PARIS ( Associated Press) – Thousands of Kurds from France and other parts of Europe marched in Paris on Saturday to show their anger over the unsolved murder of three Kurdish activists in the French capital 10 years ago.
Demonstrators also protested the death of three people outside a Kurdish cultural center in Paris two weeks ago, an incident that prosecutors described as a racist attack.
Kurdish activists from Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium arrived by bus, escorted by police, to join Kurds from France in a peaceful march through northeast Paris. The protest was held to mark the 10th anniversary of the assassinations of Sakin Cansiz, Feidon Dogan and Leyla Saylemez, which took place on January 9, 2013.
Kansiz was one of the founders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey, the United States and the European Union consider a terrorist group.
Kurdish activists suspect that the Turkish intelligence service was involved in the assassination. The alleged attacker, a Turkish national, died in custody at the hands of French authorities before going on trial. The Turkish government suggested at the time that the killings were part of an internal dispute between Kurdish activists or an attempt to undermine peace talks.
Protesters carried pictures of the victims as well as banners bearing the PKK flag, which is banned in Turkey.
Barfin Celebum, 26, who arrived from Amsterdam for the march, accused Turkey of being involved in the 2013 and 2022 attacks.
“I want to support my fight and the Kurdish women,” she told The Associated Press.
While most of the protesters were Kurds, the crowd also included left-wing French activists and some ethnic Turks.
Ibrahim Halak, a Turk living in Paris, said, “Today we are here to support our Kurdish friends because I am a Turk myself, and this is very important, because what is happening to the Kurdish people will happen to us tomorrow.” Might as well be.”
The organizers tried to stop the crowd. Paris police were on high alert on Saturday after clashes at previous Kurdish gatherings, especially in response to last month’s shootings.