A 16-year-old girl was buried alive by relatives in southeastern Turkey in a gruesome honor killing carried out because she reportedly befriended boys, the Anatolia news agency reported Thursday.
Acting on a tip, police discovered the body of the girl, identified only as M.M., in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a 2-meter-deep hole dug under a chicken pen outside her house in Kahta, a town in the southeastern province of Adıyaman, the news agency reported.
The body was found in December, around 40 days after M.M. went missing. She is being identified by her initials because she was under the age of 18. Her father and grandfather are suspected in the murder.
A subsequent postmortem examination revealed that M.M. had a significant amount of soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that she was buried alive and conscious, forensic experts told the news agency. “The autopsy result is blood-curdling. According to our findings, the girl – who had no bruises on her body and no sign of narcotics or poison in her blood – was alive and fully conscious when she was buried,” one anonymous expert said.
The girl’s father and grandfather have been formally arrested and jailed pending trial over her killing, according to the agency. The father is reported to have said in his testimony that the family was unhappy that M.M. had male friends.
The girl was reported as missing and no clues about her disappearance were found for 40 days. Her mother was arrested along with the father, Ayhan, and grandfather, Memi, but later released. The two men were sent to prison by a local court and did not speak in the court.
Police had found the body of the girl using an anonymous tip saying that M.M. had been killed based on a decision by a family council and buried under the chicken pen, daily Milliyet reported. The family has nine children, including the girl, and was reported to have told neighbors that she was missing. The girl had made a complaint to police about her grandfather two months before she went missing, saying that he beat her because she talked to boys.
Family councils consist of family elders; honor killings are usually decided by such groups.