Honour killing story

Seher Ö.
born 1972
Strangled: February 17, 2000
Residence: Munich
Origin: Turkey
Children: 4 daughters
Perpetrator: presumably her husband Erkan
At age 15, Seher was married off in Western Anatolia to a cousin in Germany and came to Munich a year later as an import bride.

Her husband works as a shopkeeper and mistreats her. The police often have to intervene. The couple has 4 daughters. She is hardly allowed to leave the marital home. She does the housework for Erkan and his parents. Later she herself says, "I was the cleaning lady of the family."

With the help of the German authorities, Seher flees with the 3 younger children to a shelter for women. The oldest stays with her grandfather.

Seher learns German, takes off her headscarf, files for divorce and gets custody of the daughters. She works in a café and is trained as a kitchen help. Later she moves into her own apartment with the children.

On February 20, 2000, she is found hanged in her flat. Before that she had been strangled and mistreated. It is believed that other family members were present at the crime. The girls are not in the apartment that night, but (at least that is agreed upon) with their father. The whole thing is staged as a suicide. The relatives shed many tears. But the forensic department discovers that it was not a suicide.

Erkan has been remanded in custody for a month. Although he has already threatened to kill his wife under witnesses, it cannot be proven that he committed the crime. The daughters are sent to a home. The case remains unsolved to this day.

The husband's name is listed in the tz as "Erkan (name changed)."

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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