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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Trois militantes kurdes abbattues en plein Paris

by Pierre Barbancey

Three Kurdish Militants Murdered in the Heart of Paris

Translated Saturday 12 January 2013, by Henry Crapo

These murders took place at a time when cooperation between France and Turkey is in high gear, with the "war on terrorism", and within a framework soon to be transformed into law.

The shell casings and three dead bodies. Three women. Three Kurdish militants, each killed by a bullet to the head. The victims were our friend Fidan Dogan (Rojbin), thirty-two years of age, a full-time worker at the Kurdistan Information Center, and French representative to the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), Sakine Cansiz, founding member of the PKK, and Leyla Soylemez, a young militant. It was nothing less than an execution, carried out in the heart of Paris. Furthermore, the presence of the Minister of the Interior, Manuel Valls, some hours after the discovery of the drama, at a moment when hundreds of Kurds were already assembles outside the building, tends to show that the French authorities suspected a political murder.

The secrecy is rough-shod

It remains to be seen if all will come to light in this affair. We may fear that secrecy will prevail, when the "police sources" cited by the Agence France Presse (AFP) strangely mimic the arguments of Turkish authorities, who, without waiting for an autopsy, speak already of a "settling of accounts" among members of the PKK. But this is a gross fabrication. All the more so, when Sakine Cansiz was a respected personality in the Kurdish movement. Founder, with Abdullah Öcalan, of the PKK, the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan, she had been arrested in Turkey and underwent horrible torture over many years. Set free, she continued the combat for the Kurdish cause. As Fidal Dogan recalled in one of her recent interviews (see extracts below), "the PKK is in favor of a peaceful solution". Some discussions have even taken place betreen the political power and Öcalan, still in prison, and all this while the repression continues.

However, this political advance doesn’t come about with difficulty, and it is not appreciated by all those who support the Turkish regime. Within the political, justice, and police power group there has developed the Fethullah Gülen sect, named for its founder, a Turkish preacher. According to WikiLeaks, in 2010, the American diplomats considered the Gülen movement to be "the most powerful Islamist group in Turkey". It controlled "the publishing sector, commercial exchanges, the major Turkish enterprises, and had profoundly penetrated the political scene." Fethullah Gülen himself, in a video message dated November 2012, called on the Turkish army to attack the Kurdish guerrillas: "Locate them, encircle them, destroy their unity, set fire to their homes, drown their lamentations in even more sighs, cut their roots, and bring their cause to a full stop."

Similarly, the agreement for cooperation with the police and Turkish gendarmerie, signed by Claude Guéant in 2011 while he was minister of the Interior under Sarkozy, was principally directed toward the war on terrorism, with exchanges of information and informants. For the Turkish government, as we know, it suffices to be a Kurd to be a terrorist. Has this agreement permitted the secret services to obtain practical information about the places of rendez-vous, such as that among the three militants in Paris? Unfortunately, this agreement has been carried over without modification by the Ayrault government, which has transformed it into a proposed law (registered at the office of the President of the National Assembly on 1 August 2012, as revealed by the site Susam-solak. After these assassinations, isn’t it about time for France to denounce this agreement?

Read also: The English translation of excerpts from an interview with Fidan (Rojbin) Dogan published by Avant-garde in June 2012.

The link to the French original will not be available until 14-15 January.

A rally in solidarity with the Kurdish people will take place on Saturday 12 January, starting at 12h, in front of the Gare de l’Est, in Paris.

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