Friday, December 18, 2009
Convicted for Honor Killing
Turkish Kurd guilty of 'honour killing' Thu Dec 17, 9:43 am ET LONDON (AFP) – A Turkish Kurd was found guilty Thursday of murdering his 15-year-old daughter more than a decade ago, in what prosecutors said was an honour killing. Mehmet Goren, described in court as a psychotic bully who terrorised his family, faces jail for killing his daughter Tulay because of her relationship with an older man who belonged to a different branch of Islam. The London schoolgirl disappeared in January 1999, shortly after her father told his eight-year-old son to kiss his sister goodbye as he would never see her again. Her body was never found. Goren's wife Hanim, who had suffered three decades of abuse at his hands, was among those who gave evidence against him, weeping and screaming in the witness box and demanding he reveal where the body was so she could bury it. One of his other daughters, Nuray Guler, also testified against him, screaming: "Even animals would not do what you have done." Prosecution lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw told the court that the Goren case was a "terrible reminder of what honour-based crime can involve" and a "wake-up call" to the existence of so-called "honour killings" in Britain. Police had become involved with the family in the weeks before the murder, when Goren beat up his daughter's boyfriend, Halil Unal, then complained about their relationship to officers and demanded she take a virginity test. Tulay ran away and told police her father had beaten her and she would rather go into care than return home, but her mother persuaded her to go back. Goren attacked his daughter's boyfriend for a second time just 13 days after Tulay went missing, this time with a hatchet, and it was while in hospital that Unal reported his girlfriend missing. But police failed to put two and two together and it was two months before they began to suspect Tulay had been murdered. They submitted a file to prosecutors in 2000 but were told there was not enough evidence for charges. Goren was finally arrested in 2008, along with his two brothers, after a review. Both his brothers were cleared of wrongdoing in court Thursday. An ethnic Kurd from Elbistan in Turkey, Goren had moved to Britain claiming asylum in 1996. He was jailed in 2000 for his hatchet attack on his daughter's boyfriend but escaped deportation because his family all lived in Britain. The 49-year-old admitted hitting his daughter and wife but denied murder, saying he still believed Tulay was alive and "will turn up one day".