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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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The Trial of Kerem Çakan: The Turkish Judiciary and Honour Killings: Trial Observation Report
Details for The Trial of Kerem Çakan: The Turkish Judiciary and Honour Killings: Trial Observation Report
NameThe Trial of Kerem Çakan: The Turkish Judiciary and Honour Killings: Trial Observation Report

This report presents the findings and further recommendations of a KHRP delegation that travelled to Van, south-east Turkey in August 2009. The delegation was dispatched to observe the trial of Kerem Çakan, accused of the murder of his then-pregnant 17-year-old wife, Eylem Pesen. Pesen had previously been forced out of education to marry Çakan, her maternal uncle’s son, who was accused of repeatedly stabbing and running over Pesem on 17 May 2009. The apparent motive for the killing was the defendant’s suspicion that she was involved in a sexual relationship with his elder brother, although subsequent admissions by Çakan revealed that Pesen had reported twice being raped by this same brother. Whilst Çakan is accused of the killing, the court has failed to consider the murder as an ‘honour-killing’ (which has an impact on sentencing) and both the police and judiciary neglected further avenues of investigation that may have indicted the case as such. The trial represented the first opportunity afforded to a KHRP delegation to witness a case involving violence against women, and besides monitoring the proceedings, mission members also interviewed the prosecutor, the defendant’s lawyer, relatives of the victim and local NGOs and human rights-based organisations.


The findings of the delegation reflect a wider systemic failure on the part of the Turkish state to uphold commitments to regional and international human rights law concerned with gender-based discrimination and violence in particular. Furthermore it is suggested that the state has failed to ensure women’s access to its protective and judicial powers in opposing pervasive gender-based violence and honour killings, particularly in the Van region. The lack of confidence in the Turkish judicial system reported by many women in indicative of such failures. The report also investigates wider root-causes of gender-related discrimination and violence in the countries’ south-east. Specifically the report stresses the need to address shortcomings in state health, education and social service provision, and asserts the importance of improving the social, political and economic environment in the region. The report concludes with a number of recommendations for the Turkish Judiciary and government, as well as for the European Union and relevant NGOs, human rights organisations and civil society groups.

FilenameTurkish Judiciary and Honour Killings ONLINE FINAL.pdf
Filesize469.97 kB
Filetypepdf (Mime Type: application/pdf)
Created On: 01/12/2010 08:20
Maintained byEditor
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Last updated on 05/11/2010 10:52
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