Runaway Turkish Bride
That is the heading for an article by one of my favorite Globe and Mail writers, Margaret Wente. Unfortunately, I can't link to it because it is by subscription only, but I will tell you what it's about and insert some quotes from it.
Last spring, Selda Pekgul decided to run away. She had been planning her escape for months. She got up a little earlier than usual and pretended she was going to school. She put on her head scarf and went to her parents' bedroom. "I wanted to see my mother one last time,"she says. "I couldn't even hug my brothers and sister's goodbye."
Margaret Wente, is currently in Berlin and doing a story on Turkish women and forced marriage. In this story, the young woman in question managed to get away with the help of her teacher who gave her a train ticket from Frankfurt to Berlin. She ran away because she chose not to enter an arranged (forced) marriage that generally happens when a girl is fifteen. Selda was nineteen when she ran and was able to cope, albeit not easily. She currently lives in a shelter that specializes in Muslim women. She missed her family and called home once. Her father tried to get her to come home and when she refused, told her "if he found her he would kill her.
This brings to mind a story I read last year about a young Turkish woman Hatun Surucu who ran away from a forced marriage only to be found and shot dead by her brother. There had been six such honor killings in the six months prior.
A Turkish Author,and sociologist Nedla Kelek has written a book about foreign brides in Germany. You can read her article here.
Germany has a lot of problems in dealing with its' Turkish residents and a good part of the problem is that Germans are "bending over backwards" because they are afraid "they'd be called Nazis if they dared to bring up issues of human rights in the Turkish community".
What will the country of my birth do to change this. When will they wake up and realize that this doesn't work any more and if they are not astute and make some changes the far right will become way more popular. And then what? The far right bloggers
are already discussing these issues.
Oh yes, the young girl in the story, Selda Pekgul. Seems she might be a lucky girl, she now dresses in western clothes and isn't frightened to go out anymore. I hope it lasts for her, after all, it doesn't have to be her father or brother who kills her, it can be any pious Muslim.
Back to my knitting, sigh..