Last week our Austrian correspondent ESW reported on the “disappearing girls” among Austria’s Turkish community. One of the girls who disappeared was named Nuray, and since that report her body has been found: a suicide.
Below is ESW’s translation of a report from oe24.at about the tragic finale to Nuray’s story:
Missing Turkish girl (26) found dead
Suicide out of fear of arranged marriage
- Brother admits: “She was under pressure.”
- She was to have gotten married in December.
A young Turkish girl was found dead in the [river] Mur shortly before getting married. Suspicion: Suicide as a result of her arranged marriage.
Graz. It should have been the happiest day of her life. Now it appears that her impending marriage caused a catastrophe for the young woman. For twenty-seven days the entire country worried about the pretty young girl from Turkey, Nuray Büyükkocabas, but now there is certainty: The twenty-six-year-old is dead and her body was pulled from a river power station near Mellach on Friday.
There is no evidence of foul play, but police are “investigating in all areas.” However, there is growing evidence of a horrible human tragedy that may have been the cause of this mysterious death.
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Flashback: On October 25, Nuray says good-bye to her brother, “to take a walk”, she says. She leaves behind everything of value: Her cash-card, her cell phone, her passport. When she does not return in the evening, her parents alarm the police. The criminal investigation department immediately takes charge of the search, while her family frantically goes public: “She was so happy and excited about her engagement and her wedding,” the family asserted at the beginning of the investigation.
During the course of the investigation a different story emerged: There appeared to have been a fatal misunderstanding. The would-be wedding of her dreams quickly turned into a nightmare for Nuray. Her brother admitted that her sister was pressured [into marrying].
The drama began this past summer when Nuray met a 23-year-old Turkish-Kurdish asylum-seeker. The young man did not waste any time and quickly asked for her hand in marriage. This was too fast for the young woman. She hesitated, wanting to think the whole thing over. When she was put under pressure she finally agreed. And then everything went rapidly: her fiance’s family put an engagement ring on her finger, a big engagement party was arranged, and the wedding date was set.
Nuray continued to tell her family about her aversion to getting married, but the pressure kept rising. On October 25, she left her family’s apartment, leaving everything behind.
An autopsy will now be performed on her body to find out the exact cause of death. Experts believe it possible that she acted out of despair, seeing her only way out by jumping into the freezing Mur.
Short side article:
90% of all Turkish marriages are arranged, says expert.
Vienna — Nuray’s death renews discussions about forced marriages, because in Austria 90% of all Turkish marriages are arranged ones. Also affected are women from Afghanistan, Albania, and Chechnya.
Elif Kahraman, working for Caritas, does not consider Nuray’s case singular. “These girls are subjected to tremendous psychological pressure and violence.”
In Vienna alone 39 victims fled to safe houses last year; this year the number will be at least four times higher.