An older but important piece from The Guardian of Istanbul via the Taipei Times, with thanks to Twostellas:
Birgul Isik had not expected to find her oldest son waiting for her at the bus station when she and four of her children returned from Istanbul to the central Anatolian province of Elazigon on Tuesday.
She certainly wasn’t expecting the 14-year-old to pull out a gun as she moved to embrace him.”You’ve disgraced the family,” he said, and shot her five times in the head and chest.
She is still in a coma.
For the police who charged the boy with attempted murder, and arrested his father and uncle on suspicion of incitement, it is just another example of the “honor” crimes that result in the deaths of scores if not hundreds of Turkish women each year. Most die for breaking the rules of propriety: they talk to men in the street, they wear the wrong clothes, they insist on education rather than an early arranged marriage.
Isik’s crime was to appear on television. It was the fifth time she had fled her violent, bigamous husband. Ignored by the authorities, abandoned by her own parents, who reportedly told her “a woman’s place is with her husband,” she finally agreed last Friday to appear on a show many have described as Turkey’s equivalent of Oprah Winfrey.
You only have to glance at Yasemin Bozkurt’s daily program Woman’s Voice to see why. There’s the live studio audience, the frequent angry exchanges. The themes are familiar too: match-making, runaway children, violent husbands.
A radical break from Turkish TV’s traditional mix of local sitcoms and Hollywood fare, the show, like its half-a-dozen competitors, has proved a hit. Despite the early afternoon slot, it regularly rates among the country’s top 10. It has also courted controversy from the start.
The presenters see themselves as defenders of women’s rights, confronting issues that had previously been hidden away in the silence of family homes. For their critics, they are purveyors of “victimization TV,” using people’s suffering to improve ratings and advertising revenue.
Of course, lurid TV shows don’t cause honor killings. There must be another ingredient.