Turk shot sister dead 'because of her morals'

By Tony Paterson in Berlin 
Published: 15 September 2005 


A Turkish immigrant has confessed to shooting dead his
23-year-old sister because he "could not accept her
morals". The confession came at the opening of the
trial of three Muslim brothers accused of committing a
brutal "honour murder" in the German capital earlier
this year. 

Hatun Surucu was shot at point-blank range in February
as she stood at a Berlin bus stop near her apartment.

The killing, which shocked Germany, occurred after she
refused to rejoin her husband in Turkey in a marriage
arranged by her parents when she was 15. Yesterday,
Ayhan Surucu, her 19-year-old brother, admitted
shooting dead his sister in cold blood: "I killed my
sister and I did it on my own," he told a Berlin

"I could not accept her moral behaviour and I was
worried that her son might become addicted to drugs.
Today I regret my actions. What I did cannot be
undone," he added.

His two brothers, Mutlu, 26, and Alpaslan, 24, who
deny plotting the murder together with their brother,
told the court that at the time they knew nothing of
their sister's murder and that they had had no contact
with her.

Mrs Surucu, who was forced to marry her Turkish
cousin, left her husband and returned to her
birthplace of Berlin in 1999. She broke with her
family, refused to wear a traditional Muslim headscarf
and lived with her child in a hostel. She had
completed training to become an electrical engineer
only weeks before her death.

Ayhan Surucu, who worked in an internet café before
his arrest, said that on the day of his sister's
murder, he had gone to her apartment to try to "talk
sense" into her. "Hatun told me that she would go to
bed with whoever she chose," he told the court.

"That was too much for me, I pulled out the pistol and
shot," he added.

Mrs Surucu's killing was the sixth "honour murder" to
occur within Berlin's 200,000-strong Muslim community
in the space of four months in 2005. Some 45 similar
murders have taken place in Germany over the past
eight years. Her death has provoked a nationwide
debate about immigration policy and charges that
successive German governments have for decades ignored
ritual injustices perpetrated in immigrant

German and Turkish community leaders in Berlin were
particularly alarmed by the reaction of Turkish
immigrant children at a school near the site of Mrs
Surucu's killing. Several 13-year-old Turkish children
implied that they thought she had "earned" her death.

Serap Cileli, a German-born Turk who specialises in
finding homes for women who are threatened by "honour
murders" said: "Official claims that the majority of
Turks are well integrated here are pure eyewash."

The trial continues. 


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