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January 23, 2013, Wednesday

Paris killings get even more complicated

After French prosecutors on Monday announced that Ömer Güney of Turkey is their prime suspect in the murder of three Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants in Paris earlier this month, scenarios and debates over the Paris killings once again flared up.

The fact that the murders came at a time when the Turkish government has launched peace talks with the terrorist group to end the country's terrorism problem suggests that the murders could be an attempt at sabotage. However, the true aim of the murders will be revealed once the French police complete their investigation, columnists agree.

The peace process is like dancing on ice, Cengiz Çandar from Radikal writes. And the Paris killings signaled that the ice might be broken much sooner than we thought. Senior PKK leader Murat Karayılan made a statement right after Güney was declared to be the prime suspect, saying: “A prosecutor said that Güney has been a PKK member for two years. First of all, this is a wrong statement in and of itself. No one can become a PKK member that easily. It is not how it works in the European wing of the PKK either. This is an incorrect statement. We know of no such person [Güney]. Neither does our administration in Europe. Also, it is impossible for a person who has not received any military education to commit such a professional murder. Therefore, either he is well-trained or there were some other professionals helping out with the murders. For this reason, all aspects of the incident should be revealed and it should be probed thoroughly.” Çandar says this makes sense. As a matter of fact, the columnist says he ruled out two possibilities when he first heard about the murders. It cannot be the work of the deep state and it cannot be the result of an internal feud. We should ponder a third possible scenario, he thinks.

Ahmet Taşgetiren from Bugün, on the other hand, thinks the PKK activities in Europe must certainly be under the control of intelligence agencies there. Some prominent French newspapers also claim that the PKK and French intelligence agencies were in cooperation and that the agencies were using PKK terrorists as spies, and that they would meet once a month. Güney might be one of the collaborators, Taşgetiren thinks. Whatever the case, it is certain that the incident has become incredibly complicated now.

However, Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila argues that what the PKK or pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) say about the perpetrators of the murders should not be considered important. At first, the PKK and the BDP said the murders were the work of the deep state and then, when Güney was detained after a string of evidence was revealed, both groups still denied that the murders were carried out by the PKK and claimed Güney might be a spy who had infiltrated the PKK. All this shows that regardless of whatever conclusion the police will reach, the PKK and the BDP will keep rejecting that the murders were the result of an internal feud anyway.

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