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On Decem­ber 23rd, one of the pio­neers of the Kur­dish Women’s move­ment, Evîn (Emine Kara), artist Mir Per­w­er and Abdur­rah­man Kızıl, a reg­u­lar at the Cen­ter, lost their lives fol­low­ing an attack per­pe­trat­ed against the Ahmet Kaya Kur­dish Cen­ter in Paris. Wit­ness­es state that the mur­der­er was dropped off from a car on the street of the Cul­tur­al Cen­ter and head­ed straight for his target.

Images from the secu­ri­ty cam­eras also show that the mur­der­er entered pur­pose­ful­ly in the Cul­tur­al Cen­ter and in two estab­lish­ments where Kurds were locat­ed. Evîn was exe­cut­ed, the assas­sin shoot­ing her twice.

This is unac­cept­able and rais­es ques­tions, with the French media treat­ing the assas­si­na­tions from the onset as “indi­vid­ual attacks by a men­tal­ly unsta­ble racist”, this theme being picked up two hours lat­er by the French Min­is­ter of the Inte­ri­or and repeat­ed in a press release by the French judi­cia­ry two days lat­er, after the assas­sin was placed under psy­chi­atric obser­va­tion. How did these talk­ing point find them­selves con­veyed to the media from the very begin­ning ? Is this what is called “jour­nal­ism”?

Both the French gov­ern­ment and the qua­si total­i­ty of the media con­sid­ered the mat­ter as a racist attack and clas­si­fied the affair in that cat­e­go­ry, refus­ing to widen the inquest with the means avail­able when an event is char­ac­ter­ized as ter­ror­ist. The French police was not there when the attack took place, and the aggres­sor was neu­tral­ized by wit­ness­es at their own risk. Forty min­utes went by before the police arrived. They were much quick­er on the scene with tear gas against the legit­i­mate protests from Kur­dish peo­ple. This provoca­tive atti­tude is now a source of anger and suspicion.

The fact that some­one com­mits such a crime in France, a coun­try that self-defines as the “land of free­dom and democ­ra­cy” shows the extent to which nation­al­is­tic and provoca­tive poli­cies against the sys­tem have become fright­en­ing. The fact the mur­der­er has a his­to­ry of racist attacks and that the police and the French gov­ern­ment thus “sim­pli­fied” his crime, reduc­ing it to an “infrac­tion” allow­ing the lift­ing of the murderer’s blame for his crime, since the wound­ed migrants were threat­ened with expul­sion at the time, only demon­strates that racism is alive and well in France, and not only in the mind of a so-called unbal­anced per­son, mak­ing the man­age­ment of such attacks a “sim­ple mat­ter”. For instance, the attack of a mosque in Bay­onne, the racist mur­der of a sports­man in the heart of Paris by extrem­ist right-wing activists, are treat­ed as com­mon law occurrences.

How did the admin­is­tra­tion in France let racist mur­der­ers grow among its cit­i­zens, how did it lead to thought pat­terns ever more to the right because of pover­ty, hunger, health prob­lems, sex­ist and aggres­sive policies ?

In such a con­text, the intel­li­gence ser­vices of fas­cist States or of those with ter­ror­ist lean­ings have no trou­ble con­tact­ing per­sons with altered and unbal­anced views. MIT, the fas­cist Turk­ish intel­li­gence orga­ni­za­tion oper­at­ing in Europe, always con­cen­trates on this type of per­son­al­i­ty, using them as the “trig­ger” to their own cause, by exploit­ing their weak­est fea­tures. This has been the case in a num­ber of manip­u­la­tions that led to polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tions in Europe against the Kur­dish move­ment these past few years, and even for “attacks” in Turkey.

On the day of the mas­sacre, a meet­ing was to be held at the Ahmet Kaya Kur­dish Cul­tur­al Cen­ter. The aim of this meet­ing was to orga­nize actions and upcom­ing activ­i­ties, call­ing on the French gov­ern­ment to con­demn the Turk­ish State at long last, on the 10th anniver­sary of the assas­si­na­tion in Paris of the lead­ers of the Kur­dish Women’s Move­ment, Sakine Can­sız, Ley­la Şayle­mez and Fidan Do?an. For this rea­son, pre­sent­ing the mur­der­er as an “unbal­anced indi­vid­ual” with “racist feel­ings”, as some­one unaware of his actions, is the same as cov­er­ing the rep­e­ti­tion of the crime, and open­ing the doors to any num­ber of future events of the same kind.

With this sec­ond attack in France against the Kur­dish peo­ple, the Turk­ish State com­mit­ted a crime using the hand of a French cit­i­zen this time. In act­ing this way, via a French trig­ger, it main­tains its invis­i­bil­i­ty, in my view, by direct­ing the arrow toward the French State. Recent MIT pol­i­cy fol­lows this trend. It uses the same approach in South­ern Kur­dis­tan, which is a part of Irak.

Thus, the Turk­ish State has Kurds elim­i­nat­ed who were forced to leave North­ern Kur­dis­tan in Turkey for polit­i­cal rea­sons, by train­ing and using as hired killers per­sons whose weak­ness­es they have iden­ti­fied. Some­times this con­sists of a person’s psy­cho­log­i­cal insta­bil­i­ty, some­times their pover­ty and, of course, fas­cist and fas­cist feel­ings allow­ing for this behav­ior. This is how my friend Nag­i­han Akarsel was rid­dled with bul­lets.

Is it still nec­es­sary to under­line that the Turk­ish State applies all its forces against the Kur­dish peo­ple on all fronts ? It car­ries out a war called “mil­i­tary oper­a­tions”, a euphemism… It attempts to anni­hi­late Kur­dish cul­ture, through pro­hi­bi­tions placed on the moth­er tongue and its music, its lit­er­a­ture, the clos­ing of cul­tur­al asso­ci­a­tions and cen­ters. It attempts to silence the intel­lec­tu­als, politi­cians, activists, Kur­dish jour­nal­ists and their sup­port­ers, through threats, raids, impris­on­ment… It attempts to break the pris­on­ers through ill treat­ment, iso­la­tion, depor­ta­tion, denial of lib­er­a­tion. It goes so far as to elim­i­nate Kur­dish per­son­al­i­ties, espe­cial­ly com­bat­ive and deter­mined women, even out­side the country…

In Turkey, where the MIT is a struc­tur­al ele­ment with its own admin­is­tra­tive sys­tem in a fas­cist soci­ety, most of the ’trig­ger’ recruits were either men­tal­ly unbal­anced, or poor and shaped by a fas­cist ide­ol­o­gy. The regime choos­es them “in the name of the Coun­try and the Nation”. It does the same thing in the for­eign lands where its oppo­nents have found refuge.

The assas­sin of aca­d­e­m­ic and jour­nal­ist Nag­i­han Akarsel, a mem­ber of the Kur­dish Women’s Move­ment, who fell in Sulay­maniyah last Octo­ber, also had this pro­file. In his con­fes­sion, one could see how the MIT had tak­en advan­tage of the killer’s fas­cist feel­ings. Ogün Samast, who killed the Armen­ian jour­nal­ist Hrant Dink in Istan­bul in 2007, was a young man who also exhib­it­ed a racist, nation­al­ist and State-lean­ing pro­file. One can­not con­sid­er Hrant Dink’s mas­sacre sole­ly as “a mur­der com­mit­ted by a young nation­al­ist”. Ogün Samast was noth­ing oth­er than a hired gun, behind which one found a ter­ri­ble, ter­ror­ist State organization.

Still last year, again in Sulay­maniyah, Fer­hat Bağışkon­du sur­vived an attack. Its author, Zım­nako is a schiz­o­phrenic, and he is not a Turk­ish cit­i­zen. Con­sid­er­ing him sole­ly as a “schiz­o­phrenic” and shut­ting one’s eyes to the fact he was trained by the MIT for a long time, would mean falling into the trap set up by the Turk­ish State to cov­er its actions. Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, all attacks of this type include racist rants, but the fact that the per­son is a “des­ig­nat­ed killer” should not be forgotten.

Racism is the gen­er­al moti­va­tion to all these crimes. Here, it is anti-Kur­dish. But dis­miss­ing the prob­lem sole­ly on these grounds is a faulty and total­ly incom­plete polit­i­cal read­ing that ignores all prece­dents and allows for all its future consequences.

The Turk­ish fascis­tic struc­ture, set up in Europe as an exten­sion to the suc­ces­sive Turk­ish gov­ern­ment, has been impli­cat­ed since the 70s in numer­ous crimes, rang­ing from drug traf­fick­ing to arms smug­gling, from crimes of hatred to mur­ders. The aggres­sions, assas­si­na­tions and attacks orga­nized by the MIT have occurred in a num­ber of Euro­pean coun­tries since the 80s. The Turk­ish intel­li­gence ser­vices that car­ry out a num­ber of crim­i­nal and ter­ror­ist actions through their own fas­cist cit­i­zens, are cur­rent­ly car­ry­ing out major activ­i­ties in numer­ous Euro­pean coun­tries. Ben­e­fit­ing from such a large net­work, it it not too dif­fi­cult for them to iden­ti­fy use­ful pro­files and groom them to car­ry out attacks such as the one on Decem­ber 23 in Paris…

By clas­si­fy­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion from the very onset under the head­ing of “mur­der com­mit­ted by a racist unbal­anced per­son” spread­ing talk­ing points to that effect, not afford­ing the crime the ben­e­fit of means avail­able for an inves­ti­ga­tion on ter­ror­ism, all this allows the French State to avoid geo-polit­i­cal and diplo­mat­ic concerns.

This is not the first time in its his­to­ry that the French State cov­ers up polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tions com­mit­ted on its soil and involv­ing an allied for­eign hand. Exam­ples abound.

France did not inves­ti­gate deci­sive­ly in order to resolve the assas­si­na­tion of Sakine Cans?z, Fidan Do?an and Ley­la Şayle­mez. These activists for women’s free­dom who were forced to flee the oppres­sion to which they were sub­ject­ed in their own coun­try and who came to oth­er lands to con­tin­ue their strug­gle freely, were again con­front­ed by death. If a sec­ond assas­si­na­tion was com­mit­ted on Decem­ber 23, this for me sig­nals that these killings of Sakine, Rojbin and Ley­la were not resolved, through a lack of polit­i­cal courage. In fact, in my view, the French gov­ern­ment shares in its respon­si­bil­i­ty through wil­ful blind­ness that leads it not to take seri­ous­ly alerts com­ing from the Kur­dish community.

The whole world has eyes turned to this sit­u­a­tion. France sends a sig­nal to its allies, but in doing so, it opens the door to fur­ther cimes, by refus­ing to inves­ti­gate and find the source of the sponsors.

Last months, Emmanuel Macron met with a group of women at the Elysée to offer “sup­port” to the women’s rev­o­lu­tion in “Iran”. He doesn’t seem cog­nizant of the fact that the slo­gan “Jin Jiyan Azadî”, chant­ed all over the world these days was cre­at­ed pre­cise­ly by the Kur­dish Women’s Move­ment, much ear­li­er and right­ful­ly picked up by the oppo­nents in Iran. At the same time, the French State “sup­ports” the women’s rev­o­lu­tion in Iran, and clos­es its eyes on the assas­si­na­tion of three activists, among whom were some of the cre­ators of this slo­gan. This has allowed for the assas­si­na­tion of anoth­er Kur­dish woman, our com­rade Evin (Emine Kara) who fought against ISIS in Syria.

A Kur­dish artist, musi­cian Mir Per­w­er, was also assas­si­nat­ed in Paris, “the cap­i­tal of art and free­dom”. Mir Per­w­er, tor­tured by the Turk­ish State, was in exile. An artist, assas­si­nat­ed in the cap­i­tal of art…

Thou­sands of Kurds, their friends and sup­port­ers took to the streets in Paris, in Mar­seille and in oth­er towns to raise their voice against fas­cism, and not only for the Kurds but also for all peoples.

With these past assas­si­na­tions and this attack on Decem­ber 23, the Turk­ish State struck in Europe with aggres­sions and attacks that con­stant­ly inten­si­fy against the Kur­dish peo­ple and all of the oppressed in Kur­dis­tan. The Turk­ish State, to this day, has not con­demned the mur­ders but has instead point­ed a fin­ger at the PKK for the demon­stra­tions in Paris. It demon­strates in this way that Kurds call­ing for free­dom con­sti­tute a tar­get, no mat­ter where they may be.

News of the inten­si­fi­ca­tion of attacks against the Kur­dish peo­ple in Syr­ia and in Irak, of the con­tin­ued use of chem­i­cal weapons against the guer­ril­la, of the pur­suit of the occu­pa­tion poli­cies, is accom­pa­nied by this Turk­ish pol­i­cy of terror.

The Copres­i­dent of the PYD, Sal­ih Mus­lim, pub­lished the fol­low­ing tweet after the attack in Paris:
“We remain in our vil­lages, on our plains, they destroy, they burn, they kill, we flee toward our moun­tains, they kills us with chem­i­cal weapons. Is there nowhere in this world for Kurds?”

Euro­pean coun­tries who want to find a demo­c­ra­t­ic answer to this ques­tion must quick­ly show their sin­cere reac­tions agains the war that has been ongo­ing in Kur­dis­tan for long years.

Euro­pean lead­ers who crit­i­cize the fas­cist Turk­ish regime in the media, show­ing angry faces, should also stop sell­ing weapons to the Turks through the back door. They should stop feed­ing the fire of war, sim­ply because the exploita­tion of the gas, water and lands of Kur­dis­tan are in their own inter­est. They should urgent­ly remove the PKK from their list of ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions, the PKK hav­ing led a legit­i­mate strug­gle for years, from the mountains.

But, unfor­tu­nate­ly, the Europe of demo­c­ra­t­ic speech­es con­tin­ues crim­i­nal­iz­ing Kurds. A num­ber of politi­cians and Kur­dish activ­i­ties are “returned” to Turkey, media, Kur­dish asso­ci­a­tions are shut down, harassed.  Edi­tions Mesopotamia, who pub­lished Kur­dish books was raid­ed on March 8 2018, in Ger­many whose his­to­ry is already blem­ished with the black stain of books burnt on squares dur­ing the Hit­ler­ian peri­od. The fact that raid coin­cid­ed with the vis­it of the Turk­ish For­eign Affairs min­is­ter, Mev­lut Çavuşo?lu, who went to Ger­many for talks, was cer­tain­ly not acci­den­tal. On Feb­ru­ary 2nd 2019, anoth­er such date, yet more raids and con­fis­ca­tion of goods on the premis­es of Edi­tions Mesopotamia and of Mîr Müzik. On Jan­u­ary 31 2022, their activ­i­ties were offi­cial­ly pro­hib­it­ed in Ger­many, by deci­sion of the Fed­er­al Admin­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal. Today in Ger­many, there is not a sin­gle pub­lish­ing house that can pub­lish Kur­dish literature.

When one hears French media denounc­ing the pres­ence of Kur­dish flags, qual­i­fy­ing them of “flags of a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion” car­ried in demon­stra­tions, one can expect a sim­i­lar pol­i­cy from the French State which has already for­got­ten that these flags are those of peo­ple who gave their lives to elim­i­nate the authors of the attacks that led to mourn­ing in the French population.

A num­ber of Kur­dish poli­cies are crim­i­nal­ized. The slo­gan “Jin Jiyan Azadî” res­onates every­where in the world, par­tic­u­lar­ly in Ger­many, which is the largest ter­rain of action, but the Kur­dish women to whom this slo­gan belongs, who fight for free­dom, are arrest­ed, tak­en into cus­tody, held under tight sur­veil­lance, their pass­port confiscated.

Not a sin­gle day goes by with­out sim­i­lar news com­ing from dif­fer­ent West­ern coun­tries. Only a few days ago, on Decem­ber 22, in Nurem­berg, a num­ber of Kurds had their homes raid­ed and an activist, Tahir Koçer, was arrested.

The Realpoli­tik orches­trat­ed by West­ern States, accom­mo­dat­ing itself of doubt­ful allies when its inter­ests are involved, for­get­ting and sac­ri­fic­ing those who saved them only yes­ter­day, aban­don ing them with the chil­dren of ISIS, erect­ing walls and bor­ders against the refugees and inter­fer­ing with jus­tice being done for the ces­sa­tion of the crimes.

In this sit­u­a­tion, the well-known Kur­dish say­ing takes on even more mean­ing: “The Kurd has no oth­er friend than the mountains.”

Zehra Doğan
Berlin, Decem­ber 25 2022

Translation, edit: Naz Oke, Daniel Fleury, translation from French by Renée Lucie Bourges

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Zehra Doğan
Auteure, mem­bre d’hon­neur de Kedistan
Jour­nal­iste, artiste. Jour­nal­ist, artist. Gazete­ci, sanatçı.