BERLIN – Frost covers the roses, and the scrawled eulogies are tattered near the sidewalk where Hatun Surucu was gunned down. The attackers appeared on a cold night more than a month ago. Three shots were fired and the young Turkish woman crumpled in the blurred glare of a streetlight.
The accused assailants fled to a place that Surucu knew well: the home where she was raised. Her killers, police say, were her brothers.
A 23-year-old single mother seeking to escape tradition and religious constraints, Surucu was the sixth Muslim woman to have died in the German capital since October in suspected “honor killings,” slayings arranged by families who believe that their reputations have been stained.
Such crimes are rarely mentioned in Germany’s newspapers.
But Surucu’s public slaying has instigated fresh debates on politics, immigration, human rights and a rigorous Islam adopted by a minority of Muslims confronted with poverty, discrimination and liberal European attitudes.
Ah, that’s it, you see. They were driven to it by poverty, discrimination, and liberal attitudes. It certainly isn’t anything for which they themselves have any responsibility.
The case is a portrait of contradictions – much like Surucu, whose memorial pictures show her either wearing the hijab, the head scarf of her Eastern heritage, or with the uncovered hair of her Western aspirations.
“Hatun couldn’t bring her two worlds together,” said Marko Katovcic, a classmate in an electrical apprentice program. “There is too much contradiction between these worlds. We knew she had problems, but she didn’t talk about private things.”
Surucu’s violent fate is a verse in the larger epic of European immigration. The continent’s Muslim population has nearly doubled to about 14 million over the last decade. Many Muslim immigrants seek immediate assimilation. Others practice their religion and traditions while embracing their adopted countries. A small but growing proportion turns to more radical religious precepts that have unsettled the continent since Sept. 11, 2001, and last year’s Madrid train bombings….
Hatun married and left a husband and returned home to live alone.
“What’s worse, she didn’t want anything to do with her biological family. They couldn’t figure this out. She just didn’t want to be controlled anymore.”…
Gee, I just can’t figure that out.