TUNCELI – PKK founder Sakine Cansiz has been buried in the eastern Turkish city of Tunceli. At least five thousand people from Turkey and Europe attended the ceremony, along with members of her family who live in Rotterdam.
The ceremony was Alevi, an Islamic path that is important in the province. An Alevi leader called on Alevi organisations to support early peace talks. Recently, the Turkish government has been talking to Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the PKK.
Kurdish politician Aysel Tugluk called for peace in a long, emotional speech. Others recalled other ‘fighters’ who had their origins in Tunceli province. Tunceli was called Dersim until the nineteen thirties, and was renamed as part of a campaign to forcibly ‘Turkify’ the province. The massacre in 1937 and 1938, in which the army brutally suppressed an uprising, still regularly causes controversies in Turkish politics.
The coffin containing Sakine Cansiz’ body was carried to the graveyard by women, among them Aysel Tugluk.