An Archaic Parallel Society

Below is a news report from German television about the forced marriages and domestic violence that are a normal part of the parallel Turkish society in Neuköln. Many thanks to Hans Erling Jensen for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitles:

A full transcript is below the jump:

00:08   Turkish woman: Many (Turks) who live here think it’s ok…
00:12   they find it normal, that a girl actually marries against her will.
00:16   …and has sex against her will for the rest of her life!
00:20   …every time it was like having a knife in my heart…
00:24   when he touched me or was close to me!
00:28   But it shall come to an end…she wants a divorce and she breaks another taboo…
00:32   straightaway by openly telling her story to our camera!
00:37   I’ve already lost one sister to this violence, this concept of forced marriage; she was forced to marry,
00:41   marry against her will… like so many other girls…it was by no means a single case.
00:45   …I want to help other girls avoid the same fate!
00:49   Three women in Neuköln, three apparently modern and well integrated immigrant women.
00:53   They dont wear veils or other traditional garments
00:57   No outsider can tell that they are nevertheless still unwilling parts
01:01   of the archaic Turkish parallel society.
01:05   The oldest, Elif, is 38 years old.
01:09   In 1989, aged 17, she was forced to marry a man whom she didn’t love
01:13   She is still hiding from him.
01:17   Her youngest sister, Nazan, aged 22, works as a child care worker.
01:21   In 2002, when she was 14 years old, she attempted suicide to avoid…
01:25   a forthcoming forced marriage.
01:29   The second sister succeeded (in committing suicide)
01:33   Mevlüda died at only 17 years of age. She killed herself in 1991
01:37   as a last resort to avoid a forced marriage.
01:41   And even the next generation (of Turkish girls), who are born here
01:45   (in Germany), are to be bartered away as if they where live stock.
01:49   Elif’s daughter, Kader, aged 19, is attending high school.
01:53   Her father wishes to give her away in marriage to a cousin, whom she doesn’t know.
01:57   But her mother, Elif, has had enough of it. She left her husband,
02:01   who in 2010 treated his own daughter as a slave.
02:06   The girls in fact suffer more (under archaic traditions) here in Germany
02:10   than in Turkey itself. The people their are…
02:14   actually far more modern-minded, compared to the parents who came here 30-40 years ago,
02:18   who seem to be stuck in an obsolete mindset.
02:22   That’s why she’s afraid — because it’s not only the old who do not appreciate
02:26   women with a will of their own.
02:30   Wolla…how should I put it…it’s wicked; Sluts may be a harsh expression, but it’s no good!
02:38   When the right one has been found (by the parents) the woman must obey.
02:40   I don’t think that’s wrong,
02:42   I find it to be okay!
02:46   That’s how we go about it…simply our culture!
02:50   Time and again she wants to end our feature with her.
02:54   She is, as a woman in the 21st century, in reality without rights
02:58   in the middle of Berlin, and hence in real danger, just because
03:02   she wishes to tell us how her life really is and was.
03:06   Only when we leave Neuköln and drive to a suburb can she speak freely.
03:10   When she was 11 it was arranged she should later marry her cousin
03:14   and she was sent away to her uncle in Turkey.
03:18   He (the uncle) wanted me to marry him (the cousin) when I was only 13
03:22   I was also heavily mistreated. Not only physically…
03:26   but mentally as well…he was calling me names and so on…in the end…
03:30   I was mentally completely devastated
03:34   And I was heavily beaten up…among other things I sustained serious injuries to my back.
03:39   The Berlin teenager struggles for six years. Then she can no longer stand the pressure.
03:47   All my relatives put pressure on me — “if you dont marry as planned,
03:51   this or that person will end up getting killed” – you know, references to honor killings.
03:55   “you are to blame for all the tragedies that will follow, if you dont marry etc., etc.!”
03:59   At the end I told my father: Okay then, I’ll do as you want
04:01   to end all this misery.
04:05   Thus began her martyrdom — a loveless marriage as the wife of a cousin whom she hates.
04:09   Sex is experienced solely as rape.
04:14   Every time it was like having a knife in my heart…when he touched me or was close to me!
04:17   It was dreadful.
04:22   Elif laughs even when tears where more fitting. She wants to be strong.
04:25   She secretly postponed pregnancy for seven months. But then it happened.
04:33   I tried to provoke an abortion by eating a lot of pills. I didn’t want a child with
04:37   a man whom I didn’t love…the child should not …
04:41   be born into the world under such circumstances. I didn’t know what would happen
04:45   to me and the child didn’t deserve to come to a place without love.
04:53   The birth of her daughter, Kader, didn’t change the marriage…it only became worse.
04:58   He was violent…grabbed knives…tried to…well even towards the child…
05:01   I have a recording where the child is terrified of her father
05:05   “my dad hits me all the time!…he always had his belt readily at hand”
05:09   he frightened us with his violence…back then I could do nothing
05:13   I was always in fear of doing something wrong.
05:17   he threatened us with knives…I (often) stood in a corner with my child
05:21   and waited for his rage to settle!
05:29   Elif’s three children are not love children but they are being loved nevertheless!
05:37   How old where you then?
05:41   Just turned 16…! 16!…Yes, it was in the late eighties…!
05:46   You look older…!
05:50   Yes…I looked older than my real age from early on…I had more or less developed breasts at age 11, giving me a mature look.
05:54   She has often explained to her oldest daughter that she was born
05:56   of a forced marriage and that she does not.
06:00   want her daughter to repeat that pattern. Today Elif wants to show
06:04   the 19-year-old where she grew up and tell her what she witnessed then.
06:08   We were seven siblings…with your aunts and uncles.
06:12   Back then it was only a one and a half room apartment.
06:16   it was awful. There was no bathroom and no modern heating system like nowadays.
06:20   Instead mental pressure and habitual beatings…
06:24   administered by the father were the order of the day.
06:28   Beatings which eventually killed Elif’s two-year-younger sister Mevlüda.
06:32   Well, then…I will never forget it, it was really dreadful
06:36   you were five months old then. We shared a room. I noticed that
06:38   Mevlüda was dead the next morning.
06:42   While living next door to german neighbors she awoke beside
06:46   her dead sister. The then 17-year-old had used pills to take her own life.
06:50   So many people came to us afterwards. Many of whom we didn’t even know.
06:54   They couldn’t believe that such a young and strong girl had passed away.
07:00   In 1991 she could see no other way out, as she was to be (forcibly) married.
07:04   Eleven years later, in 2002, nothing had changed in the Berlin-based family.
07:08   The youngest daughter Nazan, then 14 years old,
07:12   was to marry a 30-year-old during her summer vacation
07:20   In Turkey there was this…roof…high up with a long drop down.
07:24   I had planed to jump out from there…but they prevented it.
07:28   Why did you think of doing that?
07:32   Well, I simply couldn’t stand the thought of it all.
07:36   By now Nazan has freed herself form the grip…
07:40   and lives in a shared flat. Her big sister Elif
07:44   often seeks refuge there when her former husband forces his way into her apartment.
07:52   On behalf of my children I wish
07:56   my former husband would show more respect and tolerance,
08:00   that he would understand how difficult a time we had coping with him for so many years…
08:04   that he at least would leave me alone and not threaten me all the time…
08:09   .I wish he would accept and realize that we live in separate apartments.
08:13   that would the first step…it’s a great achievement actually…
08:17   (to be able to think so at all)…four years ago I would never have imagined
08:19   that I could take such steps.
08:23   If she (Elif) can find an affordable apartment which her ex-husband cannot enter,
08:27   the women of the Kaya family could actually stand a chance…
08:31   of arriving in Germany in the year 2010 after 30 years of purely superficial integration.

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