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France 24
France 24

Ankara summons French envoy over 'propaganda' after attack on Paris Kurds

A protester has a Kurdish workers party (PKK) flag on his shoulders during clashes following a demonstration of supporters and members of the Kurdish community, a day after a gunman opened fire at a Kurdish cultural centre killing three people, at The Place de la Republique in Paris on December 24, 2022. © Julie de Rosa, AFP

Turkey on Monday summoned France's ambassador over "anti-Turkey propaganda" that it alleged French officials did little to stop following the killing of three Kurds in Paris.

Friday's shooting was followed by days of protests by Kurdish groups and their supporters in the French capital.

Some of the protesters waved flags of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) – designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and its Western allies. 

Others held banners with slogans accusing Turkey of being a killer state and connected to the shooting.

A Turkish diplomatic source said the French ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry for allegedly failing to stop the "black propaganda" promoted by the PKK.

Protesters stand behind flames during clashes following a demonstration of members of the Kurdish community, a day after a gunman opened fire at a Kurdish cultural centre killing three people, at Place de la République in Paris on December 24, 2022. © Julien De Rosa, AFP

"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 said.

The source alleged that the PKK's false allegations were used "by French government officials and some politicians" against Ankara.

Strained relations

"We expect France to act prudently in the face of the aforementioned incident," the source said.

Turkey's relations with France have been stained by their opposing stances on the conflict in Syria and a range of other regional disputes.

The protests broke out after a 69-year-old white French man opened fire at a Kurdish cultural centre in Paris.

Demonstrators hold portraits of victims of the Enghien Street shooting in Paris on December 23, 2022, and those of La Fayette street murders in 2013, as they take part in a march to pay tribute to them and in solidarity with the Kurdish community in Paris on December 26, 2022 © Julien de Rosa, AFP

The suspect has confessed to a "pathological" hatred for foreigners.

The shooting at a Kurdish cultural centre and a nearby hairdressing salon on Friday sparked panic in the city's bustling 10th district, home to numerous shops and restaurants and a large Kurdish population.

The violence has revived the trauma of three unresolved murders of Kurds in 2013 that many blame on Turkey.

On Monday several hundred people marched in the 10th district, chanting "Our martyrs do not die" in Kurdish and demanding "truth and justice".

"We decided to come as soon as we heard about Friday's terrorist attack," one young woman told AFP,  declining to give her name for fear of reprisals.

"We are afraid of the Turkish community and secret services."

The PKK has been waging a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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