Turkey says France must solve Kurdish killings

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A woman hold pictures of three murdered female Kurdish activists during a demonstration of Kurdish organizations in Hamburg, northern Germany, Jan. 11, 2013. The demonstration took place because of the shooting of three female Kurdish activists in Paris, Jan. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/dpa, Axel Heimken)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's prime minister on Saturday called on France to shed light on the slaying of three Kurdish activists in Paris and said French President Francois Hollande should explain why he met with militants wanted by Turkey.

The three activists, including the founding member of the autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebel group, were found shot dead on Thursday, at a time when their jailed leader is holding peace talks with Turkey.

The killings stunned the Kurdish community in Europe. Kurdish activists have accused Turkey of the slayings, while Turkish officials suggested the killings may be part of an internal feud or an attempt to derail the peace talks.

The slayings also puts France in a difficult position as it tries to improve ties with Turkey. Turkey and its U.S. and European allies have labeled the group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a terrorist organization. But Turkey frequently accuses France and other European nations of not cooperating in its struggle against the rebel group and of failing to extradite wanted militants.

"How can one regularly meet with someone that is a member of an organization that has been declared a terror organization by the European Union and is wanted by a warrant?" Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

It was in response to comments by Hollande who said he and several other politicians knew one of the women professionally. He did not say which one.

France must "immediately shed light (on the crime), immediately find the culprits and leave no question marks," Erdogan said.