Honour killing story

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Born: 1977
stabbed to death: 12 October 2004
Residence: Esslingen am Neckar
Origin: Turkey
Children: possibly 1 child in Turkey
Perpetrator: Özhan Kepenek, the brother of his girlfriend, 18 years old at the time of the crime, born and raised in Germany
This honor killing is a murder of a man. It is rare, but it occurs.

It begins with Özhan's sister Filiz Kepenek and her husband (who have two children together) seeking an amicable divorce. Both already have new partners. But Filiz's little brother Özhan cannot accept this decision. To gain respect within his family, he wants to confront his sister's 27-year-old new boyfriend. Then he kills Kemal with more than 40 knife stabs. Early in the morning of October 12, a Turkish grocer finds the corpse of his employee. Filiz goes into hiding.

In April 2005, Özhan is sentenced to nine years in prison, one year below the maximum sentence in the juvenile justice system. The judge also mentions the family system: since the early death of the father, the eldest brother would have represented the reputation of the conservative family to the outside world. The juvenile psychiatrist had assessed that the boy wanted to make himself a hero, sacrificing himself for the family.

Then the regional council of Stuttgart ordered the expulsion of the offender. But Özhan does not want to go to Turkey and defends himself in July 2008, arguing that there is no danger of him reoffending. Moreover, he feels connected to his family.

There are many cases where honor killers openly admit that they have no respect for German law. But if it benefits them, they or their families quickly go to court. In the Özhan case, however, the case failed at the Stuttgart Administrative Court. The court ruled in August 2008 that the murderer could be deported.

But things turned out differently: in March 2010, Özhan was released and appealed to the administrative court. He is now allowed to stay in Germany until the end of his probation period in 2013 - if he does not commit a serious crime. However, he now wants to marry a German-Turkish woman and start a family, which also makes deportation more difficult or impossible in case of future crimes. Not to mention the danger to his wife and possible daughters.

Since Özhan has spent the last few years in prison, it can be assumed that his family has sought a bride with a German passport for him.

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, Turkey and tagged , .