New UN Report: The Dynamics of Honour Killings in Turkey: Prospects for Action
Friday, March 9, 2007 10:33 AM

The UNFPA, UNDP and Population Association released a report: The Dynamics of Honour Killings in Turkey: Prospects for Action. The report examines differing perceptions of honor and "dishonorable conduct"  based on interviews and group discussions conducted in four Turkish cities with relatively high rates of honor killings. The report examined different behaviors that are often considered "dishonorable conduct." The report then looked at examples of  the factors involved in honor killings, as well as the responses and interpretations of causes. Honor killings are widely seen as inevitable in Turkey. The research found that opinions about the practice fell into four main groups:
  • "Those who openly support honor killings state that a person who committed an immoral act would deserve to die and that the people who are forced to kill them would have no other choice.
  • Those who conditionally support honor killings state that nobody would wish to commit a murder, however, in case of proven adultery and/or when social pressure is unbearable, people can commit such an act. 
  • Others say that when people are under social pressure, especially when they are poor, weak and uneducated, it’s inevitable for them to commit such a murder as they are unable to live with this dishonor.
  • Others state that even if it is based on different justifications, people should not be killed due to so-called ‘dishonorable conduct’. While some people in this group said that ‘dishonorable conduct’ would not be a crime and that punishment of such behavior would be a severe act of violence against women, others stated that the life of a human being cannot be taken either because of their principles or their religious beliefs."

The report includes proposals for solutions to the problem and suggestions for action.  The report highlights the need for hotlines, shelters and public education campaigns on the issue.

Compiled from:  The Dynamics of Honour Killings in Turkey: Prospects for Action, 9 March 2007.