Triple Homicide in Paris: The Kurds in Quest of Justice and Protection


Three months after the attack at the head office of France’s Kurdish Democratic Council (CDK-F) in the 10th district of Paris, the Kurdish community still doesn’t believe in an isolated « racist crime » committed by the presumed murderer.

On the 23rd of December, William Malet, a 69-year-old man, cold-bloodedly shot down a former combatant of the PKK called Emine Kara, as well as Abdurrahman Kizil, a 59-year-old Kurdish man and Mir Perwer, musician and political refugee. During his custody, this retired train driver justified his acts by a “pathological xenophobia”. According to video excerpts published in French medias at the beginning of March, his psychiatric assessment highlighted “personality disorders” of a paranoid nature that could justify, “to a certain extent, that we’d consider his judgement as altered”. During the events, he found himself « in a situational impasse, an experience of existential failure”, as detailed in the report. These explanations do not satisfy the civil parties. According to Christian Charrière-Bournazel, one of the CDK-F lawyers, all investigations leads should be explored “in order to know how he could’ve been requested or influenced in a very decisive manner by agents of the current Turkish government which has one obsession: to curb the Kurds”. No element that could support this theory has been made public.

The killing of Enghien street painfully reminds the one that happened a few hundred meters away, ten years ago. On the 9th of January 2013, three PKK militants, among which Sakine Cansiz, one of the movement founders, were killed by bullets to the head in a small apartment which also served as the CDK-F media center. A week after the events, Ömer Güney was put into custody: many physical elements made this Turkish man, who is also Sakine Canziz’s chauffeur, the main suspect. His ties to Turkey took some time to be discovered, but in the course of month, enough evidence was found. The presumed murders made many secret round trips to Ankara during the months preceding the triple-murder; during his temporary detention in the Fresnes prison, he passed an escape plan to his contact at the MIT, the Turkish secret service in Ankara, through a third person. In an audio recorder published on the internet, Ömer Güney explains to two persons who seem to be his supervisors how we will eliminate one of the PKK leaders in Europe; shown in Turkish medias, a confidential document from the MIT gives the order to prepare the elimination of Sakine Cansiz. One of the agents given the code name “La Source” corresponds to Ömer Güney... who will not be judged because he died of a brain tumor just before his trial.

In 2019, the Parquet (public Ministry) initiated a new investigation for “complicity in assassination linked with a terrorist movement” and “partnership of terrorist criminals in order to prepare violation-related crimes”. French justice is now focusing on the sponsors. The Turkish organisms are explicitly suspected. Regarding the case of the La Fayette Street, the terrorist qualification has been envisioned since the start. This was not the case for the case of Enghien street. This difference in treatment raises the suspicions of the Kurds who interpret this choice of not involving the National Antiterrorist Parquet (PNAT) as a political decision to handle Ankara. This choice is coupled with the refusal to lift the defense secrecy regarding information kept by the French intelligence service on what happened on the 9th of January 2013.

For the Kurdish sympathizers of the guerilla, this attack at the heart of Paris is an integral part of the domestic and foreign policy of Ankara towards them. The bombings of the Turkish army regularly aim the PKK in Iraqi Kurdistan and in Rojava, the northeastern part of Syria, under the control of the Democratic Union Party (DYP), the main party among the Syrian Kurds. For a few months now, the Turkish presidential election has been set for May 14th. The Turkish head of state is fueling the electors’ nationalist feelings by threatening with a massive military intervention in the Kurdish regions of Syria. In the sky of Rojava, Turkish drone buzzing reminds that an attack can occur at any time. Military officials and DYP figures live in permanent fear of a targeted assassination.

In 2022, 130 Turkish drone strikes were recorded in northern Syria. They have caused 87 deaths - among which 25 civilians – and 151 wounded. In order to protect themselves from this invisible enemy, combatants in the armed brand of the PKK hide in tunnels. Emine Kara, whose town in southeast Turkey has been raided by the army in 1994 and who had joined the guerilla as a teenager, was an important “executer” in the movement: having « Evin Goyi » as her code name, she has fought in the ranks of the Women’s protection unit of the YPJ, during the battle of Raqqa against Daesh and on the International Coalition’s side. For her comrades in Syria, her death is added to the list of female combatants targeted by Ankara: last July, three of them, among which Joyan Tolhildan, YPJ commander, have been killed by a drone. In September, Zeynep Saroxan, who was in charge of the « Justice and reform administration” have lost her life after the destruction of a vehicle by a Bayraktar engine. If we had to only mention one, it’s a sign Ankara’s determination to continue the war against the PKK outside of its borders, even though the devastating earthquake on the 6th of February which caused the death of 46 000 people in Turkey and brought down a part of the country have not led to truce: drones keep on striking.

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