A prosecutor’s office in Paris has accused Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) of the assassination of three senior female members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Paris in 2013, according to an indictment published by the Le Monde newspaper, the Zaman daily reported on Friday.
According to the report, the Paris prosecutor overseeing the investigation is demanding that Ömer Güney, the only suspect in the case, be indicted for the killing of PKK members Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez on Jan. 9, 2013. The three Kurdish women were found dead with gunshot wounds at the Kurdistan Information Bureau in Paris. The prosecutor completed the 70-page indictment after two and a half years of work.
According to the indictment, Güney was in touch with top MİT official K.T., but the Turkish government did not respond to a request for information regarding K.T. “A large amount of evidence strengthens the idea that MİT was involved in the preparation and committing of the assassination. It was discovered that Ömer Güney was engaged in spying activities and there were a number of spies in Turkey he had been secretly in touch with,” Le Monde quoted the indictment as saying.
Güney will appear before a French court in September as the single suspect in the murder. The indictment was finalized on July 7 and a gag order was issued on the probe. However, Le Monde obtained the indictment and shared crucial details in its Thursday edition. Le Monde also mentioned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‘s remarks on March 14, 2014, saying that he had admitted that the Turkish state was behind the killings. Erdoğan had blamed the incident on a faction within MİT which was allegedly linked to the “parallel state,” a term coined by Erdoğan in reference to the faith-based Gülen movement. During an election rally in Lyon, Erdoğan claimed that the “parallel state” aimed at sabotaging the settlement process between the Turkish government and the PKK through the Paris murders.
According to Le Monde, Erdoğan’s “parallel state theory” was refuted with the disclosure of internal correspondence by MİT on Jan. 14, 2014. The document in question, alleged to belong to MİT, was published in the Turkish media and suggested that Cansız was the main target of the attack and 6,000 euro was paid for her to be killed.
The assassination of the three women took place shortly after the Turkish government launched talks with the PKK, recognized as a terrorist organization by the European Union, the United States and Turkey, in order to resolve the country’s long-standing Kurdish problem in the its Southeast. Turkish daily Karşı claimed in February last year that Güney had close ties to the MİT. The claim was previously denied by MİT following the release of a voice recording allegedly featuring a conversation between Güney and two MİT agents. The French forensic police concluded that it was highly likely that the voice recording was authentic.
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. According to Le Monde’s report, one of the 13 phone numbers on Güney’s phone contact list belonged to MİT.
Turkey’s former Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ in January last year denied any links between MİT and the murders. MİT also denied allegations that it was the instigator of the murders. A statement released by the intelligence organization said an internal administrative investigation into the claims was launched.