Religion causes honor killing

Honor killing: this is how Ayhan Sürücü killed his sister Hatun

The man who killed his sister with three shots in the head prepares Turkish tea. The murderer has long, slender fingers and a petite figure. His movements are slow, deliberate. His next sentence didn't: "I knew I was going to kill her and I saw no one to stop me. I was downright obsessed at the time."

Ayhan Sürücü is standing in a small kitchen of the Berlin-Charlottenburg correctional facility, building 4. It took two years for the Berlin judiciary to give permission to visit Ayhan Sürücü. And he too thought about it for a long time, but now he wants to talk. About the deed that moved Germany. About the "honor killing" of Hatun Sürücü, his sister.

In the meantime he has poured the tea into small glasses. The pale young man in the blue and gray striped sweater carries her to his cell. A three-day beard emphasizes his lean face. He wears his short black hair parted. He politely offers him space on two chairs in the small, six-square-meter room.

A woven carpet hangs on the wall, on which the holiest of all Muslims can be seen: Mecca, the birthplace of the Prophet Mohammed. A bedspread is carefully spread out over the bed. There's a small desk under the window. Papers are neatly stacked on top of it. On the dresser opposite is a small flat screen TV. “Order and cleanliness are extremely important to me. I wouldn't be able to stand it in here any other way, ”says Ayhan.

For a moment, a grin flits across his youthful face. A well-mannered killer. When greeting, he leaned forward slightly. His eyes are awake and yet strangely closed. He knows that he has to ask himself a lot of unpleasant questions. Questions that he has often asked himself. He started psychotherapy early in prison. For almost six years he has been lying on his bed in the evening, he says, brooding. The pictures come back to him again and again, pictures from the evening of February 7, 2005.

That evening, eighteen-year-old Ayhan Sürücü rings the doorbell of his sister Hatun at around 8.15 p.m. What happens in the next 45 minutes will cloud the view of many Muslims in Germany for years to come. After this evening, large parts of Muslim life are reduced to forced marriage and honor killing.

Hatun lives in Berlin-Tempelhof. Your two-room apartment is near the noisy Oberlandstrasse. A dreary area, thousands of cars and trucks roll through this street every day, which leads to the nearby city motorway. Kebab shops, kiosks and Turkish hairdressing salons shape the streetscape. Hatun Sürücü lives here in an unadorned tenement, but she knows the neighbors and feels at home. For the young woman, her small apartment on the third floor is a place of freedom and self-determination.

Smoking a cigarette was a pleasure for her in freedom

Ayhan, who is four years his junior, visits his sister regularly. As is so often the case, he's mad at her. The two quarrel, as always, it's about Hatun's lifestyle, which Ayhan criticizes as too western. After thirty minutes he jumps up. He says he wants to meet one of the brothers. Hatun decides to accompany him to the bus stop.