Honour killing story

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Derya Pešter
Born: 1988
shot dead: 9 March 2007
Residence: Mönchengladbach
Origin: Turkey
Children: none
Perpetrator: her father Erol, Turkish and Dutch citizen, at the time of the crime already 30 years in the West (Netherlands and Germany, respectively)
Derya was born in 1988 in Westervoort, the Netherlands. When she reaches puberty, her father forbids her to participate in swimming lessons, go to birthday parties (where boys are also invited) or enroll in dance classes at school. One day, when her father hears a rumor that she has been talking to a boy at school, he goes after her with a knife. The girl is only narrowly saved by family members.

When Derya's parents divorce in 2001 during a stay in Turkey, her father forces custody of her. So Derya's mother has to stay with her divorced husband for the time being to protect her daughter from the worst.

Later the family moves to Germany. Because of the ongoing domestic violence, the family clan decides that the father should go back to Holland and leave his family alone.

But Erol starts terrorizing his daughter Derya, her mother and her two siblings from the Netherlands. Day and night he stands in front of their flat in Mönchengladbach, ambushes them in the corridor and bombards them with phone calls for nights. When Derya comes of age, the stalking becomes extreme, so her mother applies for protection from the ongoing violence. She also wants custody of the two little ones. After hearing about this (which ends without results), on March 9, 2007, Erol shoots Derya and her mother Rukiye in front of their door.

The honor killing was accompanied by a judicial scandal: the lawyer had told the judge before the custody hearing that the father was wanted on a warrant. The judge had also told the prosecutor that. But the thought of that knowledge faded and no one paid any further attention. Barely an hour after the hearing, Rukiye and Derya were dead.

On February 14, 2008, the murderer is sentenced to life imprisonment. The particular seriousness of the guilt is established and subsequently preventive detention is ordered.

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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