Early today, three Kurdish activists; Fidan Dogan, Sakine Cansiz and Leyla Soeylemez, were found shot to death in Paris…

… Three Kurdish activists were shot dead in what authorities called an “execution” in central Paris, prompting speculation that the long-running conflict between insurgents from the minority group and Turkey was playing out on French shores.

The slayings came as Turkey was holding peace talks with the Kurdistan Workers Party, which seeks self-rule for Kurds in the country’s southeast, to try to persuade it to disarm.

The conflict between the group, known as the PKK, and the Turkish government has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1984.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a news conference in Senegal on Thursday that his country was determined to press ahead with the talks despite the events in Paris, which he suggested could be the result of internal strife or an act to sabotage the talks.

The PKK does have a history of internal killings. But many Kurdish activists and militants were also victims of extra-judicial killings blamed on Turkish government forces in the 1990s.

Initial reports were contradictory but pointed to a grisly crime scene. One Kurdish organisation said the door of the building where the women were found just after midnight was smeared with blood, that two of the women were shot in the neck and one in the stomach and that the killer used a silencer. French radio reported that all three were shot in the head.

The killings set off a round of accusations, with each side accusing the other of being behind the deaths. Police tried to contain hundreds of Kurds who flocked to the building in eastern Paris where the bodies were found Thursday, many blaming Turkey and calling the deaths a “political assassination.”

Now, who really is the culprit…? From the Voice of Russia…

Who was behind PKK assassination in Paris?

…Recently the Turkish Government began peace talks with imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is being held by the Turkish authorities on the prison island of Imrali located off the coast from Istanbul.

On Wednesday there were reports in the Turkish media that an agreement had been reached on a plan to end the conflict which has raged on since 1984 and has claimed over 40,000 lives.

There are many on all sides to the conflict that are against any kind of a peace settlement. These include Turkish elements who do not want to see the Kurds receive any kind of recognition or autonomy and among radical elements of the PKK itself who do not want to see any concessions made to Ankara and who believe that any kind of a peace plan will include giving up certain demands…

…It is important to recall that Turkey recently authorized military incursions into Iran, supposedly for operations where the Turkish Regular Army is in hot pursuit of PKK militants.

With military build ups by NATO and the US in the region and the constant search for a pretext to invade Iran and Syria, there are many of those actors who would also see any kind of peace as detrimental to planned provocations and optional scenarios which will allow for an invasion of either Iran or Syria.

According to Reuters Remzi Kartal, a Kurdistan National Congress leader, said: “This is a political crime, there is no doubt about it. Ocalan and the Turkish government have started a peace process, they want to engage in dialogue, but there are parties that are against resolving the Kurdish question and want to sabotage the peace process.”

Here’s a great question asked by Hurriyet’s Yusuf Kanli…

A Kurdish state?

Irrespective of who says what, the creation of a Kurdish state – unless established by Turkey – will lead to a regional fire, the consequences of which cannot be fathomed. The creation of a Kurdish state will pose a serious threat to Turkey’s territorial integrity sooner or later. Thus, like other countries with an ethnic Kurdish population, it is not in the best interest of Turkey to support Kurdish statehood aspirations. This being said, I must underline as well that history evolves without obtaining the consent of countries or leaders.

As David Hirst wrote for the headline in a Jan. 9 story in The Guardian, “This could be the birth of an independent Kurdish state.” Later, he wrote: “The great losers in the breakup of the Ottoman empire could be winners in the wake of Syria’s civil war and the Arab spring.” It was indeed a very interesting article which was built on an article written by the editor of Iraq’s al-Sabah newspaper suggesting that it was time to settle the “age-old problem” between Iraq’s Arabs and Kurds by establishing a “Kurdish state.”…

…Would Kurds then, depending on developments in Syria, emerge as the real victors of the “Arab Spring” and crown their victory with an independent state? Could the losers of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire now emerge as the winners in the wake of Syrian dissolution? Would Turkey prefer the emergence of an oil-rich neighbor dependent on Ankara as regards its security to the continuation of shaky and troublesome ties with al-Maliki’s Iraq?

Indeed, according to rumors abundant in the Turkish capital, Turkey has already provided assurances to Barzani that should northern Iraq come under the aggression of Baghdad, he may be rest assured that Turkey would be there to protect their “Kurdish brothers.” With Turkey’s initiative to solve its Kurdish problem sailing in very difficult waters (Three Kurdish women “shot dead” in Paris, one reportedly a founding member of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) gang, as well as the latest PKK attack on a military outpost in the southeast), it might be problematic to defend “Kurdish brothers,” but still…

Would Turkey really support the creation of an independent Kurdish state? Why should it if a huge portion of Turkey’s territory and people would aspire to join in that new state? Or, are the game-makers planning to enhance Turkey with the addition of the Ottoman Mosul province?

Here’s another excellent question…

Why Is Israel Watching the PKK?

No country in the world watches the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as closely as Israel. Its electronic eyes monitor terrorist camps around the clock; it listens to and records their communications. Israeli satellites are constantly overhead, and there are unidentified unmanned aerial vehicles that occasionally appear and disappear.

Israel has turned the PKK camps into reality TV shows. Not just for important exercises: Israel watches everything live, from their folk dances to the food they eat and of course their moves toward Turkey — not to mention the human intelligence coming from inside sources.

Why do you think Israel is so interested in the PKK? Why is this organization so important to Israel?

After Israel, the country that shows the second most interest in the PKK is the US. The capacity of the US to monitor the PKK is much higher than Israel, but these days their interest is not as intense. But whenever the Americans want, they can cut into PKK lines and watch who is doing what. Moreover, the US has weapons that could penetrate the PKK’s caves and destroy them, but they don’t want to give them to Turkey.

The Arab Spring brought more local actors to the Kurdish issue. A new, anti-Turkish bloc centered around Iran has emerged because of Ankara’s position on Syria. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq, the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon are founding members of this bloc. On a global level, their partners are Russia and China.

For several reasons, Iran finds it difficult to adopt a directly confrontational stance against Turkey. In indirect challenges, the cheapest method is to use terror. This is why Iran, Iraq and Syria have become a free zone for the PKK. The Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD), as a part of the anti-Turkey bloc, is trying to put pressure on Ankara via Maliki and the PKK. Turkey’s moves with Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani and Northern Iraq are a way of responding to the bloc…

Cui Bono…?

*gah*