Turkish girl, 16, buried alive for talking to boys

The-hole-where-a-16-year--001A 16 year old girl in Turkey was buried alive by her family for talking with boys. It’s hard to believe people would do such a thing to anyone, much less their own family.

Turkish police have recovered the body of a 16-year-old girl they say was buried alive by relatives in an “honour” killing carried out as punishment for talking to boys.

The girl, who has been identified only by the initials MM, was found in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a two-metre hole dug under a chicken pen outside her home in Kahta, in the south-eastern province of Adiyaman.

Police made the discovery in December after a tip-off from an informant, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported on its website.

The girl had previously been reported missing.

The informant told the police she had been killed following a family “council” meeting.

Her father and grandfather are said to have been arrested and held in custody pending trial. It is unclear whether they have been charged. The girl’s mother was arrested but was later released.

Media reports said the father had told relatives he was unhappy that his daughter – one of nine children – had male friends. The grandfather is said to have beaten her for having relations with the opposite sex.

A postmortem examination revealed large amounts of soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that she had been alive and conscious while being buried. Her body showed no signs of bruising.

If these people were atheists instead of religious, do you think they would have done this?

Also, what do you think the consequences should be for these people?

  • SteveE

    Lock them up for life. No excuse for that. Just sick that you would do that to someone, let along a kid of yours. And for just talking to a boy? Wow….

    I have never heard of an atheist “honour” killing so I would say no this wouldn’t have happened.

    • Trey

      It constantly amazes me…this honor killing stuff is tied to one’s religious perspective. If you go with the most fundamental God theory, we were created, in part, to procreate. Supposedly that’s all good and right and blessed. She was doing what was only natural, only “God ordained” (i.e. talking to boys) – yet, because it didn’t follow somebody’s social/religious mores, the natural answer is…kill her? Why weren’t the boys aren’t put to death, for that matter?

      We are so strangely hung up on our sexuality (especially female sexuality), and religion seems to poke its nose into that arena more than any other area of human interaction. The rest of the animal kingdom appears to procreate just fine with no obvious religious hang-ups.

      Horrifying, and absolute bulls**t to boot.

      • Custador

        The fact that this sort of thing also goes on in Britain today (not just in Turkey) is a massive contributor to my Islamophobia, and I doubt I’m alone in that.

      • SteveE

        That is just the whole oppression thing that religion loves. Oppress women and make them lower then dirt. Oppress the poor by saying “you will get your riches in heaven” or pay for your sins to go away. The bible says to kill for just about everything though so if you follow it to a T, this makes sense. Problem is the bible doesn’t make one bit of sense so how does this oppression and killing make sense?

      • trj

        The Abrahamic religions originated in a time where social stature was almost exclusively determined by which family and which tribe you belonged to. The prosperity and perpetuity of your family were people’s main concern, which naturally led to very restrictive rules for procreation and marriage, in order to protect the family status. Failure to obey these rules was frowned upon and punished. Procreation for its own sake was never an option.

        Unsurprisingly, the rules became incorporated into some of the religions of the time, as religions tend to reflect what people find important in their lives. Judaism, and later Islam, turned these rules into a comprehensive, formalized set of laws/commands, and, as is the nature of strictly patriarchal religion, they put women at a relative disadvantage and ordered draconian punishments for breaking the laws.

        Unfortunately, these laws are still taken very seriously and very literally by many people. Though I think the general mindset of upholding strict family laws for the “common good” of the family would have survived to this day regardless of religion. For Muslims in particular, everything is all about the family.

        • Trey

          Excellent points. I guess I should be offended, then, with a patriarchial-religious-social feedback loop that conveniently puts women at a disadvantage at best, and treats them as mere property at worst.

          I would like to think we as a species would have moved beyond this charade after 6,000 years or so, but I guess we haven’t. At least not fully.

          As a father of a beautiful daughter, however, I am disgusted by this, social status or no social status.

    • Mathurine

      I’m not so sure that they wouldn’t have. The father in the case is secular (the grandfather is religious). Maybe the father believes and maybe he doesn’t, who knows. A lot of Kurds are irreligious. It doesn’t matter much today anyway. Even if you are an atheist *today* in Turkey or another Muslim country where the culture is shame-based, you still grew up in and live in a culture where a woman’s virginity or chastity is considered a matter of extreme importance to the family’s honor.

      And maybe those ideas came from religion (which one — because this crap is spread out over all of the religions in the region), but at this point, it doesn’t matter – it’s part and parcel of the culture… even when religious leaders from Islam and Christianity speak out against it, a lot of people will dismiss them. Some people now promote or defend this extreme shame stuff by saying it is a form of protest against western hegemony – and they are not religious people. Some of the most repressive, misogynist people I know in my family – the type who you fear for their daughters – are atheists / non-religious people.

  • http://alphonsuspeck.wordpress.com Alphonsus

    First degree murder and torture. What’s the question? They should be locked up for life. No debate.

    • David L

      Id prefer live burial, they should die knowing how horrific their choice to bury that girl was.

      • Emmy

        Yes, they should be buried alive, not long enough to kill them but long enough for them to experience the horror their child went through. This should be repeated at weekly intervals.

  • Custador

    What would I like to do to these sick ba*ds? Well, let me answer in the form of a question: Have you ever seen the end of the movie “Casino”?

  • Ty

    But talking might lead to…

    *whispers*

    Dancing.

    • Revyloution

      Ren: [addressing the town council, reading from his notes in the Bible] “From the oldest of times, people danced for a number of reasons. They danced in prayer… or so that their crops would be plentiful… or so their hunt would be good. And they danced to stay physically fit… and show their community spirit. And they danced to celebrate.” And that is the dancing we’re talking about. Aren’t we told in Psalm 149 “Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song. Let them praise His name in the dance”? And it was King David – King David, who we read about in Samuel – and what did David do? What did David do?
      [paging frantically through Bible]
      Ren: What *did* David do?
      [audience laughs]
      Ren: “David danced before the Lord with all his might… leaping and dancing before the Lord.”
      [smacks table in front of Reverend Moore]
      Ren: *Leaping* and *dancing*.
      [stands up straight]
      Ren: Ecclesiastes assures us… that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to laugh… and a time to weep. A time to mourn… and there is a time to dance. And there was a time for this law, but not anymore. See, this is our time to dance. It is our way of celebrating life. It’s the way it was in the beginning. It’s the way it’s always been. It’s the way it should be now.

      • Ty

        You are reading the bible wrong.

        • Len

          I just received my copy of the LOLCat bible – it’s great to read. I’ve studied the bible in many old languages and many interpretations. At last I’ve found one that works: “In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez an da Erfs n stuffs.” I’ve never read such clarity in a holy book.

          And to help Christians everywhere who have difficulty with the unpopular and the contradictory bits, they’ve left them out. The answer to every Christian’s prayer.

          • Cucumber

            I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE.

  • Sunny Day

    “If these people were atheists instead of religious, do you think they would have done this?”

    No.

    “Also, what do you think the consequences should be for these people?”

    Execution upon conviction.

    • franz dibbler

      Execution if found guilty and internment in a pig carcass.

      • Revyloution

        Pig Carcass is an interesting idea.

        Punishment in a civil society isn’t about revenge, its about sending a message to the rest of society. Punishment is a deterrent for undesired behavior. If a group of people are more concerned about their life after death, and unconcerned about their physical life here on Earth, then perhaps the punishment should be one that makes them call into question their position in the afterlife.

        I doubt you could ever get corpse desecration put into law, but it would probably be an effective disincentive for extremist theists.

        To your question, yes a group of atheists could do this. The idea of killing someone for violating a cultural taboo isn’t just a religious idea. The Cambodian killing fields were entirely secular, yet every bit as atrocious.

        • http://filipinofreethinkers.org/ Twin-Skies

          I’m led to think it has more to do with dogma and fanatical ideologies than religion per se. That would explain why people like Stalin, Mao Zedong, and the Khmer Rogue are capable of such monstrous behavior, despite them not being particularly religious.

          • Ty

            Yes. I think that fanatical religious beliefs are a subset of overall fanaticism. We sometimes forget that in our anti-religious fervor.

          • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

            I’m with Twin-Skies on this one. The question that Daniel posed,

            If these people were atheists instead of religious, do you think they would have done this?

            seems to presuppose that this event can squarely be blamed on religion. I don’t think it’s that cut and dried. Atrocities can happen in the name of God, and they can happen when God has nothing to do with it.

            Uncritical acceptance of religious/cultural/social dogma is the enemy here, along with some grotesque type of hatred or jealousy in that particular family.

        • Revyloution

          Exactly. You don’t become instantly rational just because you lack a belief in a god. Atheism has the benefit of its founders. Men of science and reason. So most modern atheists follow the philosophies of those great thinkers. If humanity never invented the idea of the supernatural, we could easily have crazy loons that fly planes into buildings or kill their daughters for some misguided belief in eugenics.

        • nazani14

          Waste of a good pig.
          The unholy burial has not proved to be much of a deterrent in the past. Consider the 9-11 terrorists, one of whom wrote”don’t bury me with women.,” yet now their ashes are forever commingled with those of ball-busting female American businesswomen.

      • Yoav

        This pig burial idea keep popping up as a possible deterrent for Islamic terrorists. As far as I know it based on an urban legend regarding the suppression of Muslim uprising by the Brits in India but has not actually happened. It will probably won’t work anyway since you’re sure to find some imam who will do some creative reading in the Koran and will find that the martired is so holy as to suppress the effect of the pork.

        • Sunny Day

          I’m all for trying a hundred or so test cases.

  • Peter Cross

    I say execute them first, then convict them.

    • Kodie

      Kill ‘em all and let…. no, that won’t work.

  • ambisinister

    If these people were atheists instead of religious, do you think they would have done this?

    You have raised a couple of good questions here:
    Very few Muslims would condone honour killings so how much of this case is due to their religion and how much is their society? A brief and unscientific search of the BBC website shows the following: 2 Kurdish, 1 Turkish, 1 Bangladeshi, 1 Pakistani, and 1 Jordanian honour killings in the UK (first 20 Google results). However a BBC poll found 1 in 10 Muslims would condone honour killing.

    The other question is: as an atheist what societal norms do you not hold to? Homosexuality was illegal until 40 odd years ago, women could not get a loan without a male relative or husband to countersign until the ’50s. How important is banning gay marriage, how important is marriage in general?

    • Yoav

      regarding your first question. You give an example of honor killing in the UK of which, 100% are by Muslims. As these happened in Europe you can’t really argue that it’s due to social norms and not to religion since the social norm in Europe doesn’t involve honor killing.
      Regarding question #2. Any social norm that involve the suppression, let alone the killing, of someone due to who they are or if they don’t conform should be discarded.

      • ambisinister

        You are right to point out that all cases given were in the UK but all involved 0th or 1st generation immigrants from the countries listed and the relevant culture/social norms were brought with them. The reason that these crimes get the police and media attention is because they are anathema to European culture/social norms.

        The treatment of women as chattels has existed in Arabia long before Islam and has spread with Islam despite various reforms that Islam brought to the legal position of women it was the Arabian culture that won out. It appears to have taken root with some tribal groups/ regions and not in others as it has been a easy fit to the existing attitudes. Honour killings also occurs in India in non Muslim populations and in catholic populations of Sicily. It’s for these reasons I am referring to honour killing as a cultural problem rather that a specifically religious one.

        • Yoav

          While these ideas predates current religions, religion has a big part in keeping them alive and well in this day and age.

          • JohnMWhite

            Agreed. Whilst atheists driven by dogma, paranoia and other undesirable traits are just as liable to kill people as theists driven by the same, religion itself, of any stripe, is much more likely to evoke that sort of reaction because it is by its very nature unreasonable. The original question posed was “If these people were atheists instead of religious, do you think they would have done this?” I can honestly answer no, I do not think they would have done THIS. Murder and barbarism are still possible regardless of religious conviction or lack thereof, but this specific cruelty and the reasons for it are both based entirely in religious (not specifically Muslim) ideas of how women and sexuality are to be regarded and how best to punish offenders.

            Basically, if a society did not think some sort of sky daddy is going to get pissed that your daughter talked to a boy, why would it matter enough to brutally end her life, and where would you get the idea of how to do it? While we do still have classism in more secular societies, it seems to take religion to turn it into a matter of honour and the cruel prescription required to restore it.

  • CybrgnX

    DO NOT EXECUTE these people!!!
    I’m a believer in the golden rule, which is always miss understood.
    Do unto others as you want them to do unto you.

    These guys buried a girl alive and she suffered until death.
    So they OBVIOUSLY want the same thing.

    So cut their dicks off and cauterize them leaving a small open to piss.
    make a large set of coffins with TV screens above the head area.
    have two small feeding tubes one for occasional water and the other for liquid food.
    Put them into the coffins, stream porn to the screens and occasionally water and feed.
    Oh! Forgot ! they are already buried.
    After 6 mo or so they will suffocate in their own schite & piss. Pull out the feeding tubes and video feed.

    They asked for it-Give it to them.
    And YES!! if I bury a young girl alive then you know what to do to me- I’m not a hypokrit – I just cant spell well.

    • Ty

      You know, we just shoot rabid dogs. We don’t bite them repeatedly until they die.

      Even if you support the concept of capital punishment, there’s no value in prolonging the process of execution.

      • Mike

        Ty – normally I would agree with you. Normally I oppose the death penalty. But this….

        • Ty

          I made no statement about the death penalty itself, there.

          I’m just saying there is no value in executing anyone by means of torture.

          • Mike

            The point I was trying to make is that although I would normally oppose the death penalty, in this instance I find my principles at odds with my desire to see these bastards suffer in the worst possible way. My vehemence against all forms of torture seems to have followed my principles out the door.

            • Ty

              In a way I completely sympathize with.

              But I worry that when we are pointing at barbaric behavior, and rightly so, if our response is to call for barbaric behavior in retaliation, that a casual reader might come away with a very skewed idea of what most atheists actually believe.

              As much as the barbarism might be very very very satisfying in this case.

            • Mike

              Ty – you are of course absolutely right, and letting anger substitute for justice is just lowering ourselves to their miserable level. But this one has me ANGRY.

      • http://filipinofreethinkers.org/ Twin-Skies

        I’d rather the whole bit be done quickly and with little mess as possible for the simple reason I’d rather not waste any more of my tax money than necessary.

        • George

          You mean Turkey’s tax money.

    • DCtouristsANDlocals

      The bible does say “an eye for an eye”

    • Fentwin

      “Do unto others as you want them to do unto you.”

      I’ve always heard that a sadist is nothing more than a masochist following the “golden rule”. :)

    • Sunny Day

      That would not be an execution.
      I oppose torture.
      We are supposed to be better than that.

  • http://www.babyfight.com/ garth

    while the content of this post hurts me, and makes me want to exact painful revenge on the perpetrators, i have to agree that religion isn’t alone in this atrocity. societal pressures no doubt have a part in it. of course…in very religious cultures, society and religion become pretty tangled up.

    the thought of someone harming their child like that though…it makes me sick to my stomach. but how different (i’m asking, not pontificating, i don’t know the answer) is this from people who teach their kids harmful things, or neglect them to the point of harm? well pretty different in that it’s actively killing the kid instead of misguidedly or lazily harming (not necessarily killing) them. ahhh that makes me so depressed i’m running off now

  • http://exfundy.blogspot.com Lorena

    Is it the religion that makes people do that? Or is it the culture which has shapped the religion into what it is today?

    Are certain people born with no conscious at all? Have some found that religion conveniently gives them a waiver to act upon their lowest instincts?

    This is unreal.

    • http://sartastic.com Frac

      Religion has far more power to shape culture than culture will ever have in shaping religion. A surgeon does not try to “shape” a tumor.

      • Revyloution

        I disagree. Religion is just a part of culture. And the culture in the USA has changed it’s religions greatly. A protestant from 1776 wouldn’t even recognize their church today. Prior to Ronald Regan, the worst offense to an Evangelical was divorce, then they changed it to abortion.

        I think that culture is just a deeper way of communicating.

        • JohnMWhite

          The thing about religion, though, is that it ups the ante to celestial and eternal levels. Angering god trumps the whims of society for the true believer, so killing a girl for talking to some boys can be made to seem acceptable when you have the backing of omnipotence’s dogma, and certainly seems more desirable than letting it go and facing the wrath of a displeased deity in the next life.

  • Nelly

    when I read this article at HuffPo this morning, I literally cried. What horrible suffering she must have gone thru before finally suffocating!

    What the hell is wrong with people? I just can’t wrap my head around ever harming anyone or anything unless they are trying to harm me …. How can a parent take their own child and do that?

    Cultural or religious just doesn’t cut it. Where is the humanity?

    So, so sad

  • Brian

    Would atheists do this?

    No

    Consequences?

    Death by the same method as their daughter.

    • ironflange

      It’s good they’re being prosecuted. In some places they’d be given the key to the city.

    • ironflange

      Sorry, that comment should be one message down. Clumsy me.

    • http://nihilistology.wordpress.com The Nihilist

      I don’t agree with the punishment you suggest, Brian. What would that achieve?

  • DarkMatter

    What is turkish law like and society norms?

    • Elemenope

      Turkish Law is actually fairly progressive on this issue; they often prosecute honor killings to the full extent of the law, and sometimes will indict the entire family as a conspiracy to commit murder if the evidence is there. Unfortunately, there have been some issues of uneven enforcement.

    • Elemenope

      I should say, however, that the social norms have been slow to change, and the practice is still disgustingly widespread.

  • Olaf

    A mental ill atheist could probably do this, just for fun.
    A mental sane atheist I could not see him doing this.

    I think that a mental sane religious person could do this since he believes that this is the right thing to do.

    This is happening everywhere in Europe I see many reports. 99% of them are Islamic, but that might be because the other religious are nearly dead. I think 100 years ago when Catholics still went to church these things also happened. Catholics back then 100 years ago were as bad as creationists nowadays.

    • JohnMWhite

      “I think that a mental sane religious person could do this since he believes that this is the right thing to do.”

      I couldn’t put it any better.

    • BillZBub

      “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil. But for good people to do evil — that takes religion.” -Steven Weinberg

  • Elemenope

    Personally I think that this has much more to do with social conventions of propriety than it does with any particular religious traditions. The backwards notions of women being less than people, or that murder is a rational response to familial dishonor, have existed and were maintained long before the religions they are now associated with due to the cultures in which they were created being what they were. Now, to be sure, these religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam being the capital offenders here) have not distinguished themselves in the annals of history by rising above these tribal influences, and in many ways adopted, prolonged, or at the very least failed to denounce the practices, and it was left to secular forces to combat and in many cases eventually overcome the cultural inertia of such evil practices.

    An Atheist that was a participant in some tribal/familial honor-bound society I could see easily acting exactly as cruelly and inhumanely as the average religionist in the same circumstance. It doesn’t happen probably only because such societies also do not tolerate Atheism.

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  • http://nihilistology.wordpress.com The Nihilist

    To treat this type of behaviour any differently than we would in the West is moral relativism gone mad. Moral absolutes FTW.

  • Jerdog

    Education is the way of preventing such things. Education leads to smaller families. When you have 9 kids you probably forget who one of the girls is. When you have one kid this is the most precious thing in the world.

    • jemand

      I was thinking about the large family size as well– and am certain it was involved. When you have 9 children, it is much easier to consider them as tools or means to an end, and it reduces the relative importance of each child. Especially if the society is very gender segregated and the father in charge of the family isn’t the one who has consistent or hardly any contact with the individual children, especially the individual girls.

      There are, however, some honor killings perpetrated by mothers, I just think those are somewhat less common. And I’ve never heard of an honor killing that involved an only child.

  • David

    Everyone involved should be buried alive.

    • http://nihilistology.wordpress.com The Nihilist

      I find that an interesting comment David. Why? What will burying the wrongdoers achieve?

      • David

        It would achieve nothing positive. It’s just my emotional, and irrational, response.

        • http://nihilistology.wordpress.com The Nihilist

          Well that settles that then. :)

        • jemand

          I dunno. Part of being human is the capacity to consider the pain of others to feel similar to what one would feel one’s self. Most humans are empathetic, and empathy is kind of required for a healthy functioning society. So when people are faced with acts committed from an extreme lack of empathy, I think there is a very deeply rooted human response to “teach” them empathy– by forcing them to feel in person what they refused to feel on behalf of their victim.

          I’m not entirely sure I’d label that “irrational” any more than empathy is irrational… arrational maybe, but very central to humanity. I really don’t think we necessarily should act on these impulses, but I think they may sort of be hardwired in, at least in an initial reaction, and may have once been required to keep order in small human groups, especially when justice had to be cheap and quick.

      • jemand

        your sense of justice must be rooted then purely in a “don’t cry over spilt milk” philosophy, considering only the projections into the future. However, I’d argue that there are equally valid schools of justice which focus on the event in the past, and what committing that act deserves, assuming that the future is unknown and will work itself out. The “spilt milk” is the death of a child here, and it’s perfectly valid to ‘cry’ over it. I find the “death penalty/anti death penalty” arguments chiefly depend on this point. To kill someone in such a horrific manner is an act which deserves a severe penalty. Retributive justice, especially “eye for eye” fairness which inflicts the consequences of the crime on the perpetrator who willfully committed it, is arguably as valid as a purely utilitarian response, especially since the past can be determined with a certainty that we just can’t get regarding the future.

        Furthermore, burying this girl is something that can only be done if they dehumanize and do not consider her suffering, if it is known that if they do this, they, (father and grandfather) men, “real people” might also be buried, it might create a bit more reflection before committing the act. But again, this is speculation about future acts, which is not required or central to a system of justice containing a death penalty.

        Anyway, I’m not generally in favor of the death penalty, and not really in favor of burying these guys, but completely dismissing the possibility that it could possibly be a fair sentence in any sense is a bit incomplete I think. It takes a bit of argument before you can justify a position against the death penalty, more than just “what would it achieve?”

        • Olaf

          I want to add that these people will probably be left in society again in 10-20 years from now so they can repeat the same thing to someone else.

          Only one problem is who would burry such a person alive the same way they did to the girl? You would be equally inhuman as them.

          • jemand

            “You would be equally inhuman as them.” This is actually something I’ve been wrestling with, because stealing someone against their will and locking them up is an inhuman thing to do when someone does it on their own, and yet it is now the preferred method of punishment for all sorts of crimes. I don’t think it makes the jailers inhuman to do it though. There appears to be a nebulous difference between things done as a society in reaction to crimes committed against individual citizens, and the crime itself. I don’t really think this difference should extend to burying people alive, but I’m not entirely sure why I don’t think it should.

            • Sunny Day

              “I don’t think it makes the jailers inhuman to do it though. There appears to be a nebulous difference between things done as a society in reaction to crimes committed against individual citizens, and the crime itself..”

              It’s not so nebulous. That is because through the course of time societies can change, new evidence can be found, crimes once thought despicable and heinous could be understood or treated differently. The jailed has hope that they could one day get out.

              Once you execute someone you can’t take it back. Dead is dead. Torturing someone before you kill them commits a greater crime against the person sentenced to death, the ones charged with the duty of carrying it out, and the society as a whole for allowing torture to be carried out in its name.

      • Olaf

        Give a big signal to others that this is not a good idea. So they think twice.

  • Len

    I don’t understand why people (including the media) call this and other cases like it “honour killings”. It’s murder.

    Calling it an honour killing kind of makes it sort of almost OK (for some twisted minds). Calling it murder helps everyone understand what happened.

    • zack

      I agree, and it’s not global warming, it’s climate change. They murdered their own blood for what? Execute them, soon.

      • DarkMatter

        Honour.

        Deceased’s father is a selfish weak coward, he agreed killing by his relatives excusing himself.

  • http://www.celebrationofreason.com Jeff

    There are too many humans on the planet already and these humans become excess baggage the moment they engage in this kind of behavior.

    Definitely execution. Burial alive would be appropriate but I couldn’t bring myself to do that. A quick gunshot to the head.

    • http://www.stophonourkillings.com Joanne

      Just to make a few quick comments:

      It has been known for atheists to commit ‘honour’ killings if it is in their culture to do so.

      It’s not the case that 100% of ‘honour’ killings in the UK are by Muslims. There are also cases of ‘honour’ killing in Sikh families.

      • Custador

        Name ONE case where atheists have commited “honour” killings in Europe. Name ONE.

        On your second point, to my knowledge I have seen only one case of honour killing by a Sikh family in the last thirty years. I’ve lost count of the amount of Muslim families I’ve read about doing it.

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  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

    What good does an execution do in this case, other than appease anger?

    Shouldn’t we, as a collective society, at least condone some attempt at rehabilitation? Isn’t that the reasonable alternative? I’m not saying send them to therapy and let ‘em walk … but sheesh, I’m flabbergasted by the numerous calls for execution.

    • Elemenope

      What good does an execution do in this case, other than appease anger?

      Nothing, and I don’t even think it appeases anger so much as justifies bloodlust.

      Then again, there is a huge difference between idly venting anger by calling into the Internet ether for retributive killing, and actually taking practical steps to that end. I’m reminded of the end of The Dark Night, wherein (SPOILERS FOLLOW) even the loudmouthed fellow who advocated immediately blowing up the other boat in the end couldn’t bring himself to actually do it.

      • zack

        Child murders don’t get breaks. Take them out of the gene pool.

  • laura

    “pain is the only promise this so called savior is gonna bring ” off the album “Gossip in the Grain” by ray lamontagne
    I was listening to his CD today, just thought I’d add that in, I think it sums up religion pretty well.

    If we look at history what has religion done to us.It’s simple if everyone could be enlightened of all the pain and suffering caused by religion no one could be religious.Just by reading history my once narrow christian mind was instantly converted to atheism.

    All I wish now is that this horrible crime will never happen again and those responsible for the crime will be punished.my heart goes out to her and all those who miss her.

  • Emily

    I am not sure that honour killings are as much a religious as a cultural question… they’re often attributed to Islam, but apparently they predate the coming of Islam and are also committed by members of other religious groups in the region (and even as far east as India; here in Canada where I live a Sikh man killed his daughter for her relationship with a non-Sikh man). And as much scorn as I have for Christian fundamentalists, I’ve never heard of a Christian fundamentalist, say, in the South killing his daughter for sexually “transgressing.” Disowning her, maybe, but killing, no. So I can’t blame religion per se for this. Rather, it’s a cultural phenomenon.

  • Emily

    To your questions, the second one, they should be in jail for life with no, none whatsoever, parole. They leave when they can come out in a coffin (I’m not arguing for the death penalty; I’m just saying they should stay in jail until they die a natural death.)

    About whether they would do the same thing if they were atheists… that’s really hard to say. Sometimes atheists can be as narrow-minded on social issues as practitioners of any religious faith. For example, homosexuality – at least male homosexuality – was considered a crime punishable by law in the officially – and sometimes militantly – atheistic Soviet Union. So if these particular people here were atheist, would they have buried their daughter/granddaughter alive? Really hard to say.

    In the end I’m not sure whether religious faith or the absence of it makes an individual a better person. For instance, I once worked for a boss who was a real (name for a female dog). She was also a self-declared atheist. A Christian evangelical (I think he was Baptist) co-worker was sure that if our boss “found the Lord” she’d immediately stop her nearly daily abuse of her employees. I on the other hand was pretty sceptical of that. I’m sure our boss would have been a bitch whether she was an atheist, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim or whatever; she was just an unpleasant person. So I don’t know if atheism would have made these Turkish men any better.

  • Susan

    Unfortunately incidents like this are really common in rural areas of Turkey and very rarely is justice ever served. For dishonoring and shaming the family they sit fit that murdering their own family members are a just way to protect the family’s name. These people are disgusting pigs, who are ignorant, backwards and immoral. I really don’t think this has anything to do with religion. Going back in history, the Turkish people find enjoyment in murder.

  • Shelby

    This is disgusting. I was literally horrified when I read this.

  • Anon

    The punishment should be the same as what they did to the girl except they should be saved just in time so they could experience the pain and fear they inflicted and have to live with it for the rest of their lives.

  • Hassan Hamza

    Bury the whole damn family that anything to do with killing the girl, from the father and grandfather who organized it to every piece of garbage in the family who went along with it. Make an example of all of them.