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 UK: Father guilty in 'honour killing' of Kurdish teen Tulay Goren

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UK: Father guilty in 'honour killing' of Kurdish teen Tulay Goren  17.12.2009   

A Turkish Kurd was found guilty Thursday of murdering his 15-year-old daughter more than a decade ago, in what prosecutors said was an honour killing.

December 17, 2009

LONDON, — A Turkish Kurd was found guilty in Britain Thursday of murdering his 15-year-old daughter more than a decade ago, in what prosecutors said was an honour killing.

Mehmet Goren, described in court as a psychotic bully who terrorised his family, faces jail for killing his daughter Tulay because of her relationship with an older man who belonged to a different branch of Islam.

The London schoolgirl disappeared in January 1999, shortly after her father told his eight-year-old son to kiss his sister goodbye as he would never see her again. Her body was never found.

Goren's wife Hanim, who had suffered three decades of abuse at his hands, was among those who gave evidence against him, weeping and screaming in the witness box and demanding he reveal where the body was so she could bury it.

One of his other daughters, Nuray Guler, also testified against him, screaming: "Even animals would not do what you have done."

Prosecution lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw told the court that the Goren case was a "terrible reminder of what honour-based crime can involve" and a "wake-up call" to the existence of so-called "honour killings" in Britain.

Police had become involved with the family in the weeks before the murder, when Goren beat up his daughter's boyfriend, Halil Unal, then complained about their relationship to officers and demanded she take a virginity test.

Tulay ran away and told police her father had beaten her and she would rather go into care than return home, but her mother persuaded her to go back.                            

Mehmet Goren, who was found guilty of the 'honour killing' murder of his 15-year-old daughter, Tulay. Photograph: Metropolitan police/PA

15 Year Old Kurdish Girl Tulay Goren Murdered in “Honor Killing,”
Goren attacked his daughter's boyfriend for a second time just 13 days after Tulay went missing, this time with a hatchet, and it was while in hospital that Unal reported his girlfriend missing.

But police failed to put two and two together and it was two months before they began to suspect Tulay had been murdered. They submitted a file to prosecutors in 2000 but were told there was not enough evidence for charges.

Goren was finally arrested in 2008, along with his two brothers, after a review. Both his brothers were cleared of wrongdoing in court Thursday.

An ethnic Kurd from Elbistan in Turkey, Goren had moved to Britain claiming asylum in 1996. He was jailed in 2000 for his hatchet attack on his daughter's boyfriend but escaped deportation because his family all lived in Britain.

The 49-year-old admitted hitting his daughter and wife but denied murder, saying he still believed Tulay was alive and "will turn up one day".

Father guilty in 'honour killing' of Kurdish teen Tulay Goren

Mehmet Goren, 49, is a heavy-gambling, convicted robber with links to a militant of Kurdish rebel organisation.

The hypocrite claimed to be a doting father, who lovingly cared for his children, who had been imprisoned for campaigning for women's rights in Turkey.

But he was exposed as a violent, intimidating figure prepared to use violence to get his own way.

Just days after he murdered his daughter, he attacked her boyfriend Halil Unal with an axe. He had previously beaten him up and trashed his office and threatened him on numerous occasions.

He said: "You ------- come here and I will see how you measure up to me."

"I am not giving my daughter to you and if you should come around here just think about what you will get."

In court he also admitted beating his wife and giving his son a slap for wearing low-slung jeans.

Goren said he escaped from Turkey to London in May 1996 after years of torture and imprisonment for being a member of the Revolutionary People's Union, a banned Marxist political party.

He insisted he did not believe in the honour code and told how he was regularly arrested and tortured for being a political activist fighting for women's' rights in Turkey.

He said: "We believed that men and women should be equal. One is not superior to the other."

He had in fact served a series of prison sentences in Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

He was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for robberies carried out on behalf of the Kurdish rebel group PKK (The Worker's Party of Kurdistan),
www.ekurd.netwho fight for independence within Turkey.

He joined his family in London in 1996, but struggled to adapt to life in the UK.

He flitted between part time work cleaning in fish and chip shops in Woodford Green, working at KFC in Bury St Edmund's, Suffolk and another stint living in Crawley, West Sussex.

But anything he earned was gambled away in Turkish cafes in north and east London. His wife Hanim was even forced to hide money from him so she could pay the bills and support the family.

The tyrant made life "hell" for daughters Tulay, Nuray, now 29, and Hatice, who died in a car crash in 2006 aged 20, and only son Tuncay, now 19.

Nuray said: "This person called my father had nothing to do with us.

"As long as I have known myself he made life hell for us."

After seeing his eldest daughter Nuray holding hands with her fiance before their marriage in 1998, Mehmet was so disgusted he went home and drank bleach and said he "wanted to die".

He needed hospital treatment before being given the all clear.

She said: "He said that I was too young, that he was not the right sort of person and that this would definitely not happen. He was opposing silently."

An order was made for Goren's deportation after his conviction for wounding with intent for the attack Mr Unal. He was jailed for seven years, lowered to five years on appeal.

During this time he appealed the deportation notice and was allowed to stay in the country.   

Copyright, respective author or news agency, AFP | telegraph


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