French police charge ‘driver’ with Kurdish womens’ murders but say others could have been involved

KT News and Comment:

Press conference in Paris yesterday

Press conference in Paris yesterday

UPDATE: Güney ‘not Sakine’s driver’ and had ‘no ties with the PKK’ …

French prosecutors have filed preliminary murder charges against a man they describe as an occasional driver for Sakine Cansiz, co-founder of the PKK and one of the three Kurdish women activists assassinated in Paris on 9 Jan. French prosecutor Francois Molins also told a press conference yesterday that, although one gun was used, more than one killer could have been involved.

The arrested man has been named as Ömer Güney and described as a Turkish passport holder who had moved in PKK circles for about two years although his real role within the organisation is unclear. Molins said the preliminary charges open the way for a fuller investigation which could lead to formal charges. He said there is “serious and corroborating evidence” to show that Güney was involved. However, Güney denies the charges.

Molins said CCTV footage shows that Güney was inside the Kurdish Information Centre between 12.43pm and 1.21pm when it is believed the women were shot dead. The prosecutor said 10 shots were fired: four into the head of Fidan Doğan and three each into the heads of Sakine Cansız and Leyla Şaylemez.

He said investigators had found a bag in Güney’s car which had traces of gunpowder on it.

Video footage shows Güney entering the centre with Sakine at 11.29am. He left to return to the garage where his car was parked and was seen returning to the centre at 12.11pm. Molins said  Güney initially denied that he had returned to the centre and then claimed to have forgotten and also argued that the footage must have been doctored. The prosecutor noted that Fidan Doğan last used her computer at 12:43 and that, after that time, no contact was made with the office.

 ‘DNA not Güney’s’

Firat News reports that Molins said that the DNA sample on a bullet casing found in the office didn’t match the DNA of suspect Ömer Güney. This increases the likelihood of more than one person being involved in the killings.

Molins said that the reason for the murder had not yet been determined. But this did not stop Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu claiming yesterday that there was ‘key information’ proving that the killings were an ‘internal PKK issue’. The minister of the state which is likely to have murdered its own president in 1993 gave no details for this claim.

Earlier yesterday the Federation of Kurdish Associations in France (FEYKA) said in a statement: “The investigation into the killings is being conducted in the shadow of France-Ankara cooperation”.
 FEYKA questioned the objectivity of the investigation and criticized French authorities for not denying the common line of speculation (based on unnamed ‘sources’) promoted by Turkish and much French media coverage ever since the day the three women were brutally killed.

Güney had ‘no ties with PKK’

Ömer Güney’s uncle Zekai Güney told CNN TÜRK last night said that their family had no ties or sympathy for the PKK organization.

Remzi Kartal, the leader of the Kurdistan People’s Congress (KONGRA-GEL), has announced that Güney had no ties with the PKK.

FEYKA President Mehmet Ülker told AFP today that Güney had first contacted an association affiliated to FEYKA one year and two months ago. Ülker said the suspect became a member of the Kurdish association in Villiers-le-Bel, the association which is the closest to the neighborhood he said he lived in, on 18 November 2011. According to Ülker, Güney started to visit the association frequently, joining activities and getting in touch with the people there. “We learned that he spoke good French and therefore helped many friends in the Kurdish circle when they had a problem with the language. However, he had taken no official duty in the Kurdish association so far, he was just a member, like many other Turkish and French friends who can simply join our association, which is a democratic mass organization and doesn’t require any conditions for membership.”

Explaining how he had come to be accompanying Sakine Cansız to the information centre, Ülker stated: “He gave confidence to the circle by joining activities and translating for people when they needed. Fidan Doğan called him that day and asked him to bring Sakine Cansız to the Kurdistan Information Office.” Ülker added that the suspect wasn’t Sakine Cansız’s driver or someone she entrusted work to.

He said Güney told people he was Kurdish on his mother’s side and Turkish on his father’s side although it was reported he had told the police something different.

“This is a political murder which needs to be shed light on. The eyes of Kurdistan people are on the French state”, said Ülker.


6 Responses to French police charge ‘driver’ with Kurdish womens’ murders but say others could have been involved
  1. havel
    January 22, 2013 | 10:29

    I am glad that KT is not jumping to the same conclusion as the Turkish government, most of its media…and Suleiman here. Think there remain several possibilities and it may be difficult to get to the bottom of who is really behind these terrible murders. Presumably the footage (if not tampered with) should show if anyone else went into the office at that time. And if the driver really was the hitman, he could have been hired/infiltrated by one of several possible instigators.

  2. Suleiman
    January 22, 2013 | 10:55

    Not jumping to any conclusions, but I find it silly that we Kurds always like to act as if the whole world is against us but refuse to admit that we have a history of betraying each other. Truth hurts.

  3. kuvan
    January 22, 2013 | 15:29

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is a big lair.poeple are not stuipd they know who is the real criminal behind the killing.

  4. Realistic Kurd
    January 22, 2013 | 18:13

    The reason we Kurds don’t succeed is because we never stand up to our own mistakes. Blame the Arabs, Turks, Persians, Americans, Israel, etc for everything. 3 innocent Kurdish activists are murdered and fingers are pointed towards the Turkish secret services (which is understood as a first reaction due to the Turks’ history of targetting Kurds.) but when the facts come out, millions like havel will say: no the report is not true, or the French investigators have been paid off by the Turks. And when more truth comes out and stronger, someone like havel will say well maybe some forced a Kurd to do it or some other excuse. Why not just come out and admit a Kurdish group messed up and made a big mistake, so we fix mistakes. I am tired of this attitude of blaming others for our own mistakes and shortcomings. The same way we say: Kurds have no friends but the mountains, we should also remember: We are our Worst Enemy.

  5. Dr.N.Hawramany
    January 22, 2013 | 20:02

    The reality is that history shows that Kurds tend to do any thing for money and personal interests, they have always been on the payroll of their enemies(even their leaders), so it is not surprising that a kurd is the main suspect in this heinous murder.

  6. ellenmari22
    January 26, 2013 | 12:01

    I think it is sad that 3 women were killed, and it has turned into a political platform for pointing fingers. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those women.

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