Why the slain PKK activists might have known their killers

January 11, 2013

As French police hunt for the killers of three Kurdish activists who were shot in Paris early Thursday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that a locked door in the Kurdish information center where the three women were slain may indicate that their deaths were the result of an internal feud within the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

 As the Associated Press reported:

Erdogan said Friday that the need for a code to enter the Kurdish center where the women died, suggested that the women probably knew the killer. Erdogan indicated that the center was locked from the inside.

“It’s not something that people who don’t know the code can open,” Erdogan told a group of journalists aboard a plane on his return from a visit to Senegal. “Those three opened (the door). They wouldn’t open the door to people they don’t know.

Kurdish officials also acknowledged that the women might have known the killer, a departure from Thursday's rhetoric, in which Kurdish and Turkish representatives pointed fingers at groups from the other side as the likely culprit. 

“They might have opened the door to their assassins,” Paris-based Kurdish Association Federation representative Leon Edart said, according to the French daily Le Parisien. 

Erdogan also said earlier that the incident could be a "provocation" by elements of the PKK opposed to recent peace talks between the Turkish government and the imprisoned Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

However, the BBC reported that many Kurds in Turkey still believe the killings were the work of the "deep state" -- a shadowy but influential nationalist Turkish group that often tries to thwart the work of democratic activists. 

 

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Max Fisher · January 11, 2013