Honour, rape and the right to abortion

Honour, rape and the right to abortion

Decapitation sparks debate over women’s rights in Turkey.



What would drive a woman to shoot a man ten times, stab him and then behead him? In Turkey, Nevin Yildirim did just that to the man who allegedly raped her for eight months, in order to "save her honour". Yildirim, now pregnant with his baby, is prohibited from having an abortion under Turkish law.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, head of a religious party governing a secular state, recently sparked protests after he called for laws to limit women’s access to abortion only in cases threatening the health of the mother.

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Ömer Taşpınar (@BrookingsInst), Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; Zehra Arat, professor at SUNY Purchase; and Ayşe Toksöz of the Socialist Feminist Collective (@sosfeminist).

What do you think? Have women’s rights become the fault line for Turkey’s culture war? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using #AJStream.