Some forty thousand people have been killed in the space of 30 years of insurgency and counterinsurgency involving the Turks and the Kurds. Last week in Paris, if you recall, three women activists were shot down dead in an execution style which gave rise to an enormous amount of protests and demonstrations around the world.
Some fifteen thousand people attended protests in Paris and French police officers were forced to arrest hundreds who threw objects and endangered the forces. The Turkish embassy in Paris was also put under vigilence.
Who were the victims?
Sakine Cansiz: the eldest of the three was known for being one of the co-founders of Kurdistans Worker’s Party (the PKK).
Fidan Dogan: Paris representative of the Brussels-based Kurdistan National Congress (KNC) political group; responsible for lobbying the EU and diplomats on behalf of the PKK via the KNC.
Leyla Soylemez: Junior activist working on diplomatic relations and as a women’s representative on behalf of the PKK.
These so-called rebels or activists – or terrorists as the US and EU would refer to them as, were ultimately part of the 30-year-old process of seeking self-rule for Kurds in Southeast Turkey namely the Central Anatolian region of Turkey known as İç Anadolu Bölgesi in the Turkish language. They were killed in what is believed to be an execution style murder – a bullet in each head.
The deputy chairman of Turkey’s ruling party, Huseyn Celik said the attack was the result of an ‘internal feud’ within the PKK and the slayings were an attempt to derail the ongoing peace talks – however, no evidence exists to suggest this.
There could be some truth in what Mr Celik says, as the PKK does have a history of internal executions. Many Kurdish activist and militants were killed during the 1990s and have had their deaths blamed on Turkish government forces – it is still unknown whether similar killings are known to target exiled Kurds in Europe.
However despite all the mystery, a truth does exist – Ms Canzis was a hero and true revolutionary according to the joint leader of the Kurdish political party Peace and Democracy Party Gultan Kisanak.
“This is a trap placed on the path to a solution of the Kurdish problem, it is a political assassination. How dare they present the murder of a revolutionary on internal strife without any evidence?” Ms Kisanak said.
Who is to blame? Perhaps only time will tell. One thing is certain for the future – the Kurdish-Turkish peace process will be put on stand by until some sort of a revelation salvages this dangerous mystery and the killers are found. What sinister excitement.