Honour killing story

Gülsüm Semin
born: 1989
killed: 2 March 2009
Residence: Rees (near Krefeld)
Origin: Turkey / Courden
Children: none
Perpetrator: her triplet brother Davut, at the time of the crime already 13 years in Germany
Gülsüm is 20 years old and works at Mc Donald's. Her Kurdish family came to Germany from Turkey in 1995, initially as asylum seekers.

Gülsüm falls in love with 25-year-old materials tester Altin P. Her family opposes the relationship. The young woman is promised to a Kurd from her native village on the Syrian border. She was legally married in Istanbul in 2008. But she divorces him. She is then promised to another relative in Hanover (Mehmed, who is in Germany illegally). Her father Yussuf (age 49 or 52) and her brother Davut mistreat her, once she is taken to the hospital with a broken jaw. But she does not press charges.

In November 2008, Gülsüm becomes pregnant. Out of panic fear for her family, she aborts the child (probably in the 5th month illegally in Amsterdam on the advice of her sister). Back in Germany, she has to go to the hospital again. This is how the father comes to know the story.

Two days after the abortion, the father first lures the sister out of the house. Then Davut picks up his sister Gülsüm on the pretext that they want to look for her stolen bicycle together. He drives her up a dirt road, strangles her and smashes her face with five branches. Gülsüm dies from many blows. Davut takes her handbag, probably to fake a robbery-homicide.

In late March, police arrested a 32-year-old accomplice. Miro, a Russian, had met the Semin family men at the asylum center where he himself was awaiting deportation. At first he had provided Davut with an alibi: they had been together in an arcade. But the police found a jacket on Miro, the button of which was found next to the body.

Shortly thereafter, brother and father are arrested. The brother confesses and gives family honor as the motive. The father denies having any knowledge of the crime.

But during his interrogation, a new suspicion emerges: Gülsüm's mother had died after moving to Germany. It is possible that she was also a victim of a family crime.

Later it becomes known that Gülsüm's triplet brother has reported to the social welfare office. He and his father both receive public assistance. For Gülsüm's funeral in Turkey, the murderer applies for the usual amount of 1600 euros in the city of Rees.

The newspaper Bild calculates that the Semin family received more than 300,000 euros in social benefits. They were rejected but tolerated asylum seekers who have had permanent right of residence in Germany since 2008. In total, the father conceived eleven children with his two wives.

In the trial, it turns out that Miro from Russia is actually named Sahil and is from Azerbaijan. This suggests that he is a Muslim. Moreover, he has already served time in prison for drug and weapons offenses. Even his lawyers probably did not know about this.

The Kleve court sentenced the father to life in prison in late 2009. The brother received 9.5 years (just slightly less than the maximum juvenile sentence of 10 years demanded by the prosecutor). Sahil/Miro gets 7.5 years for complicity in murder.

The Federal Court of Justice dismissed the convicts' appeal in June 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.

Posted in Honour killing, Investigation and tagged , , , , .