Honour killing story

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Büsra Özkan
born 1994
stabbed: 24 June 2009
Residence: Schweinfurt (Bavaria)
Origin: Turkey
Children: none, she was only 15 years old
Perpetrator: her father Mehmet, operator of a kebab store (45 years old at the time of the crime), in Germany for 20 years
In the night of June 24, 2009, Mehmet Ö. stabbed his 15-year-old sleeping daughter Büsra. The family has two other (younger) children and has never attracted attention until now. The father, they say, is strictly religious.

The grandparents call the emergency doctor. But the girl is bleeding to death. Several dozen stitches are counted.

The father is arrested after a brief escape and confesses to the crime. As a motive, he gives his daughter's totally different view of life and the Western lifestyle. She did not want to "go the way of the Muslims". Presumably, the high school student is a teenager who wants to live a normal life.

Busra's mother works as a surgical nurse. She earns more than her husband and speaks German, unlike him. Despite this, Mehmet forces Büsra and her mother to wear a headscarf.

In court, Mehmet suddenly claims that on the night of the murder he wanted to chase away a burglar. Later he states that his daughter was walking hand in hand with a boy of Turkish origin. In March 2010, he was sentenced to life in prison. Despite the 68 knife stabs on a sleeping girl, no particular severity of guilt is established. The judge says in her verdict that this was not a classic honor killing. The father only wanted to control his daughter. But that is precisely what a classic honor killing is: the man wants total control over the female members of the family, especially over their sexuality.

In September 2010, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe rejected the appeal and upheld the verdict.

What is an honour killing?

An honour killing is a murder in the name of honour. If a brother murders his sister to restore family honour, it is an honour killing. According to activists, the most common reasons for honour killings are as the victim:

Questions about honour killings

  • refuses to cooperate in an arranged marriage.

  • wants to end the relationship.

  • was the victim of rape or sexual assault.

  • was accused of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage.

Human rights activists believe that 100,000 honour killings are carried out every year, most of which are not reported to the authorities and some are even deliberately covered up by the authorities themselves, for example because the perpetrators are good friends with local policemen, officials or politicians. Violence against girls and women remains a serious problem in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Serbia and Turkey.

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