Between Saviors and Savages: The Effect of Turkey’s Revised Penal Code on the Transformation of Honor Killings into Honor Suicides and Why Community Discourse is Necessary for Honor Crime Education

Emory International Law Review


Honor killings and honor suicides are culturally motivated causes of deaths of women in Turkey. These honor crimes occur after a family member violates a social or moral norm, such as premarital relationship, that brings shame and dishonor to the family. Both the Turkish media and general scholarship on honor killings argue that due to the revised Turkish Penal Code of 2004, which increased sentences for honor killing perpetrators and their family members, families have shifted from honor killings to honor suicides, encouraging the females to take their own lives as to minimize the penalization. This article seeks to rebut that notion of causal linkage through careful analysis of statistical data while offering alternate explanations that expose the deeper issue of the Turkish honor culture.

Read the complete article, “Between Saviors and Savages,” which first appeared in the Emory International Law Review, Volume 9, Issue 22, in December 2014.

*Not only does the author provide pro bono representation to victims of domestic violence in her community, but she writes extensively on the origins and ramifications of violence towards women as a part of her commitment to this important cause.

Editor’s Note: March 25, 2015
Bethany Corbin has been invited to present this paper at the ninth Pan-European Conference on International Relations on Sept. 23-26, 2015, in Sicily, Italy. The theme of the Pan-European Conference is “The Worlds of Violence.” Corbin’s paper for the conference will be a continuation of the research she began on honor killings as an undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill and throughout her time at Wake Forest School of Law.