Honor kilings in Turkey
CitationCesur Kılıçaslan, S. (25-28 June 2012). Honor kilings in Turkey. 7.International Conference on Interdiscplinary Social Sciences.Universidad Abat Oliba CEU. Barcelona,Spain.
The concept of honor is very important for an individual’s integration into a group. A person’s failure in this area causes her to feel ashamed and lose status. Honor permeates the common values and norms which determine relationships in a society. According to an ancient Turkish proverb, extramarital sexual intercourse is “like mud on a woman’s face and like henna on a man’s hand.” The traditional punishment for women who have the “mud” on their faces referred to in this proverb, one which is not accepted to be marginal in the social perception, is generally death. Today, high number of murders committed due to this point of view in Turkey and the steps for preventing them are being discussed. Murderers who commit honor killings in Turkey generally emphasize the traditions of their tribes and do not use a religious discourse. The incidences in which men are killed are more unusual, and according to Islam, the man that takes part in fornication should be stoned to death along with the woman. However this rule was not practiced in either today’s Turkey or even in the Ottoman Empire, which was ruled by sultans who claimed to be caliphs of all Muslims. This fact supports the idea that religion is not the main reason for honor killings. According to the former Turkish Penal Code (TPC), the punishment of a person could be reduced due to provocation if he murders someone for his honor because of the social pressure created by the concept of honor. Thus, his punishment could be smaller than the punishment of a person who committed a murder in another way. Today, there is no punishment reduction due to provocation, according to the new Turkish Penal Code which was put into force for conformity with the European Union.