Honour killing story

Kirstin Schwarz
Born: 1977
Strangled and stabbed: January 12, 1994
Residence: Berlin
Origin: Victim: Canada / Germany; Perpetrator: Turkey
Children: none
Perpetrator: her Turkish ex-boyfriend Aydin Yahsi, age 25 at the time of the crime.
Kristin was adopted from Canada and lives with her new parents in Berlin. When she is 16, she falls in love with Aydin, who is eight years older. After no more than a year, he starts beating her. He allegedly beat his ex-wife as well.

Aydin is unemployed, usually sleeps in his car and is enrolled in a hostel for social education. He asks Kirstin for one last enlightening break-up talk. Then he slits her throat.

Aydin flees to Turkey after the crime. From there, he harasses Kirstin's parents by phone and eventually tells them he killed their daughter.

On February 1, 1994, the police find the body, wrapped in an old carpet, in a basement room. The cause of death is strangulation. When she was near death, the killer allegedly stabbed her in the throat and face.

Aboard the flight to Istanbul, Aydin tells his crime to a fellow passenger, who is later heard in court as a witness, as well as a businessman who had overheard the conversation from the row behind.

Kirstin's parents will likely return to Canada. Aydin remains in Turkey, which does not extradite its citizens. In Izmir, he marries a German kindergarten teacher and moves into a house on the Turkish Riviera.

On September 10, 2005, Aydin flies to Germany, presumably to visit his wife. Because there is an international arrest warrant, he is arrested at Munich airport eleven years after the crime and transported to Berlin. He claims that he killed his girlfriend at the time in self-defense.

On June 19, 2006, Aydin is sentenced to fourteen years in prison.

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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