In one horrifying example, two Kurdish German men were accused of helping to kill their sister in 2005. The motive behind this murder was simply the brothers’ dislike of their sister’s Western lifestyle.
The murdered sister, Hatun Surucu, was only 23 when she was killed at a Berlin bus stop. Her youngest brother fired three bullets into her head.
The brothers claimed that the family’s honor had been offended because their sister had divorced the man her family had forced her to marry at age 16. She then began dating a German man and refused to wear a headscarf. These are all decisions she should be able to independently make, but were decisions that ultimately cost her her life.
Ayhan, the youngest of the brothers, confessed to killing his sister and was jailed for nine years in a German prison.
A German judge described the attack by Ayhan Surucu as “an ice-cold, execution-style murder.” It was driven by hateful sexist viewpoints.
The other brothers, Mutlu, now 38, and Alparslan, now 36, have both been acquitted twice on the charges of helping Ayhan. They were both found not guilty, first in 2006 in Germany and again on Tuesday at a separate trial in Istanbul, because of a lack of evidence.
There is a very large issue at hand here. These men believed that they had the right to take away their sister’s life because of the choices that she should clearly have the right to make for herself.
No woman should not be forced to lead a life for men. She should lead the life that she wants for herself.
All over the world, but especially in areas such as Turkey, action must be taken to protect the rights of women. To prevent killings such as Surucu’s from happening to more women, awareness must be spread.
Although this case was followed in Germany, it received little coverage in Turkey, which does nothing to stop the prevalence of violence against women in the country. Turkey has shown a history of discrimination towards women. For example, in 2014 President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that a woman’s natural role is as a mother and argued that women are not equal to men.
In addition, earlier that year, one of Mr. Erdogan’s deputy prime ministers said that women should not laugh loudly in public. These sexist remarks only add fuel to the fire and set a very poor example for how men should treat women.
The life of Surucu was taken too soon and with no valid justification. Global violence against women must stop, and until all women are safe the fight for women’s rights must continue.
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