Security


Germany: Appeal against acquittal in 'honour' killing




Karlsruhe, 27 August (AKI) - An appeal against the acquittal of two Turkish brothers suspected of an 'honour' killing is scheduled to resume on Tuesday at Germany's federal high court in Karlsruhe. A court in April 2006 cleared Alpaslan and Mutlu Surucu of involvement in their 23-year-old sister Hatun Aynur's murder.

Alpaslan and Mutlu and a third brother, Ayhan, were arrested over the fatal shooting of Hatun Aynur at a bustop in the German capital, Berlin, in 2005. The three brothers were formally charged with her murder the following July.

Several months later, Ayhan, the youngest of the three, confessed to murdering Hatun Aynur, resulting in Alpaslan and Mutlu's acquittal. Ayhan was sentenced to nine years and three months in prison.

State prosecutors subsequently filed an appeal against the verdict.

During his trial, Ayhan stated that he killed his sister for "bringing shame upon his family" by adopting a 'Western' lifestyle. Hatun Aynur had returned to Germany after fleeing a forced marriage to her cousin in Turkey, and had chosen to bring up her small son alone.

The family are Kurds from Turkey's eastern Erzurum province.

Hatun Aynur's murder caused revulsion in Germany, and led to street protests by Turkish women. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) have demanded a "zero tolerance" policy for such murders, calling them "a shameful form of self-administered justice."

Turks form the largest group of immigrants in Germany and comprise 9 percent of the population. One-quarter of immigrants are unemployed and live on state benefits, half cannot speak German or speak it badly, and few have German citizenship.

Surucu's slaying and other high-profile incidents have increased concerns that the country's Turkish and Moroccan immigrants are becoming increasingly isolated from the rest of the country.

Teachers in two violent inner-city schools in Berlin, said they feared they could not keep order in classrooms where 80 percent of pupils are the children of immigrants.


 

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