Thursday, October 8, 2009

Man murdered daughter, 15, with help from his two brothers in family 'honour killing'

Man murdered daughter, 15, with help from his two brothers in family 'honour killing'
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:29 PM on 08th October 2009
Add to My Stories 'Honour killing': Tulay Goren's body has never been found
A 15-year-old girl who disappeared 10 years ago was murdered by her father in a so-called "honour killing", a court heard today.
Tulay Goren went missing in January 1999 and her body has never been found, a jury was told.
She was last seen alive at her north London home with her father Mehmet Goren, who was alleged to have killed her later that day, the Old Bailey heard.
Jonathan Laidlaw QC, prosecuting, said: "The circumstances in which Tulay was killed and the background to this murder demonstrate that Mehmet did not act alone in this offence because this was what has become known as an honour killing."
Mr Laidlaw said Tulay was killed "to restore the so-called honour" of the Kurdish family, who originate from Turkey.
He said the murder could not have taken place without the "approval and permission" of Mehmet's older brother Ali Goren, who was the "senior figure" in the family although he was many miles away from London at the time.
Mehmet's brother Cuma, who was "much closer at hand" is also said to have been consulted about the decision.
Mr Laidlaw said it could not be asserted that Cuma was present during the killing but it appeared he was involved in the "clean-up and disposal" of the body.
"In killings such as this, Mehmet's brothers Ali and Cuma shared responsibility with Tulay's father for the maintenance and restoration of the family name and its honour," said Mr Laidlaw.
"As for the concealment of Tulay's body, these men achieved that objective because, even now, 10 years on, the police have not been able to find any trace of Tulay's remains.
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"The label 'honour killing' is, in one sense an appalling and an entirely inappropriate way to describe an offence such as this because there is of course nothing honourable at all about the murder of a young woman carried out by members of her own family and the title 'honour killing' is almost to dignify the terrible thing they did."
Mehmet Goren, 49, of Woodford Green, and his brothers, Cuma Goren, 42, of Walthamstow, and Ali Goren, 55, of Walthamstow, deny murdering her on January 7 1999.
They also deny conspiracy to murder her boyfriend, Halil Unal, between May 1998 and February 1999.The court heard that the Goren brothers arrived in Britain in the early 1990s and sought political asylum.
Tulay was 12 when she came to this country and by the time she was 15 had been "assimilated in London life".
Mr Laidlaw said that, like most teenagers, Tulay experienced problems and was often in trouble at school, while there were also problems at home.
Her father gambled and did not appear to have full-time work, he said.
"What ultimately caused the most terrible of problems within this family and was ultimately to lead to Tulay's murder was a relationship she formed in London with a man called Halil Unal," Mr Laidlaw said.
Mr Unal, who was 30, came from a different town in the Kurdish region of Turkey and was brought up as a Sunni Muslim while the Gorens were from the Alevi branch of the faith, jurors heard.
Mr Laidlaw told the court that while they came from places no more than 60 miles apart, a relationship between an Alevi Muslim and a Sunni Muslim "would not have been tolerated".
He said: "Despite their differences in age, Tulay pursued Halil. She clearly loved him.
"Tulay's father was outraged and was filled with a sense that his reputation and that of his family had been destroyed. Halil was viewed in every sense as an unsuitable boyfriend and potential husband."
Mr Laidlaw said that in December 1998, Mehmet beat up Mr Unal, which led to Tulay leaving home and moving in with him.
"On January 6, the family persuaded her to return home where she was held, effectively captive, until the following day.
"On January 7, these men attempted to ensnare Halil by persuading him to come to the family home but Tulay managed to warn him of the trap and his life was saved.
"Tulay was not so fortunate. She was never seen again alive and the prosecution's case is that she was murdered at her home later that same day.
"The body was hidden in the back garden for a short while and removed a week or so later. Tulay Goren's remains have never been recovered."
Although Tulay's boyfriend avoided the earlier trap, he went to a meeting with Mehmet and some community elders on January 20, jurors heard.
Mr Laidlaw said that on the promise of an opportunity to speak to Tulay on the phone, Mehmet persuaded him to come away from the group, and attacked him with a small axe.
He said: "Within the culture of honour killing, women can be killed for the most trivial of reasons."
He said "honour-based murder" had previously been confined to the rural districts of Turkey but had now been brought abroad to cities such as London hundreds of miles away.
Such killings would be decided by a "family council" at which women were not present and were not "spur of the moment" crimes, jurors were told.

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