Skip to main content

Kurds protest in Paris against 'assassin' Erdogan

Bodies of three Kurdish rebel women were found with bullet wounds to head and neck in central Paris in January 2013
A man waves Kurdistan Workers' Party flags at a demonstration in Paris on Saturday in tribute to three Kurdish women activists who were slain in 2013 (AFP)

Thousands of Kurds protested in Paris on Saturday against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the failure of the French authorities to convict anyone over the 2013 murders of three female Kurdish rebels in the French capital.

The demonstrators repeatedly chanted "Erdogan, assassin" in reference to the Turkish president, who held talks in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday.

"Five years of silence, five years of denial of justice, five years of impunity," read one giant banner held aloft at the forefront of a demonstration which police said numbered about 4,700.

The bodies of the three women - Sakine Cansiz, a 54-year-old founder of Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Fidan Dogan, 28, and 24-year-old Leyla Soylemez, were found with bullet wounds to the head and neck in central Paris in January 2013.

The only suspect in the killings, Omer Guney, a Turkish national, died in a Paris hospital in 2016 while he was being detained in prison pending trial, ABC News reported.

The Turkish national intelligence agency MIT officially denied any role in the killings, but French investigators at the time concluded Turkish spies were "implicated" in the case, according to a judicial source.

Ali Dogan, brother of Fidan, demonstrated with other family members and said they "no longer have hope" of justice.

"I watched on television the press conference between Erdogan and Mr Macron yesterday. It's sad that the president did not mention the murder of my sister... it seems that we are hiding things and France doesn't want to divulge information to preserve its interests" with Turkey, he told AFP.

The Turkish state has fought a decades-long conflict against the PKK, which has resulted in about 40,000 people being killed since the 1980s.