The world has another honor killing. This time the family of Naile Erdas, 16, decided that the family honor demanded that she be killed after she was raped and impregnated. This case, however, has a positive element: a Turkish court has handed down an appropriately harsh series of sentences of the father, mother, brother and two uncles. It is a great credit to the Turkish legal system and should be a model for other Islamic countries in the region.
The court sentenced the murder victim’s brother to life in jail for the 2006 murder and the girl’s father, mother and two uncles were given life sentences for instigating the murder . A third uncle was given for 16 years and eight months for failing to report the murder.
Erdas became pregnant after the rape but concealed her condition until she was hospitalized for a severe headache. When the family learned of the pregnancy, they tried to bribe the doctors to get her back. To their credit, the doctors held on to the girl and called the police. The police, however, were less responsible and took the word of the father that she would not be harmed. They released her one week after she gave birth. The brother then killed his sister a few hours after her arrival.
We have seen a steady stream of such honor killings often with the implied or express support of local authorities. This sentence is a rare and courageous act for the Turkish court.