Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Turkish Woman Awaits Trial in Honor Killing

Scene of Beheading in the village square, Gider's head in the background, top: Nevin Yildirim, bottom: Nurettin Gider

Scene of beheading in the village square, Gider's head in the background, top: Nevin Yildirim, bottom: Nurettin Gider

Turkish woman Nevin Yildirim, 26, is waiting for trial for murdering and beheading a man she says sexually assaulted her many times over the course of months. The mother of two, from a small village in Turkey’s southwestern Yalvac district, claims that the abuse began in January 2012, when her husband left their town for seasonal work. It seems that Nurettin Gider, 35, a father of two, married to her husband’s aunt, snuck into her home with a gun while she slept and tried to rape her, threatening to kill her children, 2 and 6, if she did not submit to his will without crying out. So she says began a pattern of coercion and serial rape that continued until August. Yildirim became pregnant sometime in March, after which, she claims that Gider photographed her naked, pregnant body while she slept, and used the photographic evidence of her infidelity to maintain his control over her. The fear of being shamed publicly, of losing her honor, and the effect that would have on her children, she said, were her motivation for taking back her honor, “Everyone would have insulted my children. Now no one can.”

On August 28, Yildirim said at a preliminary hearing that Gider called, and “I knew he was going to rape me again.” To avoid it, she said, she grabbed a nearby rifle off the wall and shot him twice as he scaled the back wall of her home. When he ran, she chased him down. “He fell on the ground. He started cussing,” Yildirim told the court. “I shot his sexual organ this time. He became quiet. I knew he was dead. I then cut his head off.” Yildirim carried Gider’s severed head by his hair to the village square, reportedly telling a group of men, “Don’t talk behind my back, don’t play with my honor. Here is the head of the man who played with my honor.” Then she threw Gider’s head to the ground. Witnesses called police, who arrested Yildirim without incident, “I saved my honor,” she told the court. “They will now call [her children] ‘the kids of the women who saved her honor.’”

Yildirim told the court that she regrets her actions, but that they were necessary to cleanse her honor.

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Slideshow: Honor Crime


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