Kurds killed in Paris: a ceremony under the sign of justice

REPORT. Several thousand people gathered on Tuesday to pay tribute to the victims of the rue d’Enghien, killed in a racist shooting.

By Alice Pairo-Vasseur

Members of the Kurdish community gathered this Tuesday, January 3 to pay their last respects to the victims of the rue d'Enghien for a two-hour ceremony.
Members of the Kurdish community gathered this Tuesday, January 3 to pay their last respects to the victims of the rue d’Enghien for a two-hour ceremony.
© Alice Pairo

Lhe crowd is compact, walled in silence and the flags of the PKK (Workers’ Party of Kurdistan) raised towards the sky. “Şehîd Namirin” (“Martyrs are immortal!”) thunders a member of the gathering, echoed with one voice by all of his peers. The arrival of the coffins girded with Kurdish colors, under a guard of honour, arouses visible emotion. Gathered this Tuesday, January 3, in Villiers-le-Bel (Val-d’Oise), several thousand members of the Kurdish community gathered to pay tribute to the three victims of the rue d’Enghien, killed in an attack on December 23in Paris.

A solemn “last farewell” addressed – before the repatriation of their bodies overnight – to Emine Kara, leader of the Kurdish Women’s Movement in France (better known as Evîn Goyî’s war) and heroine of the Kurdish cause, Miran Perwer, singer who fled Turkey where he was being prosecuted for his political activities and Abdulrahman Kizil, Kurdish citizen .

“Val-d’Oise had the double advantage of being far enough from Paris (clashes having erupted there on the sidelines of the demonstration organized the day after the attack, editor’s note) and of being able to bring together our community (about 20,000 Kurds resident in Villiers-le-Bel)”, confided first to the Point Agit Pola, spokesperson for the CDK-F (Kurdish Democratic Council of France) at the origin of this ceremony, organized in a large reception room at 95.

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Because “this event, he adds, soberly, is dedicated to meditation…” A pious wish while the theory of an isolated racist act, unrelated to Turkey – no element of the investigation allowing for the time to involve him – remains inaudible to the Kurdish community. “The whole world must know what each of our martyrs meant for our freedom! We are only asking for one thing: justice”, expressed, very early on, Zubede Zumrut, Kurdish activist and journalist.

Turkey’s Shadow

“Our enemy is a savage enemy who primarily targets Kurdish women, the nightmare of his system…”, adds, bluntly, the media figure, in reference to Evîn Goyî. A powerful preamble, setting the tone for a highly political ceremony. And over which will hover, from start to finish, the shadow of Turkey. “They can attack us, assassinate us. We are in pain, we are in pain, but we will not lower our eyes or kneel down”, will express, in other words, the niece of the victim.

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“We were struck in the heart, while the commemorations of the tenth anniversary of the January 2013 attack were being prepared (a first triple assassination of members of the Kurdish community, in Paris)…”, recalls Besime Gonja, representative of the Kurdish women’s movement in Europe, who sees in this calendar – like many speakers – the sign of a planned attack.

In the crowd too, anger and pain are intertwined. “We were targeted,” says Umit, 27, posted in front of the giant screens outside and broadcasting the event. He came from Gonesse, a neighboring town, “for the families of the victims and the entire Kurdish community”. And to insist coldly: “We want France to shed light on what happened. »

A ceremony of almost two hours – between revolutionary poems, calls for justice and vibrant tributes. And a shocking epilogue. It is the voice of the late Evîn Goyî which, this time, resounds in the room and its surroundings. We hear the figure of the Kurdish cause, recorded during a tribute paid, in the past, to his peers. In her native language, she concludes with these words: “The martyrs are the light that guides our steps…”

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Kurds killed in Paris: a ceremony under the sign of justice