A woman gives a victory sign during a demonstration by Kurdish supporters in Paris on January 9, 2021, in memory of three Kurdish activists who were murdered in Paris eight years ago. ALAIN JOCARD / AFP
They have been calling for justice for eight years in a never-tried case. Several thousand people marched, Saturday, January 9, in different French cities, to pay tribute to three Kurdish activists murdered in 2013 in the middle of Paris. In the capital, the procession set off in peace, behind large banners bearing the effigy of the three women, from the Gare du Nord to the Place de la République.
Sakine Cansiz, 54, one of the founders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Fidan Dogan, 28, and Leyla Saylemez, 24, were killed on January 9, 2013 by several bullets in the head. The protesters accuse the Turkish secret service of MIT and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being behind the assassination.
«Erdogan you terrorized! », « Stop Erdogan ! », launched in particular the crowd, in which were also feminist activists and several elected left.
“As long as there is no justice, we will demonstrate”
“We denounce a political assassination and also a feminicide. Erdogan and his little clique came to clean up and they try to make us forget this unacceptable crime which happened in France ”, says Yekbun Eksen, member of the Kurdish Democratic Council in France (CDK-F) and organizer of the Paris demonstration.
“We come here to pay tribute to innocent women who acted for freedom and the Kurdish cause”, abounds in the procession Celik Birhat, a 19-year-old law student. “As long as there is no justice, we will demonstrate”, adds Diyar Dogan, who comes to demonstrate every year.
Other demonstrations were taking place simultaneously in several French cities to demand the “End of impunity for these political crimes” : 150 people in Bordeaux according to the police, 180 in Strasbourg according to the prefecture and around 250 in Marseille.
“Today, the Kurdish people also see that France does not raise its voice too much” and “Does not have a firm and clear position” on this file, estimated Yasine, spokesperson for the Kurdish community center in Bordeaux, who did not wish to communicate his last name.
Wednesday, a white march had already been organized in Paris, in tribute to the three women. The investigation in France had pointed « l’implication » of members of the Turkish secret services in this triple assassination, without naming sponsors.
Turkish media had notably broadcast a document presented as a ” mission order “ from MIT for Omer Güney. The only suspect, this man of Turkish nationality, arrested in France, died at the end of 2016 in prison a few weeks before the holding of his trial, putting an end to the public action against him.
But in May 2019, a French anti-terrorism judge was tasked with resuming the investigation into complicity in the assassination. A judicial investigation was opened for “complicity in assassinations in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association”. MIT officially denied any involvement in January 2014.