Two years have passed since three Kurdish women affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were killed in Paris, but those behind the attack are yet to be found, although the French police apprehended two suspects, one of them alleged to have links with Turkish intelligence, shortly after the crime.
On Jan. 9, 2013, Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez were shot dead at the Kurdistan Information Bureau in Paris.
The killings took place shortly after the Turkish government launched talks with the PKK, recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and EU, to resolve the country’s long-standing Kurdish problem.
A Turkish daily claimed in February of last year that the prime suspect in the crime, Ömer Güney, who was arrested for an alleged plot to murder, had close ties to the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
The claim was previously denied by MİT following the release in January last year of a video allegedly featuring a conversation between Güney and two MİT agents.
According to the report published on Feb. 20 in the daily, one of the 13 phone numbers on suspect Güney’s phone contact list belonged to MİT.
Karşı’s report came after Ankara rejected a request from the French Ministry of Justice to reveal the identity of Güney’s contacts. Of the 13 numbers on Güney’s phone, five were landlines, while the others belonged to mobile phones, the report claimed. Güney is the last person who saw the three victims alive.
The report said one of the numbers belongs to the Erzurum provincial branch of MİT. In addition, the number is registered as such in a Turkish telephone directory system. Although the number was in the contact list on Güney’s Nokia phone found at his Paris apartment, it is not yet clear whether Güney had contacted this number.
MİT denied allegations in January of last year that it was the instigator of the murders. A statement released by the intelligence organization also said an internal administrative investigation into the claims was launched.
A video released over YouTube in January of last year allegedly featured Güney and two MİT agents over plans to murder Cansız, who is one of the co-founders of the PKK. The voice recording included details such as where and how to obtain two guns, how to pay for them and how to leave the crime scene after committing the murder.
Then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan suggested back in January that the killing might be an intra-PKK conflict, pointing out that a code was needed to enter the building where the women were killed.
Erdoğan suggested that someone must have knocked and the women must have opened the door, but that they would not have opened the door to someone they did not know. “They opened the door to someone they knew,” he stated.
Apart from the investigation that French prosecutors opened, the deputy chief public prosecutor’s office in Ankara also launched an investigation based on the Turkish anti-terror law. Reports in the Turkish media back in 2013 maintained that French authorities did not send the case file of the slain women to Turkey amid disagreements on the extradition of terrorists to Turkey.
Güney, who was reported to have visited Turkey on three different occasions in the year preceding the killings is from Turkey like the three victims.
The murders were seen in Turkey as an effort to derail the ongoing settlement process launched at the end of 2012 to resolve the Kurdish issue between the government and the terrorist organization.