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Ocalan a No-Show at Funeral For PKK Activists

The funeral of the three murdered PKK activists in Diyarbakir proceeded without incident, and without posters of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, writes Kadri Gursel.
Thousands attend the funeral ceremony of the three Kurdish activists shot in Paris, in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, January 17, 2013. The bodies of the activists, including that of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) co-founder Sakine Cansiz, arrived by plane on Wednesday evening in Diyarbakir. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS OBITUARY CIVIL UNREST)
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A massive funeral ceremony was held on Thursday in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, which has the largest Kurdish majority in the country for three PKK activists gunned down at the Kurdistan Information Center in Paris. They were buried in their hometowns the next day.

Tens of thousands of people participated in the Diyarbakir event. Independent observers estimated the crowd at least 50,000. Before the gathering there were strong fears of possible provocations that could set off  bloody confrontations between the security forces and demonstrators. Anxiety was more pronounced than ever before because the funeral observance coincided with talks at Imrali Prison between the Ankara government and the PKK’s founding leader, who is serving a life sentence aimed at getting the PKK to give up arms. Practically all observers in Turkey agree that the objective of the Paris murders was to torpedo the Imrali talks.

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