February 12, 2009

Matters of Family Honour

Ali Kur, the "alleged" murderer of an eight-year-old "girl of Turkish origin" in Germany was taken into custody by Turkish police last Tuesday night. In the Turkish town of Didim, that was. The German media are full of it, specifically because the father of the alleged one's wife had helped decisively in tracking him down. Kadir Ayaz, 49, had hired a detective and a group of 20 people to find his son-in-law. "I promised not to return to Germany unless I found Ali," Ayaz said to an unquestioningly attending German media. "For me it is a matter of honour." A divorce lawyer for his daughter has been hired.

Before Kur, a neighbour of the victim's family, could be indentified as the murderer of little Kardelen, the marked sense of honour within the Turkish community had caused some stir of a different kind in Germany already.
The writer of Turkish origin, Serap Cileli ("We Are Your Daughters, Not Your Honour") had made the guess the perpetrator might be a Turk. For that, she is now criticised in the Turkish dailies with the highest circulation in Germany, "Hürriyet" and "Sabah". The Turks in Germany are appaled at the statements, "Sabah" wrote ... Cileli had stated that it is not likely that a traditionally brought up Turkish girl will enter the car of a stranger.
The unlikely perpetrator Kur had fled Germany after Kardelen had disappeared on January 12. The child's naked body had later been found near a reservoir about 60 km away from the city of Paderborn where Kur lived. It turned out that DNA found in the unlikely alleged's home matched evidence from the crime scene.

(By the way, the unemployed Kur is a textbook example for the German family reunion scheme that allows for the relocation of a Turkish spouse to Germany. Kur's wife has German citizenship.)

Public prosecutor Horst Rürup said last week that Turkish prosecutors had warned they could not extradite Kur, but would try him in a Turkish court if he were caught. Turkish law stipulates life imprisonment for such crimes and I have a hunch that this means, different from German law, that Kur will leave prison only in a coffin. It gives me a good feeling being able to say something nice about Turkish circumstances.

What I hope for, though, is that the German media, who hadn't much to say about the arrogance of "Hürriyet" and "Sabah", and who are now gushing enthusiastically about Turkish honour, will, from now on, report as stridently all those cases where Turkish (or Muslim generally, for that) family honour plays a somewhat different part, or speak up the next time somebody like Serap Cileli, who has to live in hiding, is attacked by the honour-conscious Turkish media.

This, this, this, this and this entry may be helpful.

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