Sakine, Fidan, Leyla worked for freedom and peace in Kurdistan


Sakine Cansız, a co-founder of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and one of the three Kurdish activists murdered in Paris last night, was born in the province of Dersim in 1957. Having been active in the student youth movement in Elazığ for long years, Cansız joined the Kurdish revolutionary movement in 1976. Cansız, a leading figure in the struggle against fascist circles in Elazığ, was mainly active in the neighborhoods of Fevzi Çakmak and Yıldızbağları. By joining political works in and around Dersim in 1978, Cansız became fully involved in the revolutionary movement after that time. After attending the PKK Congress on 27 November 1978, Cansız was arrested in Elazığ and sent to prison together with a group of friends. She was subjected to heavy torture in the period of the 12 September military coup in 1980. She was released in 1991. Soon after her release, she continued to take an active part in revolutionary activities in West and South Kurdistan. After many years of struggle on Kurdistan mountains, Cansız went to Europe where she started to lead the Kurdish women’s organization. She was one of the inspiring and prominent women who made great contributions to the association and organization of Kurds in diaspora.


Doğan, one of the two other Kurdish women killed in Paris last night, was born in the district of Elbistan (Maraş) on 17 January 1982. As a daughter of an immigrant family in Europe, she grew up in France. Doğan, who took a strong interest in Kurdistan Freedom Struggle since her childhood, started to take an active part in revolutionary works in Europe as of 1999. Besides her works which mainly focused on youth and women, Doğan also took part in diplomacy activities in Europe as of 2002. She was both a member of the Kurdistan National Congress and Paris representative of the establishment.


Leyla Şaylemez, daughter of an Ezîdi family from Diyarbakır’s Lice district, was born in 1988 the southern province of Mersin. She spent her childhood here until her family moved to Germany in 90’s. She had been studying at the Department of Architecture for one year when she joined the Kurdistan Freedom Struggle. After 2006, she started to take an active part in many European cities, particularly in Berlin, Köln, Hannnover, Frankfurt and Swiss city of Basel. After spending one and a half year in Kurdistan in 2010, she returned to Paris where she had been conducting works since then.

January, 11th, 2013

World history continues to host and bear witness to the massacre of Kurdish people. Comrade Sakine Cansız, the unprecedented representative of the women’s resistance and leadership in the Kurdish Freedom Movement and the women’s struggle for freedom, and a symbol of insurgence and rebellion in the Kurdistan’s history, alongside comrades Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez, were murdered in a vicious attack in Paris. First of all, we offer our condolences to Kurdish people’s leader Honorable Abdullah Öcalan, to Kurdish Freedom Movement, the Kurdish women and the Kurdish people as a whole. As Kurdish women, we are fully conscious of the forces behind this massacre and the reasons for it. Responsibility of this assassination belongs to the approach of the government which openly states that “Both security operations and negotiations will continue.” This conspiracy has not been developed independent of the wills of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Europe and the French state. If there are claims to the contrary, the perpetrators behind this execution should promptly be exposed and held accountable to the Kurdish people.

We would like to underline that the kind of settlement that the Turkish state and the international forces are willing to impose on Kurdish people in the resolution process of Turkey’s Kurdish Question stands plain and obvious to us. The assassination against Cansiz, Doğan and Söylemez is at once an assassination against Kurdish people and Kurdish women, as well as against peace and the struggle for freedom. We, as the Kurdish Women’s Movement (The Democratic Free Women’s Movement – DOKH) make the promise that the martyrdom of comrade Sakine Cansız and her nurturing practice of resistance shall be our guide towards freedom, along with the memories of Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez that will be kept alive in our struggle. We are in endless grief, yet this grief and pain will not deter us, on the contrary, it will strengthen the will and determination that shall carry us to victory. By this account, as Kurdish women and Kurdish people, we call out that: “We have no tolerance any more!” No one may ever have the right to attack the national will and values of the Kurdish people. Kurdish people and Kurdish women, with their righteous struggle, play a crucial role in the world history of social movements. This fact should duly be recognized and respected.

We bow with respect before the memories of the comrades, Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez, and call on to condemn this assassination by transforming every venue into a site of action until the perpetrators behind the assassination are exposed. On this basis, we invite all the women across the world and the supporters of women’s struggle for freedom to condemn this vicious attack and to join us in solidarity in our sites of action.

Democratic Freewomen Movement


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