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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces a Chaotic World and the Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid