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Sakine Can­sız, Fidan Doğan and Ley­la Sayle­mez, 3 women, 3 Kur­dish mil­i­tants, were assas­si­nat­ed togeth­er, in the 10th arrondisse­ment of Paris, in the night from Jan­u­ary 9 to 10th 2013. A spon­sored killing with an assas­sin the police did not have far to search for. But, to this day, 8 years lat­er, noth­ing has been done as a repa­ra­tion in justice.

The killer died of can­cer short­ly after his crime. His averred link with the “Turk­ish ser­vices (MIT)” were unveiled but did not lead to a true seri­ous and com­pre­hen­sive inquest by the French and Euro­pean police forces. Today, despite a sol­id and estab­lished array of pre­sump­tions, the lawyer for the three vic­tims and their sup­port­ers are still fight­ing to obtain a com­plete exam­i­na­tion of the case that would lead to a re-open­ing of a pub­lic tri­al incrim­i­nat­ing the true spon­sors and thus, the main con­trac­tor, the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment. As a reminder, in the year of this assas­si­na­tion in the heart of Paris, a so-called left­ist socialit gov­ern­ment was in pow­er, with a cer­tain Manuel Valls as Min­is­ter of the Inte­ri­or who declared at the time that “the anti-ter­ror­ism and anti-crim­i­nal­i­ty brigades were mobi­lized in order to shed the light on this total­ly intol­er­a­ble act.” Yet, the igno­ble rumor of a “set­tling of accounts” with­in the Kur­dish move­ment was relayed dur­ing the inquest, wide­ly sug­gest­ed through the Turk­ish Embassy in Paris.

The so-called “res­o­lu­tion process” was then being car­ried out in Turkey. A peace dia­logue had been imple­ment­ed by the impris­oned Kur­dish leader Abdul­lah Öcalan, still under deten­tion since 1999 on the prison-island of Imralı. “Öcalan and the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment have start­ed a peace process, they want to dia­logue but there are par­ties against the res­o­lu­tion of the Kur­dish ques­tion and who wish to sab­o­tage the peace process”, was also said at the time. These dec­la­ra­tions saw their mean­ing divert­ed in order to incim­i­nate the Kur­dish move­ment itself, guilty in this way of set­tling strate­gic divi­sions. In brief, despite the arrest of the one who car­ried out these three fem­i­ni­cides, con­fu­sion was will­ful­ly main­tained so as to keep the inquest away from the obvi­ous spon­sors who bare­ly hid themselves.

Since then, inves­ti­ga­tions impli­cat­ing the MIT in Europe in oth­er affairs or oper­a­tions prepar­ing assas­si­na­tions of Kurds have estab­lished the links and high­light­ed tes­ti­monies, clear­ly reveal­ing the per­son­al­i­ty of the three wom­en’s assas­sin. And yet, the call for jus­tice remains unan­swered after 8 years, with Kurds of the dias­po­ra and their sup­port­ers demon­strat­ing every year on the anniver­sary of the event.

The pecu­liar con­text of 2020 and the less-than-diplo­mat­ic exchanges between the French Pres­i­dent and Erdoğan on a vari­ety of mat­ters might have raised the hope of some progress in this case, thanks to a greater polit­i­cal will. But such a will is absent as we know, as it was under the ear­li­er French gov­ern­ment, because of the Euro­pean pol­i­cy direct­ed toward Turkey.

Here is the call for 2021 from the Kurdish movement in France:


Saturday January 9 2021

Paris : Gare du Nord  14:00 • Toulouse : Gare de Matabi­au 13:30 • Mar­seille : Réfor­més 13:00 • Stras­bourg : Place Kléber, 14:00 • Bor­deaux : Place de la Bourse, 13:30 • Rennes : Dalle du Colom­bier, 14:00

Dans la nuit du 9 au 10 jan­vi­er 2013, les mil­i­tantes kur­des Sakine Can­sızFidan Doğan (Rojbîn) et Ley­la Sayle­mez ont été retrou­vées sans vie, dans les locaux du Cen­tre d’Information du Kur­dis­tan, à Paris, froide­ment exé­cutées de plusieurs balles dans la tête.

In the night of Jan­u­ary 9th to 10th 2013, the Kur­dish mil­i­tants Sakine Can­sızFidan Doğan (Rojbîn) and Ley­la Sayle­mez  were found life­less in the offices of the Kur­dis­tan Infor­ma­tion Cen­ter in Paris, cold­ly exe­cut­ed with sev­er­al bul­lets to the head.

A num­ber of clues revealed in the inquest, as well as doc­u­ments pub­lished on inter­net, estab­lished that the assas­sin, Ömer Güney, arrest­ed a few days after the events, had act­ed for or the Turk­ish secrete ser­vices (MIT). Inves­ti­ga­tions also unde­ni­ably revealed the mur­der­er’s mem­ber­ship in the Grey Wolves, the fas­cist Turk­ish move­ment the French gov­ern­ment recent­ly decid­ed to pro­hib­ite, con­sid­er­ing it “par­tic­u­lar­ly agres­sive, not to say more”, fol­low­ing extreme­ly vio­lent demon­stra­tions against the Armen­ian community.

How­ev­er, by delay­ing judg­ment on the mat­ter and allow­ing the sole accused to die of a seri­ous ill­ness on Decem­ber 17 2016, one month before his tri­al, French jus­tice missed a cru­cial oppor­tu­ni­ty to final­ly bring to jus­tice a polit­i­cal crime com­mit­ted on French territory!

The promise by the gov­ern­ment to bring to light all the facts con­cern­ing these assas­si­na­tions was soon for­got­ten. Always anx­ious to main­tain their rela­tions with Turkey, French author­i­ties did not even have the decen­cy of meet­ing with the fam­i­lies of the vic­times or rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Kur­dish community.

And now, through the impuni­ty award­ed these odi­ous crimes, France has allowed Erdoğan to pur­sue his islamist and fas­cist infil­tra­tion of French ter­ri­to­ry, through the instru­men­tal­iza­tion of mosques, the cre­ation of branch­es of the AKP and the prop­a­ga­tion of the Pan­Turk­ish ide­ol­o­gy. So many vec­tors of a dan­ger­ous med­dling inside France, which only now seems to be wak­ing from a long slum­ber and begin­ning to denounce.

How­ev­er, by main­tain­ing the crim­i­nal­iza­tion of Kur­dish polit­i­cal mil­i­tants through judi­cia­ry mea­sures or absurd admin­is­traa­tive mea­sures, France does noth­ing oth­er than to serve the inter­ests of Turk­ish islamo-fas­cism and rein­force Erdoğan’s position.

Fol­low­ing a claim filed in March 2018 by the fam­i­lies of the three Kur­dish mil­i­tants, a claim based main­ly on rev­e­la­tions of MIT agents, a new judge has been charged with study­ing the case. We expect that French jus­tice will final­ly have the courage to judge and con­demn the spon­sors of these polit­i­cal assassinations.

The assas­si­na­tions of Sakine, Fidan and Ley­la are the most shame­ful man­i­fes­ta­tion of the nui­sance val­ue Erdoğan has devel­oped on French soil, thanks to a French pol­i­cy of complacency.

It is not enough to pro­hib­it the Grey Wolves or to threat­en Turkey with sanc­tions that nev­er come to con­clu­sion. If France wants to fight against the expan­sion of fas­cism and of Turk­ish polit­i­cal islam, it must first and fore­most judge the crimes com­mit­ted by the Turk­ish regime on the nation­al ter­ri­to­ry. This is the first step, a fun­da­men­tal one, in order to say STOP to Erdoğan.


Our friend Zehra Doğan, Kur­dish artist and a mem­ber of a team, offered in sol­i­dar­i­ty to pro­duced for 2021 a visu­al that will be dis­played and used as a ban­ner for the Jan­u­ary mobi­liza­tion. This visu­al will be installed by the may­oral­ty of the the 10th arrondisse­ment in Paris. Called upon to help, the Kedis­tan team glady con­tributed, Zehra cur­rent­ly being out­side Europe. Through this con­tri­bu­tion she wished to put her notiri­ety as a Kur­dish artist at the ser­vice of this call for “turth” and this demand for “jus­tice” for the three mur­dered women.

She is thus con­tribut­ing this orig­i­nal draw­ing, done in Kur­dis­tan. And those who will soon read the graph­ic nov­el she real­ized clan­des­tine­ly in the prison of Amed, soon to be pub­lished by Edi­tions Del­court in ear­ly 2021, will take note of her deep attach­ment to Sakine Can­sız, notably, of whom she talks abun­dant­ly since she was impris­oned and tor­tured in this same sin­is­ter Amed Gaol, also known as Prison N° 5. The orig­i­nal plates were on exhi­bi­tion at the 2020 Berlin Bien­ni­al, and will be exhib­it­ed again in Feb­ru­ary-March at the Maxime Gor­ki Cen­ter, again in Berlin.

A small addi­tion­al stone, in order to raise aware­ness in the pub­lic at large and, in this spe­cif­ic instance, to con­tribute in her own way to the Jan­u­ary mobilizations.

The entire team at Kedis­tan joins the CDKF appeal pub­lished above, as well as that of “Kur­dish women in Europe”.

Ley­la, Sakine, Rojbîn by Zehra Doğan. Soulay­ma­ni­ah, 2020 december.
“Ley­la, Sakine, Rojbîn, Kur­dish mil­i­tants assas­si­nat­ed in Paris on Jan­u­ary 9 2013. A crime still unpunished!”

  • zehra dogan sakine leyla rojbin paris

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.