Murder of Turkish Feminist Puts Rights of Muslim Women in Focus

The body of Turkish feminist Konca Kuris was found in a hideout used by Islamic militants. The militants tortured her for weeks and documented it on video, which was also found during a recent raid on the hideout.

Kuris was once a member of the Islamic militant group Hezbollah that seeks to establish an Islamic state in southeastern Turkey. She became frustrated with the group’s attitude toward women and demanded the right to pray alongside men. Kuris’ feminist views enraged Hezbollah. In July 1998, three militants kidnapped Kuris in front of her home.

At Kuris’ funeral, her eldest daughter Sirma was not allowed to pray beside her mother’s coffin. Sirma shouted “I will carry out my mother’s last will” as men blocked her from the male section of the mosque. Another female relative successfully pushed her way through to stand beside the coffin.


Associated Press - January 31, 2000

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