The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) said yesterday it would hold France responsible if it does not quickly shed light on the murder of three Kurdish women, including one of its co-founders and a high-profile member of a Brussels-based Kurdish organization.
“The fact that the attack was carried out in France is a clear demonstration of France’s responsibility,” the PKK said in a written statement published on its website, according to Reuters.
Sakine Cansız, one of the founders of the PKK, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez were all shot execution-style on Jan. 9 by perpetrators who locked the door to the Kurdish Information Center after the killings. The murder occurred amid fresh talks between the Turkish government and the PKK’s imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan, raising the hopes for a peaceful settlement of the Kurdish issue.
French police sources said Jan. 11 that autopsies of the three Kurdish women could take a week.
According to a spokesperson for a Paris prosecutor, all the victims were shot multiple times in the head.
Meanwhile Kurdish activists and politicians denied allegations of an internal feud within the PKK and directed the blame on deep forces linked with the Turkish state. The chairman of the Kurdish Institute in Paris said the scenario of a feud was “unlikely” in the current context. “I think that there are radical groups within the army who are quite capable of doing such things in defense of the homeland,” Kendal Nezan told France 24.
Aysel Tuğluk, an independent Kurdish deputy, maintained that the perpetrators wanted the ongoing talks to fail. “It seems like an act aiming to sabotage the peace process. But could this provocation have international dimensions? As this is a regional matter, there are certain forces that don’t want to see a strong Turkey that has put the Kurdish issue behind it,” said Tuğluk, urging Turkey to open a parallel investigation into the killings.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq also condemned the murders and said the Kurdish issue could not be solved through violence.
French antiterrorist experts claimed that the murder does not appear to have been conducted by Turkish authorities. “In these circumstances, it is unthinkable, even ridiculous, to see the secret service behind this matter,” a specialist policeman told daily Le Figaro.