Bodies of 3 assassinated Kurd activists return to Turkey

Bodies of 3 assassinated Kurd activists return to Turkey
# 17 January 2013 03:56 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The bodies of three Kurdish women, who were recently killed in France, have returned to Turkey, APA reports quoting Press TV.

Thousands of Kurd protesters gathered at Istanbul airport as the bodies of the three women arrived in Turkey on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

The protesters chanted "Martyrs will live forever" and carried pictures of the assassinated women.

We condemn those who carried out these murders. We were expecting peace but we are faced with murders. We hope those behind this attack will be punished by God,” one of the protesters said.

Sakine Cansiz, reportedly a co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and the other two women were shot dead in Paris on January 10.

The two other women were identified as Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez.

A memorial service is scheduled to be held in Turkey on Thursday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for calm in a televised message broadcast on Wednesday and said in case of "any kind of provocation" during the ceremonies, security forces would be on alert.

However, Diyarbakir mayor Osman Baydemir stated, "The people of Diyarbakir know very well how to mourn and how to claim their dead.”

"The attitude of Diyarbakir will be one that... contributes to the evolution of peace talks to permanent negotiations and peace," he said.

The Turkish government condemned the killings, which the French Interior Ministry described as “an assassination.”

On January 9, reports said that Ankara and the PKK had reached an agreement on a peace roadmap to end nearly three decades of hostility.

The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead.