News / Europe

Debate Roils in Turkey Over Responsibility for Paris Triple-Homicide

Funeral of three Kurdish activists shot in Paris, Diyarbakir, Turkey, Jan. 17, 2013.
Funeral of three Kurdish activists shot in Paris, Diyarbakir, Turkey, Jan. 17, 2013.
Dorian Jones
As the French investigation into the killing of the three Kurdish activists in Paris continues, debate is roiling in Turkey over who was responsible.
 
While some Kurds claim rogue elements of the Turkish state are behind the slayings, Turkish officials blame the slaying on a feud within ranks of the Kurdish rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), while other observers are speculate on the involvement of Iranian and Syrian elements.
 
"This massacre could have been stopped, but it wasn't," said Gultan Kisanak, co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party.
 
"Ankara bears a large share of the responsibility for the mysterious murder of three Kurdish women politicians," she said, blaming Turkish so-called "deep state" actors -- rogue elements of the state with strong nationalist tendencies that are often blamed for conspiracies against the present government and pro-Kurdish movement.
 
But accusations of state involvement have been strongly denied by Turkish officials, and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said late last week that the execution-style killings appear to be the result of an internal feud over recently announced talks between Ankara and Abdullah Ocalan, PKK's imprisoned PKK.
 
According to news reports, Ankara and PKK representatives have recently agreed on a framework for a peace plan, which would involve increasing Kurdish minority rights in exchange for disarmament of militants.
 
If internal feuding motivated the killings, says political scientist Cengiz Aktar of Bahcesehir University, it wouldn't be entirely unprecedented.
 
"My feeling is it looks like an internal affair of Kurdish circles in France, and it's not the first time," he said. "I hope the negotiators and politicians have drawn lessons from previous initiatives, which failed."
 
But some observers insist the deep state conspiracy isn't entirely off-point. Turkish-nationalist militants have a history of killing Kurdish activists seeking regional autonomy, even if such incidents were confined to Turkish soil.
 
Semih Idiz, diplomatic columnist for the Turkish daily Taraf, is looking to state actors in neighboring countries.
 
"It is known that Turkey has a problem with [Syria and Iran] at the moment," he says, pointing not only to the ongoing crisis in Syria, but Ankara's behind-the-scenes peace negotiations with PKK.
 
Prematurely announcing the existence of the behind-closed-doors talks, he says, has left Ankara vulnerable.
 
"By going open, all open, about meeting with the PKK, it provides an opportunity for outside forces and elements or countries to try intervene if it's in their interests," says Idiz.
 
In recent months, Ankara has accused both Tehran and Damascus of providing support for PKK in retaliation for Turkey's support of Syrian rebels. Both Iran and Syria have denied such allegations.
 
International relations expert Soli Ozel of Istanbul's Kadir Has University says throughout the three-decade conflict between the PKK and Turkish state, the country's neighbors periodically have used the PKK to apply pressure on Ankara.
 
"The regional context of the Kurdish problem is what complicates the politics of the Kurdish issue in Turkey," he says.
 
For now, both sides have committed themselves to continuing talks, but analysts warn that, with the political and diplomatic stakes so high, there may be further attempts to disrupt peace efforts.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid