Men Who Kill

Journalist Ayşe Önal’s writings have covered everything from Kurdish separatism to Turkish Hezbollah. She has been blacklisted by the Turkish state for some of her coverage. For a recent book, Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed, and related documentary, she interviewed men in prison for “honor” killings around Turkey. Anna Louie Sussman has done a two-part interview with Önal about her work. (Part 1, Part 2). An excerpt:

…One man, Murat, killed his mother Hanim, who had been having an affair with her step-cousin Halil. The whole bazaar, where Murat ran a stall belonging to his uncle, was abuzz with the gossip. His uncle insisted that Murat must kill Hanim, otherwise he said, “I won’t be able to show my face in the market.” But it was not until Sevda, the woman Murat loved, turned him down that he realized how much it meant. Her family would never give her to him, because she told him, “My mother said your mother is a bad woman.”

He stayed awake all night, pacing the streets, and returned at dawn. He picked up a gun that his sleeping father, a security guard, had left beside the bed. A few minutes later, he killed his mother with three bullets.

“No one else could have done this project,” Altan said. “Both because of the quality of Onal’s work, and her commitment to it. She showed us a side of Turkey we don’t often see: painful stories about community pressure.”

After the program aired, Onal says, she began to hear the women’s side too. Phone calls poured in from women scared of being killed by their family, and Onal received them at home, offering help where she could. Grateful to finally have a sympathetic ear, men called as well.

“They would tell me ‘I don’t want to kill my sister,’” Onal said.

3 Responses to “Men Who Kill”

  1. JW,
     
    I am not sure I can appreciate this sort of warped feminism.
     
    I am referring to these couple of sentences you quoted:

    But it was not until Sevda, the woman Murat loved, turned him down that he realized how much it meant. Her family would never give her to him, because she told him, “My mother said your mother is a bad woman.”

    I hope you do read these things you put up here, yet I have reason to suspect you don’t.
     
    Otherwise, you wouldn’t use a catchy title such as “Men Who Kill” –nor would Ayse Onal have called her book “Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed”– given that the guy (Murat) has in fact been (ab)used as the ‘pistol’..

  2. speaking of warped: unless i misunderstood you, you are claiming that the perpetrator of a violent crime is in fact the victim?

    as for the title question:
    these ARE stories about men who kill, despite all the hard work that goes into erasing, or at best, downplaying this fact in mainstream discourse about honor killings.

    I am at a complete loss to understand what you see as warped feminism here. honestly.

  3. I am at a complete loss to understand what you see as warped feminism here. honestly.

    ‘Warped feminism’, as I call it, unjustifiable favoritism towards (undeserving) women simply because one subscribes the ideology called feminism.
     
    [I am nor saying JW is a feminist, but that the way she sometimes depicts issues pertaining women reminds me of 'warped feminism'.]
     
    In this particular case: It was clear that the actual perpetrators as well as the victim were women.
     
    He, the man that actuall killed the victim, has only been as instrumental as the hand gun he pulled the trigger of.
     
    To call it ‘men who kill’ is as absurd as putting the whole blame of every gun-murder on Smith Wesson..
     
    In short: In this very example, it is women that killed a woman (using a man to do the actual and dirty work).
     
    To not see this, IMO, can only be explained by ‘warped feminism’ (for the lack of a better term).
     
    Or, you might perhaps come up with a catchy alternative term (preferably Latin-based) that means ‘women are angels’.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment