03. Leyla Şaylemez

Leyla, who turned 24 a few days before 9 January 2013, was born on 1 January 1989 in Mersin. Leyla, the third child in a family of seven, comes from the Lice district of Diyarbakır, Southern Turkey. Leyla’s family left their village due to state pressure and had to settle in Mersin like thousands of Kurdish families. Later, because of the persecution by the Turkish state her family fled to Germany in the 1990s and lived in Halle. Leylas life in exile, which began at the age of 8, spends the first part of her childhood in Mersin and later in Europe.
She was organising young women in different cities of Europe. Latest she was a representative of the young Kurdish women’s movement in France.
Like Sakine Cansiz and Fidan Dogan, with whom she was murdered together, Leyla dedicated her life for the liberation struggle of the Kurdish people.

Paris, Rue Lafayette 147, France


On January 9 2013, Kurdish activists Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Saylemez were executed with a bullet to the head in the premises of the Kurdistan Information Center at 147 Rue La Fayette in Paris. The investigation in France revealed numerous indications that the suspected murderer Ömer Güney, who was arrested a few days after the crime, had acted on behalf of the Turkish secret service (MIT), as the prosecution’s indictment confirms: “Many elements of the trial suggest that MIT is involved in the arrangement and preparation of the murders“.
Although Ömer Güney has been identified by the French authorities as the person, who was used to pull the trigger, it is evident that no initiatives or efforts have been made by the French authorities in charge to adequately illuminate the background of this political murder case. The murderer, Ömer Güney, was declared to have “died in prison”. With this, the French authorities tried to cover up a high-level political assassination. However, for a meaningful sense of justice, it does not suffice to merely reveal the assassin of the massacre; likewise, the forces that planned and decided on the implementation of this crime must be exposed.

Current legal situation
The death of Ömer Güney on December 17, 2016, one month before the start of his planned trial in Paris on January 23, 2017, deprives us of the possibility of a public trial that would have made it possible to convict not only the perpetrator, but also and above all the people behind it, the Turkish state.Important questions haven’t been answered: Why was the trial set so late, even though the investigation had already been completed in May 2015 and Güney’s serious health problems were already known since his arrest? By delaying the trial, France has missed the crucial opportunity to finally solve a political crime on its territory.

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