Turkey investigates honour killings

For the first time a government study looks at the killers rather than the victims.

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    Sighemeh's daughter was killed by her son when she became pregnant outside of marriage

    Disgrace

    Kader fell pregnant when she was unmarried. The men in her family said she was a disgrace, so Ahmet killed his sister. He went to prison for two years and is now free.

    Sighemeh says: "God has given us such pain. He shouldn't give it to anyone else. I will never forget it until I die. When I see a young girl on the street, I think my daughter would have been that age now."

    Ahmed stabbed Kader and left her body on the street. Some passersby took her to hospital, but it was too late and she died shortly afterwards.

    Women carried the coffin
    at Kader's funeral

    At Kader's funeral the women of the town carried the coffin and comforted Sighemeh. But the family stayed away. Kader had brought dishonour to their name and to them honour mattered more than the love that should hold families together.

    'This is tradition'

    I went to meet Haji Ekin, a village chief in rural south-eastern Turkey.

    Ekin says: "When we are certain a family's honour has been violated, then whatever is appropriate must be done. Either the man leaves the region in disgrace or he takes care of the matter."

    One of Kader's relatives is being beaten by her husband. She has come to a shelter for support but is too afraid to show her face.

    She said: "Women are not free. If they make a mistake they are warned and then they are hit. This is tradition."

    Sighemeh tries to find consolation at Kader's grave. If there is any consolation it is this - that the women of Turkey are now speaking out and a society's darkest secret is exposed.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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