German Politicians Outraged by Custody Demands | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 19.04.2006
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German Politicians Outraged by Custody Demands

The family of Hatun Sürücü, killed by her own brother, has demanded custody of the victim's six-year-old son. Politicians have condemned the idea that the boy grow up in the family responsible for his mother's death.


The courts will have to decide the fate of Hatun Sürücü's little son

Following the so-called honor killing of Hatun Sürücü by her brother, politicians from across the political spectrum have appealed to the authorities that Sürücü's family not get custody of her six-year-old son.

Hatun's younger sister Arzu has said she planned to apply for her nephew's charge. The Social Democrats' home affairs spokesman Dieter Wiefelspütz said it was not conceivable that German authorities would grant the family custody.

"It is impossible that this could be considered," Wiefelspütz told the daily Berliner Zeitung. The child's well-being should now be the main consideration, he said.

Cem Özdemir, the Green party's European Parliament deputy and himself of Turkish origin, said a decision in favor of the Sürücü's could not be supported.

"The idea that the child could grow up among those people who possibly carried a share of the responsibility for his mother's death is intolerable," Özdemir told daily Die Welt.

Putting the fox in charge of the henhouse

The Christian Democrat faction's legal expert Jürgen Gehb said it would be wrong to put the child's upbringing in the hands of the Sürücü family.

"That would be like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse," Gehb said. If the court responsible for the case gave them custody, it would be "a resounding slap in the face for the sense of justice," he said.

Urteil im Prozess um Ehrenmord an Schwester Alpaslan Sürücü (r)

Hatun's older brothers were acquitted

The Lutheran church leader Bishop Wolfgang Huber said he was speechless by the Sürücü family's intentions.

"The thought that the mother is first killed and then the relatives demand custody is such cynicism, that I'm at a loss for words," Huber told tabloid Bild.

Foster family is the best solution

Berlin's youth senator Klaus Böger has said he is against giving the Sürücü family custody. Although it was normally correct to assume that a child was best off growing up in its family, this was not the case here.

"Under these special circumstances, it would be absolutely wrong," Böger told the Berliner Zeitung. "It can't be in the interest of this child's well-being to grant the family clan custody."

Hatun Sürücü

Hatun's brother murdered her for living a western lifestyle

He said he supported the youth welfare office's move to put the boy into foster care.

The responsible councilwoman Angelika Schöttler said the Berlin family court had given custody to a legal guardian. The Sürücü family could not automatically get custody. The child had been doing well in a foster family for the past year, living according to the will of his mother.

Father also has custody rights

Family law specialist Marion Prondzinsky-Kohlmetz said Arzu had little chance of winning a custody battle. In addition to the child's well-being, there were also moral-ethical considerations.

"It would be a paradox to make this child grow up in the family of his mother's murderer," Prondzinsky-Kohlmetz said. A court will most likely consider this to be unacceptable. However, Hatun's ex-husband was another matter. "It will be difficult to get around the father's custody," Prondzinsky-Kohlmetz said. The Turkish man, who lives in Istanbul, would have to get to know his son first in Germany. Then it will be up to the courts to decide.

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