A woman in Turkey is awaiting trial after beheading a man who she says raped her repeatedly for months and is the father of her unborn child. Her lawyer says the woman killed the man to protect her honor.
Nevin Yildirim, a 26-year-old mother of two, lives in a small village in southwestern Turkey. She said the man, Nurettin Gider, began the attacks a few days after her husband left in January for a seasonal job in another town…
At one point, Yildirim said, Gider sneaked into her house while she was asleep and took pictures of her, the source said. One of the pictures shows her pregnant body. Gider threatened to publish the pictures if she didn’t obey him…
In small villages like hers, honor is held above all else, and women carry the burden of honor for their families. Pictures like those would have been devastating for Yildirim and her family and could have posed a danger…
On August 28, at least five months pregnant by a man who she said continued to rape her, Yildirim said she decided she had had enough. Gider was climbing up the back wall of her house. “I knew he was going to rape me again,” she said at her preliminary hearing August 30.
She said she grabbed her father-in-law’s rifle that was hanging on the wall and she shot him. He tried to draw his gun and she fired again.
“I chased him,” she said. “He fell on the ground. He started cussing. I shot his sexual organ this time. He became quiet. I knew he was dead. I then cut his head off….”
Witnesses described Yildirim walking into the village square, carrying the man’s head by his hair, blood dripping on the ground.
“Don’t talk behind my back, don’t play with my honor,” Yildirim said to the men sitting in the coffee house on the square. “Here is the head of the man who played with my honor…”
The source said Yildirim went to a health clinic a while ago seeking an abortion, but health workers told her she was 14 weeks pregnant and abortion was not an option.
In Turkey, abortion is allowed during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, after which it is permitted only to save the life or health of the mother or in cases of fetal impairment…
Yildirim is in the local jail while she awaits trial.
At a minimum, there is the Antalya Women Support Organization to rally some support for Nevin Yildirim in Turkey. The crime should lay on the heads of a government that bows to religious foolishness, refusing to support a woman’s right to make her own choices about pregnancy, a government that does next to nothing about rape, about campaigning against backwards traditions in an ignorant society.
Nevin Yildrum is an honorable victim of those traditions, condemned to act out the only solution available to her in a society that restricts choice to barbarisms.
I can only hope she is allowed an opportunity to abort the fetus she never wanted, the result of her rape. I can only hope she is acquitted of murder on the grounds of self-defense.
I don’t doubt that our Republican politicians and the bible-brigade that defines today’s conservative ideology will be rooting for the opposite.