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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 16:21 GMT
Turkey condemns 'honour killings'
Turkish mosque
The Turkish state hands out sermons to be read in Mosques
Muslim clerics in Turkey are to deliver sermons upholding women's rights and condemning so-called "honour killings".

State Minister Mehmet Aydin said he would ask for action from the state-run religious affairs directorate, which writes up important sermons.

He was speaking in response to the shooting last week of an unmarried woman who had given birth to a child.

Police suspect the murder was a case of "honour killing" and are looking for the victim's brothers.

"In the coming weeks, I think sermons will be read in the mosques on the rights of women," Mr Aydin said.

"Our people and our laws already define the killing of people for traditional reasons as murder.

"Taking the life of another, and indeed suicide, are deemed a sin in our religion," he added.

Scared

The victim of Friday's killing, Guldunya Toren, came from Turkey's conservative south-east.

She was shot dead by a visitor at a hospital in Istanbul, where she was recovering from an earlier murder attempt.

She had given up her baby for adoption shortly after his birth, expecting that she would be killed, according to Turkish media.

Interviewed in hospital shortly after the first attempt, she had asked for police protection.

"I know they won't want me to live. I'm scared," she told reporters.


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