Catch21 - Our Charity ArmCatch21 is a charitable production company set up in 2005 which trains young people to make videos and engage with their communities.Catch Creative - Our Video Production ArmCatch Creative offers a complete video production service, from Conception to Distribution.Catch EngagementCatch Engagement is the new video interaction platform from Catch21 which allows you to run a campaign using both user generated films as well as professionally shot ones which are displayed via Video 'Walls'. Catch Engagement is all about using films to build an online community - welcome to the future of video.

We shoot cutting edge videos and provide a forum to give people a voice.
Engagement. Discussion. Empowerment.


All content featured on our charity site is produced by young volunteers with the support and mentoring of our professional production team.

International no image

Published on January 14th, 2013 | by Usman Butt
Image © [caption id="attachment_11605" align="alignnone" width="566"] © (AP Photo), Kurds protest over the killings in France[/caption]   Three Kurdish PKK activists were shot dead at the Kurdish information centre in Paris. The bodies of three women were discovered in the early hours of Thursday morning on the 10 January. Amongst the dead is Sakine Cansiz, who was one of the founding members of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). When French police attempted to remove the bodies, a large crowd of Kurds gathered outside the Kurdish Information centre and shouted “We blame Turkey”. French authorities described the deaths as ‘execution style’ as each victim had been shot in the head, the French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said the ‘assassinations’ were intolerable.  The PKK is a left-wing Kurdish nationalist group, who has been engaged in a conflict with the Turkish government since 1984. The PKK are outlawed in Turkey and membership of the group carries a prison sentence.  An estimated  40,000 people have died in the fighting between the PKK and the Turkish military. The fighting is concentrated in South-Eastern Turkey, which has a large Kurdish population. Over time thousands of Kurds have left the region, as their towns and villages were destroyed. The PKK use guerrilla warfare against the Turkish army, and have been known to set-off bombs in Istanbul.  According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, there are over 22 million Kurds in Turkey, representing 30% of Turkey’s total population. The PKK has wanted to create an independent homeland for the Kurds of Turkey, however this has led the Turkish state to enact a series of repressive measures against the Kurds. The repressive measures caused resentment amongst the Kurds and sympathy for the PKK who have also, received foreign backing. The Assad regime in Syria, hosted PKK training camps in north-eastern Syria along the Turkish border in the 1990’s. The PKK leader Ocalan lived in Damascus up until 1998, which nearly caused Turkey to go to war with Syria. The PKK are Turkey focused and had little to no involvement with the Syrian Kurds. Today, the PKK denies receiving support from the Syrian regime, however the PKK is against the Syrian opposition, which has caused resentment amongst some Syrian Kurds. Turkey’s main concern in the Syrian crisis is that the PKK could gain a stronger foothold in Syria. Some Kurdish activists have blamed Turkey for the Paris murders, others have blamed segments within the Turkish government who are unhappy about the ‘peace-talks’ and want to derail it. The Turkish government denies both charges and Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) has launched an investigation into the killings. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the murders were a PKK inside job, by people who were unhappy with the talks. He has urged the peace talks to continue, prior to the murders it was believed that an agreement between the PKK and the Turkish government was close. The leader of the PKK Abdullah Ocalan has been in prison since 1999, but has been engaged in talks with the Turkish government over the last few weeks. It is believed that Sakine Cansiz helped engineer the talks as Ocalan has been in relative isolation and unable to co-ordinate PKK activities. The Turkish media had framed the talks as being about ‘disarmament’ of PKK weapons, whilst Kurdish sources have emphasised Ocalan’s demands of prisoner releases. In 2002, the AK party led by Abdullah Gul took power in Turkey, the AK party sought to build new bridges with the Turkish Kurds. The Kurds are an important base for the ruling AK party, as they helped the AKP win three elections. AKP gave more rights to the Kurdish population including legalizing Kurdish groups and parties, and legalizing the Kurdish language in schools and other institutions. However, this honeymoon between the Kurds and the Turkish state came to an end in 2011, when Kurdish groups frustrated at the lack of progress staged an uprising and uprising which led to military confrontation between the PKK and the Turkish state. The Syria crisis and the Kurdish uprising were reasons why the Turkish government needed to talk to the PKK and there was ‘optimism’ that these talks would lead to a cessation of hostility. However, the murders in Paris have threatened to derail the process as each side point the finger at one another.

0

Conspiracy and Murder in Paris- The PKK and Turkey at a Crossroads?

© (AP Photo), Kurds protest over the killings in France

 

Three Kurdish PKK activists were shot dead at the Kurdish information centre in Paris. The bodies of three women were discovered in the early hours of Thursday morning on the 10 January. Amongst the dead is Sakine Cansiz, who was one of the founding members of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). When French police attempted to remove the bodies, a large crowd of Kurds gathered outside the Kurdish Information centre and shouted “We blame Turkey”. French authorities described the deaths as ‘execution style’ as each victim had been shot in the head, the French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said the ‘assassinations’ were intolerable. 

The PKK is a left-wing Kurdish nationalist group, who has been engaged in a conflict with the Turkish government since 1984. The PKK are outlawed in Turkey and membership of the group carries a prison sentence.  An estimated  40,000 people have died in the fighting between the PKK and the Turkish military. The fighting is concentrated in South-Eastern Turkey, which has a large Kurdish population. Over time thousands of Kurds have left the region, as their towns and villages were destroyed. The PKK use guerrilla warfare against the Turkish army, and have been known to set-off bombs in Istanbul.  According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, there are over 22 million Kurds in Turkey, representing 30% of Turkey’s total population. The PKK has wanted to create an independent homeland for the Kurds of Turkey, however this has led the Turkish state to enact a series of repressive measures against the Kurds.

The repressive measures caused resentment amongst the Kurds and sympathy for the PKK who have also, received foreign backing. The Assad regime in Syria, hosted PKK training camps in north-eastern Syria along the Turkish border in the 1990’s. The PKK leader Ocalan lived in Damascus up until 1998, which nearly caused Turkey to go to war with Syria. The PKK are Turkey focused and had little to no involvement with the Syrian Kurds. Today, the PKK denies receiving support from the Syrian regime, however the PKK is against the Syrian opposition, which has caused resentment amongst some Syrian Kurds. Turkey’s main concern in the Syrian crisis is that the PKK could gain a stronger foothold in Syria.

Some Kurdish activists have blamed Turkey for the Paris murders, others have blamed segments within the Turkish government who are unhappy about the ‘peace-talks’ and want to derail it. The Turkish government denies both charges and Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) has launched an investigation into the killings. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the murders were a PKK inside job, by people who were unhappy with the talks. He has urged the peace talks to continue, prior to the murders it was believed that an agreement between the PKK and the Turkish government was close. The leader of the PKK Abdullah Ocalan has been in prison since 1999, but has been engaged in talks with the Turkish government over the last few weeks. It is believed that Sakine Cansiz helped engineer the talks as Ocalan has been in relative isolation and unable to co-ordinate PKK activities. The Turkish media had framed the talks as being about ‘disarmament’ of PKK weapons, whilst Kurdish sources have emphasised Ocalan’s demands of prisoner releases.

In 2002, the AK party led by Abdullah Gul took power in Turkey, the AK party sought to build new bridges with the Turkish Kurds. The Kurds are an important base for the ruling AK party, as they helped the AKP win three elections. AKP gave more rights to the Kurdish population including legalizing Kurdish groups and parties, and legalizing the Kurdish language in schools and other institutions. However, this honeymoon between the Kurds and the Turkish state came to an end in 2011, when Kurdish groups frustrated at the lack of progress staged an uprising and uprising which led to military confrontation between the PKK and the Turkish state. The Syria crisis and the Kurdish uprising were reasons why the Turkish government needed to talk to the PKK and there was ‘optimism’ that these talks would lead to a cessation of hostility. However, the murders in Paris have threatened to derail the process as each side point the finger at one another.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

Usman Butt

Usman graduated in 2012 with an MA in Palestine Studies from the University Of Exeter. Before that he read Arabic Language and International Relations at the University of Westminster. Amongst his proudest achievements include winning a muffin for public speaking, winning a Lego set at age 5 and helping Palestinian refugees learn English. Usually writes about genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, Israel/Palestinian politics, Iranian/Syrian/Lebanese politics, the Arab Spring, philosophy, religion, British politics, Foreign Policy, history and social issues. He enjoys writing as he sees it as an outlet to express his opinions about the public discourse on these issues. He believes writing is a good way of keeping productive and teaching yourself new things.



Back to Top ↑