Oct 19 2009
Courageous woman accuses her Muslim husband in court of murdering their daughter in an honor killing 10 years ago. Will she be honor killed now, too?
The father accused of murdering his own 15-year-old daughter today collapsed in the dock as his wife broke a code of silence and gave evidence against him. Turkish Kurd Mehmet Goren, 49, had a fit and had to be helped to lie on the floor of the dock by prison officers at the Old Bailey as the stunned jury looked on.
The court proceedings were brought to an abrupt halt while the dock descended into chaos as an ambulance and doctor were called, interrupting Mehmet’s wife Hanim, 45, who was giving evidence for the first time. She had been giving evidence for just 45 minutes when Mehmet took a turn for the worse and slumped forward from his chair.
It is alleged their daughter was killed in 1999 after she fell in love with the wrong man Halil Unal, a manager of an East End sweatshop she met while doing work experience. Mr Unal, was then 15 years older than the teenager and a Sunni Muslim, while the Goren family were Alevi Shi’a which was ‘considered utterly unacceptable’ in the rural communities they originated from in Eastern Turkey.
It is alleged her father Mehmet, 49, and her uncles Ali, 55, and Cuma, 42, in a ‘family council’ had decided the pair must die because Tulay was seen as a ‘valueless commodity’ after losing her virginity to him. In a bid to restore their reputation the family had reluctantly agreed the pair could marry but she was too young – and because of the gossip in the community, the family felt their honour had been tarnished forever, it was claimed.
In January 1999 they tried to lure Halil to a trap but when that failed Tulay who had no passport disappeared without a trace. Two weeks after the alleged attack, Mehmet attacked Halil with an axe after luring him to an ambush. Mehmet, Ali, and Cuma Goren denied murdering Tulay and conspiracy to murder Halil Unal.
Mother of four Hanim told the court she married Mehmet when she was 16 and the family arrived from Turkey in the mid 1990s claiming asylum and lived off benefits.