DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — Tens of thousands gathered Thursday for the funeral ceremony of three Kurdish activists who were shot dead in Paris in an attack many believe was an attempt to derail peace talks. Kurdish legislators, meanwhile, vowed to support peace efforts to end the decades-long conflict between Turkey and autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels.
The three female activists, including Sakine Cansiz, a founding member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, were slain last week at a time when Turkey is engaged in talks with the rebels’ jailed leader, Abdullah Ocalan, to persuade his group to disarm.
Up to 50,000 mourners assembled behind the victims’ coffins draped in PKK’s flags in city of Diyarbakir for a funeral ceremony. The chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, Selahattin Demirtas, told the crowd that the killings would not deter Kurds from seeking peace.