Tens of thousands of people gathered Thursday in the southern city of Diyarbakir to mourn the three Kurdish activists murdered in Paris last week. The funeral was the largest political gathering of Kurds in Turkish history. None of Turkish national television networks carried the funeral. But a few Web portals provided real-time coverage. (The New York Times, 17 January)
The most prominent of the three slain women, Sakine Cansiz, 55, was a founding member of the rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K.
Many in the crowd wore white scarves for peace and black clothing for mourning, as suggested by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, the organizer of the ceremony.
The reason for the killings remains unclear, but they were widely perceived as an effort to derail the talks between the Turkish officials and PKK imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan. The late Ms. Cansiz was his close ally.
The two women found dead with her — Fidan Dogan, who would have turned 31 on Thursday, and Leyla Soylemez, 24 — were Kurdish activists. All three were found dead at Kurdistan Information Office in Paris last Thursday, shot by one or more gunmen with silenced pistols.
Photo credit: Many in the crowd during the funeral ceremony in Diyarbakir wore white scarves for peace and black clothing for mourning. (European Pressphoto Agency/New York Times)