Manahil/Menekse- a victim of ‘crime against honour’

Manahil’s character was the fourth reason why we watched Manahil Aur Khalil

Sedef Avci

Sedef Avci

Through Manahil’s character in Manahil aur Khalil/Menekse Ile Halil one got to see that behind the beautiful and modern façade of Turkey there are some significant socio-cultural issues that the country is undergoing. One of them is honour-related crime. And it is not necessarily happening within its geographical boundaries but its people having immigrated to other countries for better economic opportunities have transplanted this cruel practice to keep a tight control over their women especially if they dishonor them by falling in love with a man outside of their community. In 2002 Fadime Sahindal a Swedish Turkish woman became a victim of such a crime. According to Guardian Weekly: “During a computer course in 1996 Fadime met and fell in love with a Swedish boy called Patrik Lindesjö. Sahindal was under no illusion about her father’s reaction. They kept their relationship secret for a year. When her father eventually found out, his first reaction was to beat them both up. Her father disowned her, but the couple refused to be intimidated. Lindesjö parents went to Fadime’s family to propose on his behalf, but were turned down. Sahindal moved to another town, only to be pursued and threatened by her brother. She turned to the press, giving interviews about the conditions faced by Kurdish girls in Sweden. On a visit to Uppsala her father spotted her with Lindesjö. He attacked her, spat in her face and screamed: “Bloody whore. I will beat you to pieces.” Then, in June 1998, as the couple prepared to move into a flat together, Lindesjö was killed when his car crashed into a concrete pillar.

For four years Fadime Sahindal’s father had threatened to kill her. But last week [Jan 2002] she took a risk and went to say goodbye to her mother and her sisters before leaving to study in Africa. Just before 10pm, as they sat in her sister’s flat in the Swedish city of Uppsala, the doorbell rang. Her father burst in and shot Fadime in the head. She died in her mother’s arms. Sahindal, 26, paid the ultimate price for falling in love with the wrong man and defying the patriarchal values of her culture. Her father was an illiterate Kurdish farmer who moved to Sweden in 1980. His family arrived four years later, when Fadime was seven.


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