KURDISTAN NATIONAL CONGRESS UK (KNK) DOSSIER
PARIS ASSASSINATIONS, 9.1.13
- Comments and reaction
- KNK Open Letter to French Embassies – London
- Press statement by Kurdistan National Congress UK and Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
- Statement by the People’s Confederation of Kurdistan, KCK
- Statement by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Women’s Assembly
- Statement by the European Union GUE/NGL Group
- Press statement by the EU Turkey Civic Commission, EUTCC
- Statement by Amnesty International
- Statement by the International Women’s Alliance, IWA
- Open letter to President of France Mr Francoise Hollande, from the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees
- Public statement by Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe
- ‘Killers must not spark war’: Letter by Stephen Smellie to the Morning Star
- ‘We Demand Justice For Sakine, Fidan And Leyla!’ Appeal By Ceni – Kurdish Women’s Office For Peace
- Selected news items
Sakine Cansiz was born in Tunceli (Dersim) in 1958 and was one of the founders of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), established in 1978. She was the only woman amongst the few surviving founder members. In 1979 she was one of those arrested before the military coup of the 12 September 1980. She was tortured very severely during her 12 year imprisonment, during which she became a symbol of Kurdish women’s struggle because of her resistance. As the leading woman member she gave a political defence before the military court in Diyarbakir. After her release in 1991 she continued her struggle in different places in the Middle East. In 1998 Cansiz gained political asylum in France, and then was politically active in several European countries on the Kurdish question and around womens’ issues, including in Germany, where she was briefly imprisoned in Hamburg. She was a member of the Brussels-based Kurdistan National Congress (KNK). Sakine Cansiz was an icon of the struggle of Kurdish women for liberation, both for the Kurdish population in Kurdistan and that in the diaspora.
Fidan Dogan was born in 1982 and grew up in Elbistan, coming to France as a refugee when she was a child. She was active from 2001 in various areas of lobbying and campaigning work, and had also been the KNK representative in France for some years. In spite of her youth she was an experienced diplomat, active on behalf of the KNK in other countries beside France.
Leyla Şaylemez was the daughter of a family of Kurdish migrants originally from Diyarbakir (Amed). She spent her childhood in the Turkish coastal city of Mersin, to which her family had had to flee because of religious persecution. In the 90s her family migrated to Germany and lived for a long time in Halle. The experiences of her early years and the situation in her home country affected her deeply, and she gave up her architecture studies to devote herself entirely to political activity. She had been a youth activist in Europe for several years.
- COMMENTS AND REACTION
Gultan Kisanak, Co-Chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP): “Turkey is as responsible as France in this murder and the investigation which will follow these women are Turkish citizens. Any state remaining silent in the face of the murder of one of its own citizens cannot be called a state.
“This massacre could have been stopped, but it wasn’t.” She added that “If a bug can be placed in the private office of the Turkish prime minister, how can it be said that the deep state in Turkey has fully disappeared?”.
Selahattin Demirtas, Co-Chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP): “This is not what a PM ought to say at this moment. These people are not terrorists. The slain women were politicians.
“No one should try to explain to us that the assassinations took place without the knowledge of the French intelligence. This is a busy avenue and no one can even use a pop gun here without the knowledge of the French intelligence. We expect the French intelligence to share all information and documents that they have on Wednesday’s killings with the public as soon as possible.”
Remzi Kartal, leader of the KONGRA-GEL, Kurdistan People’s Congress: “The killings are unacceptable and leader Apo will be saying the same. The government should therefore act with extreme responsibility and sensitivity to avoid provocations in this process. It should also demand an investigation about the killings in order to ensure trust. So far though the Turkish government and media have done nothing except trying to cover up the killings, which makes the Kurdish movement and public opinion regard the Turkish government and state as some sort of an accomplice in the execution.
“The timing of the killings, in the current process of ongoing talks for the Kurdish problem, shows that the assassination was planned by circles that do not want a solution to this problem. In this respect, the killings may have been planned by circles that we heard had sent execution teams to Europe back in 2011.”
Martin Schultz, President of the European Parliament: “The brutal murder of Kurdish activists Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Solyemez in Paris last week must not go unpunished”. Mr Schulz conveyed Parliament’s deepest sympathy to the victims’ relatives, some of whom were present in Parliament, and backed the French authorities in their determination to bring those responsible to justice. “These murders have moved us all….I understand how difficult is for you and I would like to tell you how much we share your pain”
Hannes Swoboda, President of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament: “We condemn the cold-blooded murder of these three women and we expect the French police to make a thorough investigation and to bring the killers to justice. We send our sympathy and our sincere condolences to the families of the victims. The Kurdish problem can only be resolved by dialogue – not through violence.”
- KNK OPEN LETTER TO FRENCH EMBASSIES IN EUROPE – LONDON
Open Letter to the French Ambassador in LONDON 12-01-2013
58 Knightsbridge, LONDON SW1X 7JT
Call for a thorough investigation into the apparent assassination of three Kurdish politicians in exile in Paris
On the evening of 09.01.2013, Sakine Cansiz, a founding member of the PKK, Fidan Dogan, a representative of the KNK, and Leyla Soylemez, a young activist, were all victims of a callous killing in the office of the Kurdish Information Centre in Paris. Not only does the use of silencers point to a professional contract killing, but other facts also, for example, the targeted shoot to kill.
The timing of the attack implies a connection to the most recent political peace negotiations: For some weeks, negotiations were being held between representatives of the Turkish government; the leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, who is imprisoned in total isolation on Imrali prison island; and the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). The attack on political exiles can therefore be considered as provocation and an act of sabotage against a possible renewed peace process.
But the French influencing factors cannot be left out of consideration. A few months ago, French Judge Thierry Fragnoli, who is responsible for anti-terror matters, spoke to this effect, when it was proposed that a group of 4 judges, 8 lawyers and 28 commissioners would work exclusively with regard to Kurds in France. How, under such strict observation, such a murder could happen, is highly suspect. In light of this, the reaction of the French Home Secretary that “the murder was unacceptable” – downplays the true gravity of the incident.
Because of this, the following questions arise, for which we expect answers from you and the French government.
- How could it happen that the culprit(s) could commit this cold-blooded murder by day in such a populated area, when, in France, Kurdish activists, certainly including the victims of the murder, are under constant observation by state security and the police?
- Is there no video recording of the culprits? If so, why has this been withheld from the public?
- Did the French secret service have any information of a possible murder before the act took place? If so, why was this not made public and/or the victims not warned about this?
Against the backdrop that the French authorities did not shy away from the illegal arrest of Kurdish political activist, Adem Uzun, even cooperating with the Turkish secret service, it is absolutely incomprehensible that the French authorities were in no position to stop the act. If there is, therefore, no prompt explanation for the murder, the Kurdish community would question, for better or worse, the role of France in the Kurdish conflict. The confidence of around 150 000 Kurds in France, in the French government and in their authorities is shaken anyway. Reasons being the state repression against Kurdish activists, closures of Kurdish organisations, or the inconsistent attacks on Kurdish facilities, for instance the burning down on a Kurdish organisation in Mulhouse at the end of December last year. The Kurdish community will pursue the examination of French authorities around this incident, and continue to question the words of French Home Secretary Manuel Valls all the more, because those responsible will have to get to the bottom of this “unacceptable act”.
We completely condemn this attack, and demand a full investigation into the circumstances of the killing and its background! The fact that the French authorities share responsibility for this act must not be disregarded. With raids of Kurdish organisations and the arrest of Kurdish activists in the last year, French police and justice may have contributed to this crime. We call on the French government to reassess its anti-Kurdish policies.
We ask you to reply to all the queries of the Kurdish community.
Representative of KNK in The UK
6-9 Manor Gardens
London, N7 6LA
- PRESS STATEMENT BY KURDISTAN NATIONAL CONGRESS UK AND PEACE IN KURDISTAN CAMPAIGN
10 January 2012
This brutal execution of Kurdish women activists is a cynical attempt to derail the peace process that won’t succeed
In the early hours of Thursday morning, in the heart of Paris, an appalling crime was perpetrated against the entire Kurdish nation: the cold-blooded murder of three of our most dedicated Kurdish women activists.
The victims represent three generations of Kurdish women; the most senior victim was Sakine Canziz, a founder member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, who has since been playing a crucial role in the Kurdish women’s movement; Fidan Dogan (Rojbin) who was a member of the Kurdistan National Congress and the youngest casualty, Leyla Soylemez, an activist working on diplomatic relations.
All had dedicated their lives to the achievement of a lasting peace settlement between Turkey and the Kurdish movement and at the time of their brutal deaths were just about to see all their efforts come to fruition with the reopening of peace talks between representatives of the Turkish government and the leader of the Kurdish people, Abdullah Ocalan.
Tragically our three friends and comrades will now never be able to see the final outcome of the peace that they had worked so long and hard for; it must be left to others to carry out the task of securing the peace and justice on behalf of our people.
Our three friends were singled out for execution because of their ethnicity in what must surely count as one of the most shocking hate crimes to have occurred in a sophisticated Parisian suburb in recent years.
News of the killings was met with universal shock and horror. The French President Francois Hollande described the killings as “horrible”, while the country’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls expressed the view that the manner of their deaths was “surely an execution”.
The Kurdish people, who were filled with hope and expectations after the start of peace talks, have reacted to these deaths with outrage and anger but tempered by remarkable self-discipline and restraint.
It is clear that the executions were carried out by a professional assassin and the incident can only be interpreted as an act of provocation designed to derail the emerging peace process; since it surely can be no coincidence that the murders came within hours of the announcement of peace talks between Turkey and Mr Ocalan.
All the circumstances therefore point to the fact that Sakine, Fidan and Leyla were killed by someone who does not want to see Turkey and the Kurds ever reaching a peace accord.
To take away the lives of innocent people in cold blood is the most heinous crime imaginable, but to commit such a barbaric act as a cynical attempt to prevent peace must be counted as the worst of all villainies.
Those responsible for the brutal murders are the enemies of peace and also the sworn enemies of all peace-loving humanity.
There can be no rest until the culprits of the execution of our sisters and comrades are tracked down and brought to justice.
The French authorities and all their European counterparts have a duty also to support the peace process to which they can most constructively contribute by removing the obstacles that they have placed in its way, primarily by ending the criminalisation of the Kurdish community through the delisting of the PKK as a terrorist organisation and specifically in the case of France, the authorities should release the leading Kurdish peace activist and KNK representative Adem Uzun, who was arrested in Paris in October 2012.
After our initial shock and sadness, the Kurdish people’s demand for justice must inevitably grow stronger.
The Kurdish movement can best honour the memory of our martyred sisters by redoubling our efforts for peace and we remain dedicated to the successful implementation of the roadmap to bring the much longed for justice for all our people after generations of struggle.
For information contact
Kurdistan National Congress UK
Contact :Akif Wan, KNK UK representative
rizgar wan email@example.com mobile 07535982760
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Contacts: Estella Schmid and Melanie Sirinathsingh
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 020 7586 5892
Patrons: Lord Avebury, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, Elfyn Llwyd MP, Conor Murphy MP, John Austin, Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Mark Thomas
- STATEMENT BY THE PEOPLE’S CONFEDERATION OF KURDISTAN, KCK
People’s Confederation of Kurdistan – Info
10 January 2013
TO OUR PEOPLE AND THE PUBLIC OPINION.
One of the founder of our party PKK, the elite and advance guard of our movement, a symbol of dignity and resistance, the head cadre representative immoveable will of Kurdish women, comrade Sakine Cansız (Sara), Representative of KNK in Paris, the talented diplomat of Kurdish people, indomitable militant of our freedom movement comrade Fidan Doğan (Rojbin) and the loyal, talented militant of Youth Movement comrade Leyla Söylemez (Ronahî) were slayed yesterday. We condemn this brutal murder vehemently. This is a great loss and overwhelming pain for our movement, our people and women of Kurdistan. We up bear the martyrdom of Comrade Sakine Cansız who Carried out various administrative tasks in almost every period of our movement and became the indomitable head militant of Kurdish People and Women Freedom Movement, member of Assembly of PKK and the member of PAJK Coordination and, comrades Leyla Dogan and Fidan Söylemez. Our fundamental responsibility to all our martyrs is following their ideologue and to be bound to their memories until the last drop of our blood.
Comrade Sakine deliberately targeted, the massacre was organized, planned and carried out very skillfully. According to the way the event occurred, this massacre was obviously held by professional forces competence at the international level. It is clear that the massacre carried out by the ones who do not want the new process leaded by Öcalan to be developed and Kurdish question to be solved. This is a massacre organized and implemented by the malicious ones who want the continuation of colonialism on Kurdish people.
It is also noteworthy the event took place in France where lately the Kurdish politicians were followed-up, unjustly arrested and imprisoned. Most recently, a well-known Kurdish politician Adem Uzun who was a member of Executive Council of KNK detained as a result of a conspiracy. So it is possible to consider a link between this brutal massacre and the detaining of Adem Uzun. Uncovering the conspiracy caused the detaining of Adem Uzun would be an important data for lighting massacre. Not to be accused of this issue, the French government definitely should reveal the massacre. With the technological opportunities, the State of France can easily reveal this incident took place in the middle of Paris. If there is no complicity of some dark forces within the French government this massacre has to be revealed. The French Government can exculpate itself only if it reveals perpetrators of the murder. Otherwise The Kurds will hold French Government responsible for this massacre.
Right after the massacre was announces in the press, our people living within and outside the country poured into the streets with a great pain. It is also remarkable that while we were deeply suffering for Comrade Sakine and the other two talented politicians killed in a brutal murder, the deputy chairman of AKP Hüseyin Çelik and their follower Turkish media groups served the news as the “internal settlement” since the very beginning of the event. From the first hour Turkish state, government officials, and adherent media, boldly attempted to impute this massacre to our movement, namely on Kurds. This is a game of misdirection of the public opinion.
Continuously announcement of the same group saying: “there may be provocative actions” is also remarkable. Performing such a psychological warfare cannot rid the both offenders and stronger Turkish state from being responsible for this brutal act of terrorism. It is clear that with guilt feelings the Turkish side attempts to cover the reality of the massacre and manipulate it.
The ones, who failed to slaughter the head cadres within our country, wanted to achieve their goals by martyrizing comrade Sakine in Europe. It is clear that the ones who especially targeted comrade Sakine and the other free women militants want to take revenge from freedom movement and Kurdish people. Because the Kurdistan Freedom Movement under the leadership of President Öcalan gained a high level and the Kurdish Women’s Movement developed with the velour of comrades such as Sakine, Zîlan, Bêrîtan and Nuda, takes a great position in this process. The important role of Kurdish women in President Öcalan’s power and developing freedom movement is indisputable. The honesty, simplicity, stability and heroic life of comrade Sakine was an important point in this role to be played. The enemies of the Kurdish people, wanted to take revenge and sabotage the developing solution process by targeting women militants leading the freedom movement.
Even though it has an international background, we believe that this attack was done by the Turkish Gladio. This brutal and execrable attack only be made by the sadistic forces having racist and chauvinist feeling of deep state and grown by the Turkish colonialism. Organizing the event ingeniously indicates that it has been done by Turkish deep state consist on international forces.
If the AKP government were truly sincere in solving the Kurdish question, it would ask for this incident to be revealed and waited for the result instead of performing psychological warfare and making black propaganda. However the government showed an opportunistic attitude.
We clearly announce it to all the public opinion, the ones who want to sabotage this process, are not those who acted in Cukurca, but the ones who slaughtered 10 militants of PKK including the Commander of Amed, comrade Numan in Lice on December 31, 2012.The Action in Çukurca was done by HPG militants as a retribution. Otherwise there has never been a “multi-headedness or internal conflict” as the Turkish state and the Turkish press expresses often. This is just and only a meaningless disinformation put forward by the Turkish office of psychological warfare. The assumption Turkish state explains the event as a result of an internal feud, in particular by giving the name of some of our friends, is not only distortion and lie, but also a great disrespect to our people and movement.
We call all national and international, democratic, peace supporters and conscientious districts to raise voice against this great disrespect and attempt of Turkey to cover this brutal massacre. We want all our friends to give a hand to reveal the incident. We call the French state to solve this heinous murder committed in the middle of Paris. We would like to emphasize that in case the government does not disclosure this event, it will bring the European law into disrepute and the government of France will be blamed for it.
This event is transferring the murders committed against our movement up to now, to an international dimension. Condemnation all aspects of this event and revelation of the killers, will also open a door to the democratic solution. Revealing this villainous attack will play an important role in getting success from the peace process initiated by President Öcalan and resolution of Kurdish question by attaining their legitimate rights. Revealing of those who became the obstacles in front of the solution within the System of Turkish state, will let development of a democratic solution.
Therefore, all our people within the country and abroad and the democratic-patriotic districts should claim comrades Sakine, Leyla and Fidan. First of all, it is very important that our all patriotic people and our friends in Europe to go to Paris claim our martyrs and rise voice for revealing of this massacre. On the other hand, it is a fundamental task for all people from Kurdistan within and outside the country and all peace supporters to pour into the streets and upgrade the struggle against colonial-fascists those block the democratic solution for Kurdish question. On this basis we want all our people to claim our valuable martyrs, to protest this monstrous massacre and not to leave the incident uncover. We call our patriot people to offer all its power to reveal this massacre.
KCK PRESIDENCY OF EXECUTIVE CONCIL
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- STATEMENT BY THE PEACE AND DEMOCRACY PARTY (BDP) WOMEN’S ASSEMBLY
13 January 2013
To International Public Opinion
We strongly condemn the assassination in Paris of three women politicians who devote their all the lives to the freedom struggle. Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez were not only part of the Kurdish Freedom Movement but also Women Struggle Movement. Sakine Cansız was our comrade that very respected woman by the people who knows the freedom struggle.
The vicious mentality tries menace to the Kurdish People and Woman Freedom Movement by kills the women who initiator of the peace while the mentality says “struggle against terror will continue with the negotiation”.
100 years old the state mentality couldn’t comprehend the historical resistance against massacres to the Kurds. Sakine Cansız, The Paris Representative of Kurdish National Congress (KNK), Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez were founded brutally murdered. This is an assassination against future of the whole country’s future and the peace initiative which became the priority of the peoples. The scuppering mentality does not provide nor does path of the peace neither eliminate the Kurdish Freedom Movement.
We as Woman Assembly of Peace and Democracy Party ask from French Government to find out the real responsible of the massacre.
We know that, Kurdish People will a necessary respond and play an active role by the demonstration in everywhere.
We bow respectfully to the three women who contribute to our struggle in the name of Sakine Cansız. We give promise to them for raising the struggle. In this context, we call all the women from Turkey and world, friends to solidarity and condemn this unworthy assassination.
Women Assembly of Peace and Democracy Party
- STATEMENT BY THE EUROPEAN UNION GUE/NGL GROUP
Le Groupe GUE/NGL du Parlement Européen condamne l’assassinat de trois activistes kurdes à Paris
GUE/NGL Group of the European Parliament condemns the assassination of three Kurdish activists in Paris
“Je n’ai pas de mot pour exprimer l’horreur et la tristesse que je ressens face à ce crime. Rojbin Fidan Dogan a été la première personne à m’avoir parlé de la question kurde. Elle était la joie de vivre personnifiée. Je n’oublierai jamais son sourire. Toute ma solidarité et ma compassion va aux familles des victimes”, affirme Marie-Christine VERGIAT, députée européenne française du GUE/NGL (Front de Gauche).”Les Kurdes paient encore un lourd tribut pour leur engagement en faveur de la paix, mais aucune provocation ou assassinat ne saura et devra remettre en cause le nouveau processus de négociations entre l’Etat turc et le leader kurde Abdullah Öcalan”, affirme Mme VERGIAT. “Des assassinats de ce type sur le sol de la république françaises sont insupportables. Les autorités françaises doivent tout mettre en œuvre pour rechercher les coupables et les condamner”.
“Les trois activistes kurdes assassinées à Paris ont longtemps travaillé avec notre groupe parlementaire européen, nous pouvons témoigner de leur engagement ferme et convaincu en faveur de la paix”, déclare le député européen allemand M. Jürgen KLUTE, qui est aussi Coordinateur du Groupe d’Amitié Parlement Européen – Kurdes. “Nous présentons nos condoléances aux familles des victimes mais aussi à l’ensemble du peuple kurde ainsi qu’à leurs dirigeants. Je demande aux autorités françaises de faire toute la lumière sur cette exécution, elles doivent aussi protéger les activistes kurdes sur le territoire français et elles doivent arrêter de considérer à priori les Kurdes comme des terroristes. Il faut reconnaître que la communauté kurde travaille infatigablement pour la paix. Cet assassinat trouve vraisemblablement ses racines politiques dans les milieux turcs qui boycottent les négociations de paix en cours”.
Une délégation du Groupe GUE/NGL, composé par plusieurs députés européens, y compris français, sera présente à la manifestation publique organisée par les organisations kurdes de Paris, prévue pour ce samedi 12 janvier à 12h00 à la Place de la Bastille, pour protester contre l’assassinat des trois activistes.
(English text follows)
“I have no words to express the horror and sadness I feel about this crime. Rojbin Fidan Dogan was the first person to tell me about the Kurdish question. She was so full of life. I will never forget her smile. All my solidarity and sympathy goes out to the families of the victims,” said Marie-Christine Vergiat, GUE/NGL MEP (Front de Gauche). “The Kurds are still paying a heavy price for their commitment to peace, but no form of provocation or assassination should be allowed to challenge the new negotiations between the Turkish government and Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan,” Ms Vergiat continued. “Assassinations of this kind on French Republic territory are intolerable. The French authorities should make every effort to find those who are guilty and condemn them.”
“The three Kurdish activists murdered in Paris have worked for a long time with our European parliamentary group and we can bear witness to their firm and determined commitment to peace,” said German GUE/NGL MEP Jürgen Klute, who is also the Coordinator of the European Parliament – Kurds Friendship Group. “We offer our condolences to the families of the victims, but also to the Kurdish people as a whole, as well as their leaders. I ask the French authorities to shed light on this execution. They should also do everything in their power to protect Kurdish activists and put a stop to generally considering Kurds as terrorists, and once and for all recognise that the Kurdish community has worked tirelessly for peace. This murder has its political roots in those Turkish circles that are boycotting the current peace talks.”
A GUE/NGL delegation, comprising several MEPs, including French MEPs, will take part in the public demonstration organised by Kurdish organisations in Paris, planned for Saturday 12 January at 12 noon, Place de la Bastille, to protest against the assassination of the three activists.
GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group
- PRESS STATEMENT BY THE EU TURKEY CIVIC COMMISSION, EUTCC
Issued: 10 January, 2013
For immediate release
IN MEMORY OF OUR FRIENDS:
SAKINE CANZIZ, FIDAN DOGAN, AND LEYLA SÖYLEMEZ
It was with shock and grief we received the horrible news about the deaths of our dear friends who were massacred in Paris today in the most grotesque way. Sakine Canziz, the co-founder of the PKK in 1978 holds a crucial role in the party. Fidan Dogan (Rojbin), a Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) member from Paris, has also been working closely alongside the EUTCC for many years and her work has been very important to our international work for the Kurds.
The assassination of the three highly valued female politicians is a coup against the organised negotiation talks taking place on Imrali between the Turkish state and the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. The Paris-tragedy shows that the “deep dark forces”, the enemies of peace, are opposing the new political process to such a degree that they found it necessary to assassinate three Kurdish female politicians who were working for a solution and for peace.
French authorities should immediately stop the criminalisation of Kurds working for a peaceful settlement to the Kurdish problem. The Kurds in France and in the rest of Europe constitute no threat to the authorities in the countries they live. On the contrary, they are working firmly towards a solution to the problems in Turkey and should be rewarded instead of being criminalised, persecuted, incarcerated as the Kurdish diplomat Adem Uzun, or killed. The reason of the killings and the forces behind are still to be unveiled – and they will be. These people should know that such killings or whatever provocation they might conduct in the future will not stop the ongoing peace process. Even the deaths of Sakine, Fidan and Leyla will scare other Kurds to continue on the hopeful road to peace.
The EUTCC hereby send their sincere and deep-felt condolences to the families of Sakine, Fidan and Leyla, and extend it to the Kurdish people all over the world. Evil forces in whatever shape it takes; will never defeat the Kurdish people’s genuine will to freedom – it only empowers them to work harder to obtain it.
Sakine Canziz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Söylemez’s tireless work for the Kurdish people will forever stand as a monument of their memory.
|Kariane Westrheim||Michael Gunter||Hans Brancheidt||Judge Essa Moosa|
|Chair of EUTCC||Secretary general||Board of Directors||Board of Directors|
- STATEMENT BY AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
10 January 2013
France: No stone unturned in investigation into slaying of Kurdish women activists
The investigation into the gunning down of three Kurdish women activists in Paris must be prompt and thorough, Amnesty International said.
Sakine Cansız, a founder of the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez, were found shot dead at the “Kurdistan Information Office” on the evening of 9 January.
“There must be justice for these apparently political killings – no stone must be left unturned in the investigation by the French authorities,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.
“The Turkish authorities must cooperate fully in the investigation to bring those responsible to justice.”
The killings come at time when the Government of Turkey and the PKK have begun peace negotiations.
“Both sides must ensure that the killings do not derail negotiations aimed at ending the decades long conflict and ongoing human rights abuses,” said Dalhuisen.
As many as 40,000 people are thought to have died since 1984 when armed clashes between the PKK and the Turkish armed forces began. The conflict has also resulted in widespread human rights abuses, both in the Kurdish dominated south-east and across the country. The PKK has called for autonomy for the Kurds as part of a package of demands. In recent years armed clashes between the armed forces and the PKK have increased despite faltering attempts at negotiations.
For more information please call Amnesty International’s press office in London, UK, on
+44 20 7413 5566
International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK
Peter Benenson House
1 Easton Street
London, WC1X 0DW
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7413 5500
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7956 1157
- STATEMENT BY THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S ALLIANCE
IWA CONDEMNS THE MURDER OF 3 KURDISH WOMEN ACTIVISTS IN PARIS; CALLS FOR SWIFT DELIVERY OF JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS
11 January 2013
Reference: Liza Maza, IWA Chairperson
The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) highly condemns the brutal premeditated murder of three Kurdish women activists yesterday in Paris. Sakine Cansiz, co-founder of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK); Fidan Dogan, Kurdistan National Congress representative; and young Kurdish activist Leyla Soylemez, were all shot in the head the early morning of January 10 at the Kurdish Information Center, in Paris, France.
The three women had been actively and courageously involved in the struggle for peace, freedom, democracy and self-determination of the Kurdish people for years. IWA calls on the government of France to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into their political assassination, and to ensure the quick delivery of justice to the three victims.
For years, the people of Kurdistan have been struggling for liberation and self-determination. The Kurdish people experience denial and violation of their most fundamental rights including the right to speak their own language and their way of life, most especially in Turkey, where they are subjected to political repression and persecution.
IWA reiterates its support to the Kurdish people and their struggle for peace, freedom, democracy and self-determination and calls on its members and allies to condemn the murder of Cansiz, Dogan and Soylemez, as well as the continued political repression and persecution of the Kurdish people.
- OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OF FRANCE MR FRANCOISE HOLLANDE, FROM THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF IRAQI REFUGEES
Open letter to Francois Hollande President of France
Regarding murder of three Kurdish political activists on the 9th January 2013
Dear Francois Hollande
I am writing this letter on behalf of the international Federation of Iraqi Refugee’s regarding the shocking murder of three Kurdish female activists in Paris. Sakine Cansiz co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK), Fidan Dogan part of the Kurdistan National Congress, based in Brussels and Leyla Soylemez a young activist were found dead on the morning of Thursday 9 January, in the Kurdistan Information Center in Paris all three were shot in the head.
The International Federation of Iraqi Refugee’s strongly condemns the tragic murder of these three women. We believe that the killing of these three Kurdish political activists is an act of political terrorism and as such should be investigated by France’s anti-terrorist police. We call on you to ensure these murders are properly investigated and the gunman is found and brought to justice. There is much speculation in the media regarding these murders being politically motivated. If following an investigation by the French police this is found to be true we ask that the French authorities hand the perpetrators over to the international court of human rights.
Additionally the International Federation of Iraqi Refugee’s are asking the French government to find out what political party or group is behind this crime and once found that they should be brought to the International Court of Human Rights. The French government should announce to the public what group was behind these tragic killings. Please let us know when you complete your investigation and inform us of the results of your investigation.
Secretary of International Federation of Iraqi Refugees- IFIR.
- PUBLIC STATEMENT BY KURDISH WOMEN’S MOVEMENT IN EUROPE
To the Press and Public
On January 9, 2013, three precious comrades of our liberation movement were insidiously murdered in the Kurdistan Information Bureau in Paris. Our comrades Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez are immortal as revolutionaries of the Kurdish liberation struggle and as leading personalities of the women’s movement and the youth movement. This hostile attack on our comrades simultaneously expresses an attack on Abdullah Öcalan, the representative of our freedom struggle, and on our women’s liberation movement. It is an attack on all fighting women and on all resisting and struggling people. In this sense, we condemn this massacre once again with anger.
After this massacre was committed and announced to the public, different circles expressed a wide range of assessments and evaluations. The first ones to release plenty of explanations and comments to the Turkish media and the international press were the representatives of the Turkish state, the Turkish Prime Minister and government officials. From our perspective, it is significant that these explanations and comments were articulated without evidence of any details of the crime, while the Kurdish movement immediately became the target of these accusations. It is obvious that comments and titles such as “internal feud within the PKK”, “Murder caused by financial affairs in the organization”, “Sakine Cansız was in disagreement with Öcalan and the organization” etc. do not serve to investigate the crime, but to cover it up. The fact that the PKK was targeted from the beginning and that campaigns to slander our murdered comrades were started, is an obvious attempt to disguise the real murderers and the guilty forces behind the massacre.
Our comrade Sakine Cansız was a leading revolutionary with her attitude and determination to resist, and she went down in the history of our people and our revolution. She became a symbolic figure with her principles and practice in the foundation of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the women’s liberation movement. She is a guiding revolutionary who was always fond of the liberation fight with her joyous vitality and great enthusiasm. Her attachment to Abdullah Öcalan is also undisputable. Our comrade Sakine answered every attack on our movement and the leadership of this movement with an increased struggle, always and everywhere. The murder of our comrade Sakine was committed as part of an assault concept on leading cadres of our movement, induced by ruling powers.
Our comrade Fidan Doğan was active as a relentless fighter of our movement and the women’s liberation struggle for 13 years. She successfully represented our liberation philosophy and politics, especially in the international realm and on important platforms. Not only did she report the legitimate fight of the Kurdish people, she also built many friendships and created great support from different circles and different nations for our struggle. The fact that hundred thousands of people participated in the demonstration to condemn the massacre in Paris on January 12, 2013, and that hundreds of people from different backgrounds shared our agony and pain is the result of her work. Thanks to Fidan Doğan, these people became friends of the Kurdish nation and supporters of the legitimate fight of the Kurdish people. With her attitude, our comrade Fidan built a bridge of friendship between nations.
Our comrade Leyla Şaylemez contributed to the Kurdish youth movement as a tireless fighter. Her enthusiasm, joy, and determination made her a pioneer for many young Kurdish women.
The tradition of the women’s movement that our comrade Sakine Cansız represents, was extended by our comrade Fidan, and conveyed to the present and future by our comrade Leyla. They became a symbol of our liberation movement and the determined attitude of Kurdish women of three generations.
It is obvious that this massacre on the heart and the mind of the Kurdish liberation movement goes against the line and the ideology of our women’s liberation movement. Therefore, all speculations and denigrations concerning this massacre serve the same purpose. However, none of these denigrations and manipulations will achieve their aim. The fights of out comrades, Sakine, Fidan, and Leyla will live on in the struggle of the women’s liberation. As we promised our comrades, we will hold on to our fight and free our nation, and the representative of the Kurdish people, Abdullah Öcalan. No attack and no defamation can stop us on our way to freedom.
This crime was not just committed against the Kurdish nation, but against the whole of humanity. Hence, we call all democratic and progressive people, and advocates of women’s rights, to stand up against the instigations and slander campaigns, and to break the silence.
With great anger, we condemn this political assassination once more.
Kurdish women’s movement in Europe
January 13, 2013
- ‘KILLERS MUST NOT SPARK WAR’: Letter to the Morning Star by Stephen Smellie
Sunday 13 January 2013
The murder of three Kurdish women activists in Paris (M Star January 11) is truly shocking.
The only conclusion that can be drawn at this stage is that this was a political act by someone to derail the efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey.
That the perpetrators could be linked to interests within the Turkish establishment or within the banned Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) does not make the murders any less outrageous.
It is clear that a military struggle cannot achieve a separate Kurdish state and that a solution will require democratic means.
This was the conclusion of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the PKK.
I was present in the Kurdish region during the Turkish general election in 2011 when Kurdish activists, standing as independents due to the strange electoral rules, were elected in record numbers as MPs.
The sense of optimism that the democratic route would lead to progress was quickly smashed as some of these newly elected MPs were barred from parliament and arrested for allegedly supporting the PKK.
The opportunity presented by the democratic gains was completely lost due to the actions of the Turkish authorities. This clearly helps those who still see armed struggle as a way forward to gain greater sympathy.
Recent government indications that they will resume talks with Mr Ocalan have raised hopes again of a peaceful solution.
Opposition comes from ultra-nationalists who do not wish to make any concessions to the Kurds and those who continue to support armed struggle.
It is time for the Turkish government to receive clear messages from the international community, including Britain, that negotiations are the only way forward.
At the same time the Kurdish community, both in Turkey and in Europe, must be given the space to enable them to peacefully address their basic democratic concerns.
Stephen Smellie, UNISON South Lanakrshire
- ‘WE DEMAND JUSTICE FOR SAKINE, FIDAN AND LEYLA!’ APPEAL BY CENI – KURDISH WOMEN’S OFFICE FOR PEACE
We demand justice for Sakine, Fidan and Leyla!
On 9 January 2013 an atrocious crime was committed in the center of Paris which has deeply shaken all Kurdish women’s organizations and the Kurdish people, international women’s organizations, women in many different countries as well as friends of the Kurdish people, progressive forces and the democratic public. Three Kurdish women politicians and fighters for freedom and women’s liberation – Sakine Cansız, Leyla Dogan and Fidan Şaylemez – were brutally and dastardly murdered.
For the Kurdish people and especially for us as women the clarification and elucidation of this political crime is a very important and sensitive issue as well as the identification of the actual perpetrators of this massacre and any involved force. As long as the French justice system has not only exposed the killer pulling the trigger but also all dark forces and states that are involved in this political assassination, the French government cannot secure itself from being under a cloud. As this triple murder took place in a Kurdish institution that has been observed by the French secret service 24 hours per day, the French Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Justice carry the responsibility to clarify completely, how such an act could happen.
This cruel crime in central Paris concerns all people fighting for freedom, justice, women’s rights and democracy. Women, peoples and progressive political forces from all over the world have called for an immediate clarification of the killings.
Ceni – Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace calls upon the French government with the demand: “We want justice for Sakine, Fidan and Leyla!” Until this crime has been solved and enlightened we will keep on sending letters, faxes, e-mails and postcards with our demands to the French prime minister, the Minister of the Interior and Minister of Justice. We call on all democratic institutions, political parties and individuals; feminist groups and women’s rights defenders; internationalists, Kurdish women and the Kurdish people to participate in this campaign by sending, letters, faxes, e-mails and postcards requirements as outlined below (preferably in French) to the representatives of the French Government.
Postcards can be ordered at our office. Please, indicate the number of cards and your postal address.
Cenî – Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace
Sample text in English
We demand justice!
To the French Government
To the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior
On 9 January 2013, three Kurdish politicians and fighters for women’s rights, Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez, were callously and maliciously murdered in the centre of Paris. It is your responsibility to conduct a full-scale investigation into these political killings and bring the perpetrators to justice.
We call on you:
To identify those responsible for the murders and bring them to justice!
To uncover and condemn those persons and state forces who are complicit in this crime!
To stop the politically motivated criminalisation of Kurdish associations and the arrest of Kurdish political activists in France!
The French government must change its anti-Kurdish policies and de-proscribe the PKK from the “list of terrorist organisations”
Sample text in French:
Nous voulons la justice!
A l’attention du gouvernement français,
A l’attention des Ministres de l’intérieur et de la justice,
Le 9 janvier 2013, trois politiciennes kurdes, Sakine CANSIZ, Fidan DOGAN et Leyla SAYLEMEZ ont été exécutées dans les locaux du Centre d’Information du Kurdistan (CIK), situé en plein centre de Paris. Vous avez le devoir immédiat de faire lumière sur ces assassinats et de juger les coupables.
– La condamnation immédiate des assassins et responsables de ce crime politique!
– La lumière sur les forces obscures et les Etats qui se cachent derrière ce massacre!
– Fin aux arrestations et aux pressions faîtes aux politiciens et aux associations kurdes!
– L’abandon par la France de sa politique anti-kurde et le retrait du PKK (Parti des Travailleurs du Kurdistan) de la liste des organisations terroristes.
Addresses – Fax numbers – E-mail- Addresses of the French Ministries:
- Jean-Marc Ayrault
Hôtel de Matignon
57, rue de Varenne
F- 75700 Paris
Fax : 0033 1 45 44 15 72
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
Minister of Justice:
Ministre de la Justice
Mme. Christiane Taubira
13, place Vendôme
Fax: 0033 1 44 77 60 69 / 0033 1 44 77 25 05
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
Minister of Interior:
Ministre de l’Intérieur
- Manuel Valls
Fax: 0033 1 42 65 67 72
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> ;
Kurdisches Frauenbüro für Frieden e.V.
Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace
Buroya Aşitîyê ya Jinên Kurd
D – 40215 Düsseldorf
Tel.: +49 (0)211 598 92 51
Fax: +49 (0)211 598 92 53
- SELECTED NEWS ITEMS, ENGLISH LANGUAGE PRESS
Kurdish activists shot dead in Paris
10 January 2012 / Guardian
3 Kurdish women political activists shot dead in Paris
10 January 2013 / CNN
Kurdish PKK co-founder Sakine Cansiz shot dead in Paris
10 January 213 / BBC News
Kurdish activists killed in Paris were shot in head as mystery of executions grows
11 January 2013 / Independent
Kurdish rebel group sees nationalist hand in Paris killings
11 January 2013 / Reuters
Theories and Motives Abound in the Killing of 3 Kurds in Paris
11 January 2013 / New York Times
Mass protests in London condemning assassination of Kurdish activists in Paris
14 January 2013 / TamilNet
London protest at assassination of Kurds in Paris
12 January 2013 / Socialist Worker