Honour killing story

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Cavus Ünlü
Born: 1960
Killed: December 15, 1986
Residence: Munich
Origin: Turkey
Children: probably none
Perpetrators: Osman Ü. (37 years old at the time of the crime), Turan Ü. (30 years old), Senol Ü. (29 years old), cousins
In December 1986, two brothers killed a 26-year-old Turkish construction worker/polisher in the apartment of one of them in Munich. They hit him on the head with an iron bar, put a plastic bag over it and strangled him. A younger brother discharges the corpse into the forest of Deisenhofen. A hunter discovers the body covered in blood in a car. The murder weapon is a tool with sharp edges. Suspicion soon falls on the extended family. But the police can't prove anything against anyone.

In May 2009 - almost 23 years after the murder - the police manage to convict the perpetrators thanks to a new analysis of DNA traces. The investigations reveal: Cavus was married, possibly under duress. In any case, it was an imported bride from Yozgat in central Anatolia. But he lives with another woman. His wife Melahat commits suicide (presumably because of this) in 1986. His two cousins then kill 26-year-old Cavus.

When the police issue the arrest warrant for the eldest (Osman, a bricklayer who is now 59 years old), he is already in prison for pimping. On the same day, cleaner Turan is also arrested, and in June 2009 Senol, who is now on early retirement. He too was already in prison for a sex offense. The three perpetrators are cousins of the deceased woman.

The trial begins in February 2010. The prosecution explicitly speaks of an honor killing. The motive was to restore family honor. For this, the Munich Regional Court sentences all three to life imprisonment in April 2010.

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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