Our Austrian correspondent ESW has translated several articles about the plight of ethnic Turkish girls and young women in Austria. She includes this introductory note:
The following are three related stories about how more and more Muslim girls are disappearing. We all know that this has nothing to do with Islam and everything with getting a good education. What happens if the girls have received state of the art education in Austria and still disappear? Nothing, since politicians will still find an excuse so they don’t have to face the facts. And where are the human rights champs, the Greens? Deafeningly silent, as always. Nothing new in the state of Austria.
Nuray’s breath of fresh air may have been her first one without her “loving” husband and his family. I hope and pray she is still alive and enjoys her freedom.
I have one question for Mrs. Basibuyuk Zeyneb of COJEP: Are these really only isolated cases? And what do you consider isolated?
First, from Kurier, November 8, 2009, page 2 (no longer available online):
The girls who have disappeared
The Public Employment Service (AMS) is warning that a high number of young Turkish girls do not start professional education or training after their mandatory schooling years.
A GfK study has recently shown a lack of integration among religiously and politically oriented Muslims in Austria. There are specific problems with regard to girls who, after their mandatory schooling years, do not go on to get professional education or training, but who “are lost” at home within their families. The Public Employment Service Tirol [an Austrian province] assumes that this is the case for one third of all Turkish girls.
“We are noticing that girls from traditional Muslim families that are very much bound to their traditions are finding it very difficult to stand on their own feet, “ says Karin Klocker, deputy director at AMS Tirol. “Their values and attitude towards the working world are different [from ours]. This causes problems.
The director of AMS Upper Austria, Roman Obrowski, “can only completely confirm” this. He has noticed that girls often show interest when they search for jobs with the help of AMS. “However, next time their father or brother intervenes and prevent them from accepting a job.” The problem is especially grave in areas with many young Muslim girls.
AMS Vienna knows the phenomenon well. There are numerous cases of girls accepting only temporary jobs arguing that they “will get married soon anyway.” The family structure is a stronger one among migrant families and parents interfere in young people’s lives until they are of legal age. However, AMS Vienna emphasizes that this is not a specifically Muslim problem, but one of families with a low education level.
What can be done to offer these affected girls a good education? Interior Minister Maria Fekter (ÖVP) has suggested linking welfare payments with school attendance and/or getting professional training. Ms. Klocker is skeptical: “Pressure produces counter-pressure. We should motivate them more.” AMS Tirol supports projects allowing girls to get a first glimpse of a new profession. “This will show them that there is more to life than cleaning and bearing children.” […]
Styria: Young girl has vanished
Where is Nuray? The pretty twenty-six year-old from [the city of] Graz has been missing since October 25. Her family is completely distraught and cannot explain her disappearance. They fear a crime has occurred. Nuray Büyükkocabas left her parents’ apartment at around 5.30 p.m. Without her cell phone and without money. “I am going out to get a breath of fresh air,” she said. Contact police if you have more information.
From Kronenzeitung, November 13,2009:
Forced marriages among young girls in Graz “normal”
A woman working for Caritas is currently shocking the inhabitants of Graz with her reports about forced marriages. These are “completely normal” in Graz. Of particular interest is the case of Nuray B. who recently disappeared because she apparently became a victim of these “normalities”.
An isolated case? Definitely not, knows Elif Kahraman of the NGO Caritas. “Seventy percent of all Turkish marriages are arranged ones. The girls are subject to psychological pressure and violence. Fifteen-year-olds are re sent to Turkey after their mandatory schooling in order to enter forced marriages, with men who are old enough to their fathers.
Human rights are trampled.
Kahraman adds, “These families want to prevent girls from cutting their own paths. Many Turks are more conservative here [in Austria] than at home in Turkey.” Another reason for forced marriages is the head money, the dowry, which the parents of the bride receive, as well as better possibilities for the bridegroom to enter Austria.
The Caritas employee knows of a sixteen-year-old who became pregnant in Graz. She was taken to Turkey for an abortion, a hymen-reconstruction and a forced marriage with a 47-year-old. Apart from Turkish cases, these are also rampant among girls from Afghanistan or Chechnya. […]
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