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German honor killing on trial in Turkey

January 26, 2016

The murder of Hatun Sürücü in 2005 shocked Germany and raised questions about parallel societies. Now her brothers have gone on trial in Istanbul over her "honor" killing.

Ehre Ehrenmord Deutschland Berlin Hatun Sürücü Grab
Image: picture alliance/dpa

Nearly eleven years after her death, murder victim Hatun Sürücü might finally get justice - the trial against her alleged killers began in Istanbul on Tuesday. The accused, her two older brothers, Mutlu and Alpaslan Sürücü, allegedly planned and acted as lookouts while her younger brother Ayhan shot in the Tempelhof area of Berlin, Germany in 2005.

Ayhan was already convicted of her killing in 2006 and sentenced to nine years in prison because he was 18 when the crime occurred. Released in 2014, he was then deported to Istanbul.

At his trial, Ayhan told the court that he had shot his sister, then 23 and a single mother who had broken ties with her Turkish family after rejecting an arranged marriage, in order to restore the family's "honor."

The case sent shockwaves across Germany and rekindled a long-running debate about immigrant communities living in parallel societies in Germany.

Türkei Prozess gegen zwei Brüder von Hatun Sürücü
Supporters of Hatun's and onlookers await news of the trial outside of the courthouse in the Kartal area of IstanbulImage: picture-alliance/dpa/L. Say

Brothers flee to Istanbul

During the German proceedings, Mutlu and Alpaslan were also indicted, but were cleared after a Berlin court had ruled there was a lack of evidence against them. That decision was repealed by Germany's Federal Court in 2007, prompting the brothers to flee to Turkey.

The pair, now 35 and 36 years old, is charged in Istanbul with murder of a family member, for having provided their brother with a weapon and helping him carry out the act. Important evidence comes from the ex-girlfriend of Ayhan, who claimed she was told by the shooter that his older brothers had given him the gun he used to shoot Hatun.

In Turkey, premeditated murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, though sentences of between 20 and 50 years are also possible.

es/jil (dpa, AFP)

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