Sakine Cansiz a female co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (Parti Karkerani Kurdistan or PKK) militant group and two other women have been found dead in Paris. All three of the women were shot in the head execution style with one of the victims also being shot in the stomach.
Other than Cansiz, according to The Firat News Agency, the victims include Fidan Dogan, a representative of the Brussels based National Congress of Kurdistan and Leyla Soylemez who is described as a young activist.
Shortly after midnight on Thursday morning, when the women were reportedly missed, several workers went to the Information Centre of Kurdistan, an institute located in the 10th district of Paris, near the center of the city, where the women had last been seen.
According to the website of the institute it is “… an independent, non-political, secular organization, embracing Kurdish intellectuals and artists from different horizons as well as Western specialists on Kurdish Studies.”
When the employees arrived and noticed blood on the locked doors of the establishment, the workers broke in and discovered the three bodies of the women who had all been shot in the head.
The Firat News Agency reports that the murder weapon was believed to have been fitted with a silencer. However did not elaborate on whether it was found at the scene or not.
Leon Edart, a spokesperson for The Federation of Kurdish Associations in France (FEYKA) told the French BFM news channel that there were no surveillance cameras in building where the crime took place.
Currently there are no suspects but Turkish authorities are saying that the executions were an internal PKK issue. There is speculation, mostly from the Turkish side, that the executions have to do with the fact the PKK and the Turkish authorities have begun peace talks to end the decades old conflict.
Recently the Turkish Government began peace talks with imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is being held by the Turkish authorities on the prison island of Imrali located off the coast from Istanbul.
On Wednesday there were reports in the Turkish media that an agreement had been reached on a plan to end the conflict which has raged on since 1984 and has claimed over 40,000 lives.
There are many on all sides to the conflict that are against any kind of a peace settlement. These include Turkish elements who do not want to see the Kurds receive any kind of recognition or autonomy and among radical elements of the PKK itself who do not want to see any concessions made to Ankara and who believe that any kind of a peace plan will include giving up certain demands.
Police have so far not announced any leads, theories or suspects. According to the AFP a police source sated: “The scene [of the crime] could give rise to the idea that this was an execution, but the investigation will have to establish the exact circumstances of this incident."
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls who arrived on the scene shortly after the bodies were discovered said the killings were "intolerable".
“The three women were undoubtedly executed", Valls said.
Valls said the French authorities would get to the bottom of the crime and that he had come to express his sympathy to the relatives and close friends of the three murdered women.
It is important to recall that Turkey recently authorized military incursions into Iran, supposedly for operations where the Turkish Regular Army is in hot pursuit of PKK militants.
With military build ups by NATO and the US in the region and the constant search for a pretext to invade Iran and Syria, there are many of those actors who would also see any kind of peace as detrimental to planned provocations and optional scenarios which will allow for an invasion of either Iran or Syria.
According to Reuters Remzi Kartal, a Kurdistan National Congress leader, said: "This is a political crime, there is no doubt about it. Ocalan and the Turkish government have started a peace process, they want to engage in dialogue, but there are parties that are against resolving the Kurdish question and want to sabotage the peace process."
A co-founder of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and two female activists were murdered today in downtown Paris, police report.
PKK’s Sakine Cansiz, Kurdish National Congress Paris representative Fidan Doğan and a young Kurdish activist, Leyla Söylemez, were found dead late on Wednesday night by their friends who became concerned after no one picked up the receiver in the Center’s office.
The women were found outside the Kurdish institute in the French capital. All the victims appear to have been shot in the head by a gun with a silencer. Police say the murder took place about 3pm on Wednesday.
Kurdish community has referred to the triple assassination as an “execution.”
Agence France-Presse quoted an unidentified police official as saying the circumstances of the killings “could lead to the conclusion that this was an execution but inquiries will determine the precise nature of this drama.”
Police officials said a murder investigation had been opened. The bodies and three shell casings were found in a room at the institute. The women were all said to hold Turkish passports.
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls called the killings "intolerable".
In the meantime, hundreds have taken to the streets of the French capital, after the Federation of Kurdish Associations in France (Feyka) called for a demonstration in Paris.
The motive for the shootings is unclear. Some 40,000 people have died in the 25-year conflict between the Turkish state and the PKK.
However, Turkey has recently begun talks with the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, with the aim of persuading the group to disarm.
Three Kurdish women were found killed with a gunshot to the head early Thursday inside the Kurdish Institute of Paris, a police source said.
The women were found outside the Kurdish institute in the French capital, and one of the victims’ names has already been disclosed: 32-year-old Fidan Dogan reportedly worked for the institute.
One of the women was 32-year-old Fidan Dogan who worked in the institute's information centre, according to its director, Leon Edart.
The identities of the other two women, who were reportedly Kurdish activists but did not work at the Institute, were not immediately available.
The three were last seen mid-day on Wednesday at the centre, which was found locked by late afternoon, according to Edart.
Voice of Russia, AFP, RT, FP, BBC