Tuesday 14 December 2010

Christian man in Turkey kills sister for marrying Muslim

Comment: Unfortuntely women in all patriarchal cultures face threat of 'honor killings' and prospect of their male relatives controlling every aspect of their lives, not just among Muslims...Only greater education, stricter laws and the reform of the male dominated power structure will decrease such oppression inshallah.

A young couple that was found dead in their car in İstanbul's Fatih district 10 days after they got married were murdered because of religious differences, according to the prime suspect in the case.

Sonay Öğmen (age 26), the daughter of a Syriac family, married Zekeriya Vural (age 29) 10 days ago, against her family's wishes. The young couple was found dead in their automobile on Sunday, each with a bullet to the forehead.

The police established that the couple was killed by someone sitting in the back seat, concluding that the murderer had to be someone they knew. The alleged killer, Sonay's brother Günay Öğmen, was taken into police custody as part of the investigation. He purportedly confessed in his police testimony to shooting the couple, saying, “We did not want that groom.” Investigators said Öğmen, who owns more than 120 pigeons, was captured due to his love for these birds. The suspect was detained at the Pigeon Lovers Association in İstanbul, with the gun believed to have been used in the murder on his person. In his initial testimony, Öğmen said: “Our family didn't want them to get married. We met in a café to talk. Zekeriya told me: ‘This is over. We got married. Don't stand in the way.' Then we got in the car. I shot both of them.”

Vural's uncle Cemal Vural spoke to the press, saying: “Sonay's brother had invited them to dinner. It was a trap, apparently. She was Christian. Her family was against the marriage because he is Muslim. Actually, Sonay warned her family a week ago that she'd take her own life.” Investigators say Zekeriya Vural ran a jewelry store in the Kapalı Çarşı, like the family of Öğmen. The two stores are Kapalı Çarşı neighbors. Her family will still be holding a funeral for Sonay Öğmen. They claimed her body morning from the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) in Yeni Bosna, where doctors performed an autopsy. She was taken to the Surp Kevork Armenian Church for a funeral. Vural's family also retrieved the young man's body from the ATK. A funeral service was held for him at the Kocamustafapaşa Sümbül Efendi Mosque. Turkey has approximately 30,000 Syriac Christians. About half this number are Syriac Orthodox, and the other half are Syriac Catholics.


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