A 16-year-old Turkish girl found dead in a hole last December was probably buried alive, judging by the amounts of soil in her lungs and stomach, authorities claim, the BBC reports.

Medine Memi may have been the victim of an “honor killing.” An “honor killing” takes place after one family member commits an act that serves to dishonor the rest of the family. Members of the family then kill the one who committed the act, as defense of honor is seen as a justifiable reason for murder. Memi’s father and grandfather have been arrested, but not yet charged.

Memi’s neighbor noticed she’d been missing for a month before calling the police. Officers then visited Memi’s house, and found her body “in a hole, newly covered with concrete, next to the hen-house,” the BBC reports. She was found dead with her hands tied behind her back and minor bruises on her body.

Memi lived in Kahta, Turkey, a heavily conservative and religious south-east town. The BBC reports that while many “honor killings” are carried out by muslims in Turkey, the practice has more to do with the regional customs of this mainly Kurdish town than with religion. Apparently, if a female child is seen even speaking to a boy, there is “strong peer pressure from the community on the male members of the family to restore their honor.”

The United Nations Population Fund estimates the number of worldwide “honor killings” at 5,000 per year. Both men and women are targeted, though women are much more often victims. According to the Turkish prime minister’s office, there were 16 honor killings in Adiyaman, the province where Memi lived, between 2003 and 2007.

About The Author

Sachin Seth is the Blast Magazine world news reporter. He writes the Terra blog. You can visit his website at http://sachinseth.com or follow him on twitter @sachinseth

7 Responses

  1. Michael

    And they say Turks aren’t genocidal. If they will kill their own children, they would have no problem killing and raping 1.5 million Christian Armenians.

  2. rasna prasannan

    are we really in the 21st century??the increasing rate of these kind of incidents simply prove the fact that psychologically we are drifting to the more atrocious “once upon a time”….talking to boys a crime????

  3. Stephanie


    These incidents aren’t increasing, they’re just being reported more often now than they were 20 years ago. The advent of the internet has made it harder for us to turn a blind eye to acts like this.

  4. Talaat Mostafa

    Unless the family if that girl has FOUR adult witnesses who can swear on the Qur’an that they have seen the girl commits adultery, with their own eyes, those who killed the girl should be given eighty lashes each then they should be tried for murder and when proven, the person who killed her should be executed for killing a person for no reason.

    • rasna prasannan

      you are right about the role of the web in news of this kind…and i would say it is high time that these people come out of their holes and look out into the world…we are in the e-world right now for christ sake….

  5. Miss TR

    I would like to remind every one that this is a KURDISH tribal custom..Not Turkish..they live in the southeast of turkey and refuse to be educated and when turkish government try to force them they say they are being assimilated! There are lots of organizations trying to educate these type of families!

  6. claire

    first off im gunna sound a little crazy right now, bu im moving to south eas turkey…infact im moving to a vilage in adiyaman.its a kurdish village,and its in the mountains.my turkish fiance got a job out there as a primary schoolteacher… next up id like to say alot of kurdish and turkish ppl r generally relle nice. but there are some radicals who clearly have no hearts as these so called honour killings prove. and its not just the kurds in turkey either, its kurds in london, india, pakistan,iraq,iran,germany,armenia, everywhere!!!

    in reply to “talaat mostaffa” whoevr u are, it doesnt really matter if the girl did commit adultary,thats not any reason to be killed and especially notlike this by familymembers who are supposed to be the ones to love u unconditinally. sick bastards th lot of them… i sincerely hope they get as good as they gave,and i hope they die slowly and painfully… i personally will carry that guilt if that happens


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