World Bulletin / News Desk
French President Francois Hollande on Thursday said that he knew one of the three Kurdish women who were killed at the Kurdish Information Center in Paris, capital of France, on Wednesday.
Describing the murders as "terrible", President Hollande stated that he knew one of the Kurdish women and that she "regularly came to meet with us".
"The investigation into the murders continue. The right thing now is to wait and find out who killed them and why," Hollande stressed.
Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez were killed on Wednesday evening at the Kurdish Information Center. They were shot in head and their bodies were found around 2.00 a.m..
Söylemez is described as a "young activist" by Kurdish groups, while Cansız is known to have been among the few women who attended the founding congress of the PKK. The Fırat news agency, which is close to the PKK, said the third victim, Doğan, was the Paris representative of the Brussels-based Kurdistan National Congress political group.
The PKK, which is fighting for greater autonomy for Kurds, has waged a 28-year war against the Turkish state in which more than 40,000 people have been killed. The Turkish government has recently acknowledged holding talks with the organization's jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan. The sides have agreed on a framework for a peace plan, according to media reports.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the killings might be the result of intra-PKK conflict or a provocative action from some groups who are against the peace process in Turkey. "We will wait patiently until light is shed on this incident and will continue our well-intentioned steps [to resolve the Kurdish problem," he said. Erdoğan's remarks came during a visit to Senegal.
The bodies of the women were removed from the building and sent for an autopsy.
The other BDP co-chairperson, Selahattin Demirtaş, released a statement on Thursday in which he called on the French government to shed light on the killings of the Kurdish women. “We ask everyone to know that these murders which took place in the busiest area of Paris cannot be covered up,” he said, calling on Kurds to condemn the killings in demonstrations. The party released a written statement later on Thursday, announcing that both chairs of the BDP, Kışanak and Demirtaş, will travel to Paris to hold talks with French officials about the killing of the Kurdish women and attend their funeral ceremonies.
A rally to protest the murders will take place in Paris on Saturday.
Repeating his call to avert further bloodshed and keep the peace process on track, Ocalan said his hopes of a solution had been boosted.
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