Honour killing story

Hatice M.
born: 1967
killed: February 1996
Location: Trappenkamp (near Kiel)
Origin: Turkey
Children: victim: she was pregnant; perpetrator 3 (including the victim)
Perpetrator: her father Ramazan M. (at the time of the crime 54 years old)
You can read this murder as an honor killing - or as a murder to cover up abuse. The story: At age 17, Hatice's mother Ayse is forcibly married off in Turkey to Ramazan (presumably a cousin), who is 7 years older. Three children are born, the family lives half in Turkey, half in Germany. At some point the family moves to Trappenkamp, south of Kiel.

The father mistreats his oldest daughter. She becomes pregnant. He beats her to death with a pipe wrench. He buries the body in a rented garage. At the time of the crime, the mother is at a spa. When she returns, she is told that her daughter has been deported. In fact, her tourist visa had expired. However, the mother must have soon suspected that her daughter was not in Turkey, but dead. Ramazan later tells her that she died in an earthquake.

The younger sister Sema had to keep watch during the crime. The father forces her to remain silent and threatens her with murder if she does not. He had probably also announced the murder to her, which proves that the crime was planned. Apparently, the perpetrator can count on Sema not going to the police or getting other help, such as from teachers or her brother.

Sema's husband Yavuz is the one who, 15 years later, sets the whole story in motion, because he does not accept the secrecy.

In October 2010, Sema, a dental assistant, files a report. At the end of the year, bone remains and teeth are found in the garage.

The district court in Kiel opens the trial in June 2011. The defendant has an interpreter translate. Daughter Sema accuses her father of committing a serious crime. She reports a situation where the father wanted to show her how he punished Hatice and raped the other daughter before her eyes. At the time, she thought he was allowed to do that.

The trial of Ramazan also discusses violence and cruelty against his wife Ayse and son Harun. The defense is seeking a verdict of involuntary manslaughter and thus a statute of limitations. Ramazan, now 69, is set for a life sentence for murder before the end of June. His wife is filing for divorce.

To answer the opening question: If Ramazan kills his daughter to cover up the abuse, it is not, strictly speaking, an honor killing. However, in the context of the family, there are clear indications that Ramazan was primarily focused on one thing: To assert the man's claim to power in the family at all costs-that is, an honor motive. The man determines the life, sexuality and death of his daughter.

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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