Ankara expressed unease at PKK flags spotted during a march mourning the shooting deaths of three Kurds in Paris
Turkey summoned France’s ambassador over what it called “black propaganda” by Kurdish activists during a march to mourn three people killed in a shooting at a Kurdish cultural centre in Paris.
French Ambassador Herve Magro was summoned on Monday so Ankara could relay unease after some marched in Paris with flags of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or suggested that Turkey was linked to the shooting, the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Turkey “expects France to act prudently over the incident and not to allow the [banned PKK] terrorist organisation to advance its sneaky agenda,” Anadolu reported.
On Saturday, members of France’s Kurdish community and anti-racism activists joined together in Paris in a demonstration of mourning and anger a day after a Kurdish neighbourhood was targeted by a gunman who has admitted racist motivations.
While the gathering was largely peaceful, with marchers holding portraits of the victims, some youths threw objects and set light to cars, and police shot tear gas to disperse the crowd.
People carrying the flag of the PKK – outlawed in Turkey but not in the European Union – were seen during the demonstration. The PKK has waged a four-decade armed campaign against the Turkish state, seeking autonomy for Kurdish areas of southeastern Turkey.
“We expressed our dissatisfaction with the black propaganda launched by PKK circles against our country and with the fact that the French government and some politicians are used as a tool in this propaganda,” the source told the AFP news agency.
The 69-year-old French man suspected of the attack, reportedly a gun enthusiast with a history of weapons offences who had been released on bail earlier this month, told investigators he did not know his victims and described all “non-European foreigners” as his enemies.