The Inside Story of Hatun Sürücü

The book “Honor, Enforced” tells the inside story of Germany’s most well known victim of an honor killing – Hatun Sürücü.


A German with Turkish-Kurdish roots, 23-year-old Hatun was gunned down by her youngest brother Ayhan on a cold February night because she did not follow the rules set by the men in her family.

Hatun Sürücü paid with her life for her desire to define it for herself.

Yet the vibrant young mother lives on. Hatun’s friends, members of her family, activists and politicians continue to lay wreaths on the garden of her memory.  Activists use her story to help other women avoid the same fate. And politicians cite Hatun as an example when they crusade for stricter laws against forced marriage.

Hatun enjoys all this attention, yet no one really knows who she is.

In “Honor, Enforced,” readers will find out for the first time the struggles Hatun faced after she broke with her family and struck out on her own. They will experience petite and energetic Hatun as she celebrates her new life one day but faces depression, fear and financial problems the next.

Rhea Wessel and Gunther Kohn take readers into the home in which Hatun grew up. For the first time, they put a human face on the suffering of a family who was made an instant villain by the German media.

Readers walk away from the book with the sense of a family in ruins and the unbearable weight of the challenge Hatun’s mother will face when her son gets out of jail: How to live with the man who killed her daughter.

A true story and social critique, “Honor, Enforced” is a contribution to a growing body of literature about Muslim women in Europe.