A young woman who became pregnant after being raped by two of her cousins in the southeastern province of Batman was found to have been strangled by her family in an apparent “honor” killing on Monday.
The incident came to light on Dec. 17 when police in the province found a dead body. The deceased was determined to have been choked to death, in an autopsy carried out by a local morgue. During the course of a police investigation the body was identified to be that of a young woman known only by the initials H. D. Interrogation by police of H.D.'s family and relatives revealed that she had fallen victim to an honor killing. The murder reportedly occurred as a result of a decision made by the family after she was found to be pregnant after being raped by two of her cousins.
The police report said the family of the young woman brought her to the side of a small lake without explaining why, before strangling her and throwing her body into the water.
Honor killings are amongst the most shocking crimes in Turkey today. In the practice, when a girl's behavior is deemed to have stained her family's honor, she may be killed by a male relative.
Often honor killings are not a heat-of-the-moment crime: the family members may gather together to form a family court, pass the death sentence on the young woman and nominate a young male relative to carry out the deed. He faces ostracism from his family unless he follows through.
Seven people were arrested by police in the Batman incident. The grandfather of the young woman is suspected as the instigator of the crime and her two uncles as the perpetrators.
The police have launched a search for the two men who raped H.D., including a DNA test to determine which of them impregnated the young woman after they are found.
Every year more than 5,000 women are killed by their relatives in the name of honor, according to UN statistics. A study conducted in 2010 by the Social Services and Child Protection Agency (SHÇEK) reveals that 460 honor killings were committed in Turkey in the past decade.