Triple murder of Kurds activists in Paris

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Fidan Doğan, Sakine Cansız and Leyla Şaylemez, Kurdish women activists, were murdered by gunshots to the head during the night of 9–10 January 2013 in Paris (in the 10th arrondissement). [1]

Fidan Doğan Kurdish activist

Fidan Doğan was a Kurdish activist, who worked at the Kurdish information centre in Paris and also represented the Brussels-based Kurdish National Congress in France.

Leyla Şöylemez was an area manager of the PKK youth organisation. Her nome de guerre was Ronahî. In Turkey Leyla Şöylemez had an arrest warrant issued against her on charges of "membership of a terrorist organization".

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.



During the night between Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 January 2013, the bodies of Fidan Doğan, Sakine Cansız, co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Leyla Şaylemez – all three Kurdish women activists – were found in the premises of the Centre d'Information sur le Kurdistan located on 147 rue La Fayette in Paris. Each of them was shot execution-style with several bullets in the head. [2]

Kurdistan Workers Party Kurdish nationalist and separatist armed organization

The Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK is a Kurdish far-left militant and political organization based in Turkey and Iraq. Since 1984 the PKK has been involved in an armed conflict with the Turkish state, with the initial aim of achieving an independent Kurdish state, later changing it to a demand for equal rights and Kurdish autonomy in Turkey.


According to investigations by French authorities, it is possible that MİT (Turkey's National Intelligence Organization) is involved in the murders. [3] The suspected murderer, Ömer Güney, was a 34 year old Turkish maintenance employee at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Video cameras at the site of the murder show that he was inside the building between 00:11 and 00:56 when the deaths occurred. Gunpowder was found on his bag. Technical investigations were performed on his Nokia mobile phone and experts decrypted it and restored deleted files. They found images taken the day before (January 8) establishing that he was in the premises of a Kurdish association in Villers-le-Bel between 4:23 and 5:33 in the morning and took pictures of 329 memberships files. Two days before, he took pictures of accounting tracing alleged racketeering activity inside the Kurdish community. [4]

National Intelligence Organization (Turkey) intelligence agency

The National Intelligence Organization is the state intelligence agency of Turkey. It was established in 1965 to replace the National Security Service.

Charles de Gaulle Airport international airport serving Paris and the largest airport in France

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, also known as Roissy Airport, is the largest international airport in France and the second largest in Europe. Opened in March 1974, it is named after Charles de Gaulle (1890–1970), leader of the Free French Forces during the Second World War, founder of the French Fifth Republic and President of France from 1959 to 1969. Charles de Gaulle Airport is located within portions of several communes 25 km (16 mi) to the northeast of Paris. Charles de Gaulle Airport serves as the principal hub for Air France and other legacy carriers, as well as a focus city for low-cost carriers easyJet, Vueling, and Norwegian Air Shuttle. The Airport is operated by Groupe ADP under the brand Paris Aéroport.

A few months after these murders, an audio recording between Ömer Güney and some members of MiT, and some notes were anonymously released on the Internet. Omer Güney also had hundreds of pictures of Kurdish activists in his mobile phone. Anti-terrorist judge Jeanne Duyé was in charge of investigations; in September 2013, her computer was stolen from her home in a burglary. Ömer Güney was in jail from January 21, 2013.

The judge considered the involvement of Turkish secret services in the murder to be a possibility, but didn't establish who ordered the operation and if the murderer acted according to the will of the top management or not (in theory, this may have been an attempt to stall peace talks that were occurring between Ankara and the PKK at that time). On December 13, 2016, Ömer Güney was moved to a hospital for urgent care connected to his brain tumor and he died the next day, five weeks before the scheduled start of his trial. [5] [6]

Fidan Dogan in Strasbourg in 2012 Fidan Dogan.png
Fidan Doğan in Strasbourg in 2012

Eyüp Doru, a representative of Turkish party HDP in Europe, stated that he suspects Fidan Doğan was the main target[ citation needed ] of the assassination. Lawyer Sylvie Boitel explained that this young woman was very clever and had three cultures: French, Turkish and Kurdish; one of her friends explained that she met French President François Hollande at least three times when he was leader of the Socialist Party and had active relationships with French authorities.[ citation needed ]

Peoples Democratic Party (Turkey) pro-minority political party in Turkey

The Peoples' Democratic Party, or Democratic Party of the Peoples, is a pro-minority political party in Turkey. Generally left-wing, the party places a strong emphasis on participatory democracy, radical democracy, feminism, minority rights, youth rights and egalitarianism. It is an associate member of the Party of European Socialists (PES) and consultative member of the Socialist International.

François Hollande 24th President of the French Republic

François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande is a French politician who served as President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 2012 to 2017. He was previously the First Secretary of the Socialist Party from 1997 to 2008, Mayor of Tulle from 2001 to 2008, and President of the Corrèze General Council from 2008 to 2012. Hollande also served in the National Assembly of France twice for the department of Corrèze's 1st constituency from 1988 to 1993, and again from 1997 to 2012.

Metin, the brother of Sakine Cansiz, says that France is responsible because she was killed in France and the murderer died in jail before trial. [7]


"Triple Assassinat au 147, Rue Lafayette" is a book by Laure Marchand, who spent three years investigating the murders and links with the Turkish secret services. It outlines the biographies of the three young women and discusses the politics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. [8]

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Sakine Cansız was one of the co-founders of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. A Kurdish activist in the 1980s, she was arrested and tortured by Turkish police. A close associate of Abdullah Öcalan and a senior member of the PKK, she was shot dead in Paris, France, on 9 January 2013, with two other female Kurdish activists, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez.

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  1. Le monde 2013
  2. Avec AFP (11 January 2013). "Les trois militantes kurdes ont été assassinées de plusieurs balles dans la tête"..
  3. "Assassinat de militantes kurdes à Paris : la justice souligne l'implication des services secrets turcs". 23 July 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  5. « Omer Güney, assassin présumé de trois militantes kurdes à Paris, meurt avant son procès »,, accessed date 17 december 2016.
  6. ,le parisien 13 August 2015
  7. ,, on 11 January 2017