Turkey detains mother for newborn's "honor killing"

ISTANBUL Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:45pm EDT

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish police Friday detained an unmarried mother and six other people near Istanbul for their suspected role in the so-called "honor killing" of a 2-day-old baby girl, state news agency Anatolian said.

The baby was suffocated by her grandmother after the family learned the 25-year-old mother became pregnant out of wedlock, Anatolian said.

"My family decided to kill my baby," the mother told the police, according to Anatolian. "My 55-year-old mother choked the baby with a cloth. Then, my brothers buried the baby in a hole in the garden and covered the hole with cement."

Police found the body after receiving an anonymous phone call.

Among those detained were also a doctor and the doctor's secretary, They allegedly had agreed not to register the baby's birth in return for an undisclosed amount of money.

The baby's father is doing his military service and was not involved in the incident.

"Honor killings," or crimes carried out against women seen to have tainted the family's name, are not uncommon in mainly Muslim Turkey, particularly in poor and rural areas.

The European Union, which Turkey has applied to join, has repeatedly urged Ankara to take a tougher stance against such crimes. (Writing by Ibon Villelabeitia; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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