Evidence suggests murders a PKK feud: Turkey
ReutersISTANBUL -- The execution-style killing in Paris of three Kurdish female activists, including a founder of the PKK militant group, appears to have been the result of an internal feud, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
January 12, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Sakine Cansiz, a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and two fellow activists were found shot in the head early on Thursday in an attack which overshadowed peace moves between Turkey and the guerrillas.
Erdogan said that while investigations needed to be completed before a definitive conclusion could be reached, evidence so far pointed to an inside job, as the building was secured by a coded lock which could only be opened by insiders.
“Those three people opened it. No doubt they wouldn't open it to people they didn't know,” Erdogan told reporters on his plane returning from Senegal on Friday, according to the state-run Anatolian news agency.
He said the killings could also have been intended to sabotage efforts towards peace talks with the PKK.
Cansiz was a prominent PKK figure, initially as a fighter and later in charge of the group's civil affairs in Europe, according to a Kurdish lawyer who knew her. A 1995 photograph shows her standing next to militant leader Abdullah Ocalan, wearing olive battle fatigues and clutching an assault rifle.
French investigators gave no immediate indication of who might be behind the murders. The PKK has seen intermittent internal feuding during an armed campaign in the mountainous Turkish southeast that has killed some 40,000 people since 1984.
Turkish nationalist militants have in the past also been accused of killing Kurdish activists, who want regional autonomy. But such incidents have been confined to Turkey.
According to media reports, the Turkish state and PKK have agreed the framework for a peace plan, which would involve boosting Kurdish minority rights in exchange for the ultimate disarmament of the militants.