurdish women today, especially in the Middle East, have become the hope and light of all women in the world.”
Sakine Cansız, a co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and a legendary figure in the Kurdish women’s freedom struggle, Fidan Doğan, the representative in France of the Brussels-based Kurdish National Congress (KNK), and Leyla Söylemez a young Kurdish political activist in France, were all killed at the office of the Kurdistan Information Centre located on 147 Rue La Fayette in Paris by an assassin who would later be identified as Ömer Güney.
The assassination took place less than two weeks after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then Turkish prime minister, indicated on Turkish state TV that they were engaged in talks with the imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.
The Paris assassination was widely interpreted as a move to sabotage the so-called ‘peace talks’ between the officials of the Ankara administration and Öcalan, and the way the assassination was conducted and the perpetrator involved soon made it clear that it was a professionally organised killing.