“Honor” Horror In England – by Stephen Brown


“Mum, don’t untie me. I want to die.”

These heart-rending words from beyond the grave helped last week to convict Britain’s latest “honor” murderer, Mehmet Goren, 49. The father of four brutally killed his 15-year-old daughter, Tulay, ten years ago for having fallen in love.

“You did all this simply because you regarded it as unacceptable that she, rather than you, should choose the man she wanted to marry,” the judge told the murderer, whom he described as having an “enigmatic smile.”

Instead of experiencing a schoolgirl’s joy for life, shortly before her death a bound and helpless Tulay was lying face down on her bedroom floor, her hands and feet having turned a black and blue color from the clothesline restraints her father had tied her with. It was in this terrible state of pain and suffering that Tulay addressed these pitiful words to her mother, Hanim Goren, who wanted to free her but was prevented by her husband.

Police believed Tulay was drugged, tortured and killed the following day. But first he had Tulay’s eight–year-old brother kiss his sister goodbye for the last time. The 15-year-old’s body has never been found. First buried in the family garden, it was later dug up and removed to an unknown site.

It was Tulay’s grieving mother, finally finding the courage to tell the truth ten years after her daughter’s 1999 disappearance, who delivered this devastating testimony during her husband’s ten-week trial in London. Nuray Gulen, Tulay’s older sister, also gave valuable testimony that ended in her father receiving a 22-year prison sentence, at one point shaking her fists and screaming at her him from the witness box in Turkish.

Tulay’s death followed a familiar pattern regarding honor murders. When her father discovered she was no longer a virgin (she had told a friend she may even be pregnant), he and her family’s male members regarded her as a “worthless commodity.” Tulay’s two uncles were also charged in her death but were acquitted, although they were part of the family council where the decision to kill her may have been made.

In Islamic cultures, a wife is often acquired like a piece of property by means of a contract after negotiations between two families, in which a “bride price” is paid to the bride’s family in the form of money, real estate or other gifts. In such cases, marriage is simply a commercial transaction. The bride, and sometimes the groom, often has no say in choice of partner, as they have never been allowed to establish an individual identity outside their families, clan or religion.

One of the conditions for such “arranged” marriages, however, is that the bride must be a virgin. The highest appellate court in Turkey emphasized this last month when it allowed a man to divorce his wife because she was, supposedly, not a virgin on their wedding night. A woman’s purity, the court ruled, is a prerequisite for marriage.

If a woman is not a virgin when she marries, or is discovered to have engaged in some other form of behavior regarded as improper, no matter how slight, with a male before, or after, marriage, she may then become the target of an “honor” murder. Only the blood from her death, the family believes, will cleanse its shame and restore its “honor” in the eyes of the community.

Other reasons exist for this depraved form of misogyny that has resulted in too many young women’s deaths. They range from the female victim living too Western a lifestyle (re: independent), to wanting a divorce, changing religion, leaving the home to escape family violence, to simply having a boyfriend. Staying a night away from home or moving out, Western European social workers say, is often a death sentence for these women.

Tulay’s family also did like the fact her boyfriend, Halil Unal, was from another branch of Islam. But what apparently disturbed Tulay’s father the most was that he would not be receiving any bride price money after his daughter had run away to live with Hilal, also a Kurd from Turkey.

The wife testified at the trial her husband had sent her to demand a $10,000 bride price from Unal to cover the “shame” he had caused their family honor, but she returned home empty handed. Hanim indicated her husband probably wanted the money for gambling, testifying he was an avid gambler who would gamble away the family’s social benefits in Turkish cafes. It was Hanim Goren who later persuaded her daughter to return home, not knowing she would be killed.

A week after Tulay’s disappearance, Unal himself became the target of an honor murder. Mehmet Gornon tried to kill him in an axe attack that put Unal in hospital with a serious neck injury. Gornon and his two brothers were also charged for that assault.

There are about a dozen reported honor murders every year now in England. How many remain unreported is unknown. After each new act of such savagery, though, the English are left asking what is happening to their once civilized country that gave the world the Magna Carta and parliamentary democracy.

  • JMO

    Sure sounds like a religion (if you can call Islam a religion) of peace. A father killing his own daughter is unconscionable. He should be subjected to the same treatment he gave his daughter. What a sick SOB. May be burn in hell along with the rest of the killers of this “religion”.

  • beetyboop

    This story is so heartbreaking it's nearly impossible to read. Hillary, et al, where's all that strident bellowing you did back in the day? You won equal rights and “equal pay” and wrecked the concept of traditional marriage for generations to come, but you sit idly by while women are so abused and oppressed? Does the women's rights movement not feel the need to reach out to these sad victims? The “honor killing” phenomena has also happened in the US, with no outcry, no indignation, no rage. If ever there was a time to be indignant and outraged, sisters, this is IT!

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.laib Steven Laib

    It is killings such as this that have led me to conclude that such people believe in human sacrifice.

  • 7891

    Hilary, Gloria and all the rest of the “Women's Movement” would not denigrate the “religion of peace”. It, like them, is untouchable and beyond reproach.

    Sarcasm off :-(

  • josephwiess

    It's not honor killing. It should honestly be called “Reputation” killing, since they are worried about their reputation, and not their honor.

    Honor is a self-idea, and only you can dishonor yourself.

  • hilda

    Claiming “Islam” means “peace” is fraudulent to begin with. Islam is an Arabic word. And the word for peace in Arabic is “solh,” and not Islam. Islam is derived from the root word “taslim,” which means submission or surrender. Hence, Islam’s true name, surrender, is in fact most descriptive of what it is: total, unconditional submission and surrender of the individual and the community to the will and dictates of Allah as revealed by his “rasool,” messenger, Muhammad.

  • Amad

    Islam is pure evil to the core. islam is not a religion but a political movement to achieve global dominance. Show me a churhc or a hindu temple or a jewish temple in saudia arabia. Go to Egypt and see how they deal with the Coptic Christains, the egyptians treat them like animals, burn down their chruches at every riot and they dont allow new chruches to be build, infact you have to ask permission from the president of egypt to build a church.

    In Turkey, they have taken Hagia Sofia Church and turned it to a Mosque, then into a museum. Still they will not give back Hagia Sofia to be a church again. Muslims are hypocrates. Turkey has a mission to wipe off all churches and convert them into secular museums and thus will elimanate the christains populations.

    Christains are not allowed to be christains in middle-east, period. Now muslims shout. Give me a church, hindu temple, jewish temple, buddist temple or any other temple in the heart of Mecca or Medina and then I will voice my dis-taste for the swiss vote.


  • crossbow87

    What I admire about is Islam is that, from a Christian perspective, this story touches on some of what allows Islam to endure rather than disappear like the People's Temple in Guyana. If the father is a gambling addict and sought to use the bride price to maintain his addiction, then killing her to salvage his “honor” is the perfect response. Islam harnesses man's inherent fallenness and takes what is evil and calls it good. Mohammed did a brilliant job of making use of this dynamic…his followers killed in his name for his benefit. Why? Because he was chosen by Allah. It doesn't matter if killing for loot is wrong in an objective sense…if I can do it because Mohammed said so, I am guiltless. In fact, I demonstrate my worthiness by my enthusiastic disregard of those things I know are true and good. Raping captured women in war, conquering others as an income stream, legislating the inferior status of others because they don't believe like I do are all ways to perpetuate the pathology that is Islam. It appeals to man's sense that they can behave or achieve their way into better standing with God. If I slay enough, contribute enough to charity, murder those that I think are ignoring God, then God will let me have my reward. I should write a graduate thesis on the dynamics of Islam and why it endures.

  • EamonnDublin

    Where are all the so-called “moderate” Muslims, protesting about this depraved behaviour? Do they all agree with it? If they do not agree with it, why do they remain silent in the face of this EVIL?

  • annademo

    What is happening? The answer is simple. It's the “Religion of Pieces.” The British government and the people of (not so) Great (anymore) Britain need to insist that Muslims “Westernize” or kick them out. If they refuse to Westernize, they are not good citizens anyway and will likely foment jihad and the violent takeover of Great Britain sometime in the future.

  • LindaRivera

    And what has happened to our once civilized country were Ohio Authorities are Acting as if America is a MUSLIM NATION where non-Muslims have no rights?

    Terrified 17-year-old Rifqa Bary who fled from being honor killed by her family must NEVER be returned to her parents in Ohio! Never sent back to Sri Lanka! Rifqa left Islam and the punishment for leaving Islam is death!

    Ohio authorities to whom Rifqa has been returned from Florida where she fled for safety, are punishing frightened Rifqa – not allowing her to use the internet or use the phone! Secretly holding hearings and deliberately isolating this young girl from her friends and the many people who are deeply concerned about her safety and want to help her.

    A hearing has been set for Dec. 22nd for the charges filed against Rifqa by her parents for being “unruly” and ungovernable”. It is NOT allowed to leave Islam!

    Ohio state has filed no charges against Rifqa's father for his beatings of Rifqa. Has the law been eliminated against parents beating their children, or has the law been re-written that the law applies to everyone except Muslims?

    Why are Ohio authorities acting as if America is a Muslim country???

    Rifqa Bary: Sharia in America

  • LindaRivera

    British police and the organizations in Britain who help victims such as Rifqa, would be shocked and horrified at American authorities' cruel treatment of Rifqa.

    Ending the silence on 'honour killing'
    I wish I could get involved with the support groups and help but you know, I'm just a coward.”

    Having first walked out of an abusive marriage at the age of 17 and then from a hostile family who had had a meeting to discuss whether or not she should die, Zena does not lack courage but she is still very scared.
    She has every reason to be. Her Bangladeshi-born mother had suggested that Zena might be allowed to poison herself rather than be murdered for bringing shame on the family.

    “I'm sorry to be so cloak-and-dagger but you never know what they might be capable of, I know there are plenty of young men who would love to play bounty hunter just for a bit of kudos in the community.”

    Police estimate at least 12 are dying each year in the UK but others will be hidden – forced suicides and murders made to look like suicide are widely believed to take place undetected. Women aged 16-24 from Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi backgrounds are three times more likely to kill themselves than the national average for that age and it is impossible to tell what pressures some must have been under.

    When it opened its helpline in April 2008, Karma Nirvana received 4,000 calls in the first year and is now taking 300 calls a month from people under threat of honour-based violence, often linked to forced marriage.

    After the government's forced marriage unit was set up in April last year, it received 5,000 calls and rescued 400 victims in the first six months.

    They also face being hunted down, said Detective Chief Inspector Gerry Campbell of the Metropolitan police. “It's not uncommon to have bounty hunters out hunting down young people who have left forced marriages or fled from a family where they are at risk. It's rare for [one person] to take unilateral action, it's all done in consultation and there is logistical support and collusion in the extended community,” he said.

    …Banaz Mahmod, who made contact with police five times to say she thought her life was in danger but always drew back from pressing charges. Banaz, 19, a Kurd, was murdered by family members at her home in Mitcham, Surrey, in 2006.

    She had been raped and beaten by the older man she had been forced to marry, and had left him. Her elder sister, Bekhal, had also left home to escape their father's violence and the extended family was beginning to regard Mahmod Mahmod as a man who had lost control of his daughters. The shame became so unbearable that he held a meeting to discuss killing his daughter and her new boyfriend.

    “I'm confident that no victim will ever be turned away in London and that officers know that to do nothing is not an option.

    “Honour is about a collection of practices used by the family to control behaviour, to prevent perceived shame, but there's no honour in murder, rape, or kidnapping and with 25% of the [cases] we are seeing involving a person under 18: this is a child abuse issue too. The simple message is: If you do this you will be caught and brought to justice.

    The behaviour of women seen to have dishonoured their families can be as harmless as wearing make-up or talking to boys. One suspected murder is believed to have been caused by a girl having a love song dedicated to her on a community radio show.

    Diana Nammi, who runs the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation in London: For someone to be killed for their make-up or clothes or having a boyfriend or for refusing to accept a forced marriage is so brutal and unacceptable.

    In Pakistan the practice of honour killing – called karo-kari – sees more than 10,000 women die each year.

    For Zena, she has her life but does not have her freedom. “When I first ran away I would go to the library and read loads of spy books to pick up tips. You have to teach yourself how to best keep hidden,” she said. “My life is about keeping a very low profile now and about looking over my shoulder, but at least I know I am alive and I grieve for those poor girls who are not.”

  • BS77

    Yes, you ll never hear a word about it on Oprah, on the Behar show….or Larry King…honor killings, FGmutilation, forced servitude, beatings……the whole sorry medieval barbaric mess. It's unmentionable by the LameStream Media.

  • xyz

    Can anyone imagine a system like that established here in the US? That's what they are trying to do. They believe mankind is not capable of handling their own affairs in a moral way so it must be forced onto us. Unfortunately men have been put in charge of deciding who is moral, who is not, and what is moral, and what is not. This all grows out of a patriarchal society run amok because it is based on the sexual fantasies of men and in every man's fantasy there are virgins. Virgins are not really human beings because they are too much in the center of those fantasies. The Islamic forced marriage contract is obviously not based on any sort of mutual attraction between the parties involved. The people in the countries where this takes place don't know any different. The religion controls almost every facet of their lives and what isn't controlled by that is controlled by culture and government.
    These cultures have nothing that they can bring to us or teach us that is superior to what we already have and anyone who thinks differently is deluded. We must stop this insanity being put upon us by these immigrants and their children and the total indifference of our own so called “government.” The government that we have right now is not looking out for us. They are only busy building their own future power base.
    Europe is paying for the housing and food for many, many Muslim men and their multiple wives and even more multiple children while at the same time they plot to take over the country that took them in. Why do we think they are going to behave any differently here when they have stated that those are their plans?
    What is it going to take to get America to understand this? Please give your input on this as I will read it and use any good ideas.

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