16 Jan 2018

Parents on trial in Stuttgart after forcing their daugther to marry

A young woman has filed a lawsuit against her family that kidnapped, trafficked and married her off against her will. All because she refused to follow a traditional lifestyle.

Daria Sukharchuk
Daria Sukharchuk NewsMavens, Central & Eastern Europe
Parents on trial in Stuttgart after forcing their daugther to marry - NewsMavens
Women walking in Turkey/ Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

women's issues, gender

This story begins in 2011, when a young woman raised in Germany in a family of Turkish immigrants, refused to follow the path her parents had envisioned for her. She chose a Western lifestyle and wanted to have a boyfriend. After a family crisis led to an impasse, she fled and lived in a shelter in Stuttgart. She was 22. 

Yet, her struggle was far from over. A member of the family discovered her whereabouts, kidnapped and drove the woman to Turkey, where she was forced to marry a man against her will. Eventually, she managed to escape to Germany and filed a lawsuit against her parents and uncle, who now face prison sentences.

Having read many stories of domestic abuse and sexual violence, I can only imagine what this woman has been through. Although her story seems to have a happy end, it is clear that the she has suffered repeated abuse and trauma. Doubtless she has also lost trust and close ties to her own family.

Such stories occur worldwide and hence carry an important, universal message -- that widely idealized, traditional families are often not what they seem at first glance. Especially when they favor submissiveness and brutal force over the individual freedom of women.

Details from the story:

  • A young woman was raised in Germany in a Turkish family. She did not share her parents' traditional views on gender roles and wanted to live according to Western values.
  • The conflict escalated in 2011, when she was 22. Her parents did not approve of her lifestyle and her boyfriend. She had to flee home and hide in a shelter in Stuttgart. That same year, she was married to a man in Turkey, in a ceremony that did not even require her presence.
  • Soon after, her uncle tricked her into meeting him, then slipped drugs into her coffee and drove her to Turkey.
  • 1.5 years later, she managed to escape to Germany and file a lawsuit.
  • The woman, now aged 28, lives under police protection, while her parents and uncle are on trial, facing prison sentences.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy