Doubts emerged today about the background and motives of a man accused of the murder of three Kurdish separatists in Paris two weeks ago.
French police believe that the murder could have been provoked by internal rivalries within the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is fighting for a separate Kurdish state in south eastern Turkey.
But the uncle of the suspect and Kurdish leaders said today that Omer Guney, 31, was not a Kurd and had no direct connection with the PKK. Kurdish separatists claimed that Mr Guney, who was acting as driver for one of the dead women, might have been a mole working for an extreme Turkish nationalist group.
Mr Guney’s uncle, Zekai Guney, said: “Neither he, nor any of us, have the slightest sympathy for (the PKK)… My nephew is sick, He has a tumour on the brain. He can’t remember what he is doing from one hour to the next,” he told the Turkish language version of CNN.
Turkish community leaders in the Paris said that Mr Guney had joined one of their associations over a year ago. They said that he was ethnically Turkish, not Kurdish, and had no connection with the PKK.
Mr Guney was formally accused on Monday of “murder in association with a terrorist organisation”. French investigators say that he may not have been the only person involved but there is “no shadow of doubt” that he was involved.