Fadime Sahindal

Fadime Sahindal, 26, Sweden.

Fadime Şahindal moved to Sweden from Turkey at the age of seven. She took to Swedish culture and was opposed to her family’s insistence on an arranged marriage.

She was 26 when her father killed her. Several years before Fadime appeared in the media and talked openly about her family’s struggles to integrate into Swedish culture and the problems she faced growing up.

She had left home at one point to live with her boyfriend. Fadime’s boyfriend Patrick died in a car crash the day they were to move in together.

She was stalked by her father and brother who threatened to kill her so she went to the police who advised her to talk to her family. She then turned to the media with her story which gained the nation’s sympathy in 1998. By going to the media Fadime managed to receive support from the Swedish authorities, but she had also made the “shame” of her family public.

A Kurdish-Swedish parliamentarian negotiated a compromise in which Şahindal agreed to stay away from Uppsala where her family lived and her boyfriend was buried in exchange for her father promising not to stalk her.

On the 20th of November 2001 the Violence Against Women Network arranged a seminar about the topic “Integration on who’s terms?”.  Click the link to find the speech held by Fadime Sahindal at the Swedish Parliament during the seminar.

She tells the detailed story of her father’s disapproval of her relationship with her Swedish boyfriend, Patrick and her wish to help other ethnic minority women in similar situations.

On 21 January 2002, Fadime was secretly visiting her mother and sisters in Uppsala. Her father, Kurdish immigrant Rahmi Sahinhal, arrived and shot her in the head, in front of her mother and two sisters. Confronted by police, he confessed and said to his defence that he was ill.

Fadime’s murder sparked a debate in Sweden about immigrant integration and also raised questions regarding her boyfriend Patrick’s death.

When he was in court in 2002, charged with Fadime’s killing, Rahmi confessed to the murder.  He said his daughter was a “whore” and claimed he had to kill her for family “honour”

Following her death successive governments have launched programs to combat honour based violence in Sweden. Commemorations are held around Sweden marking the anniversary of Fadime’s death.

Fadime was buried in Uppsala.



Swirls of your hair,

They catch the last rays of the dusking sun,

And holds it around you.


Glowing amber light.

A warmth of fire in your eyes,

From courage mustered

Through the trails of time.


Dear one,

How you must have held dear to Love,

Protecting it like the warrior you are.

For you are the true warrior,

Defending love’s existence,

A voice for it to be freed.


Lovers saw in you, purpose.

You are its purpose, oh True Martyr of Love.












Messages in “Fadime Sahindal”

  1. TIQ says:

    Would that have been a slap in her face to have her laid to rest in Uppsala? This is pathetic!

  2. TIQ says:

    Fadime story aches my heart, because she spoke out and it made a different as her memory lives on.

    I wrote a story on her behalf I would love to know how is her mother and sisters doing? Fadime has touched my heart tremendously as I sit here and view these beautiful young women it brings tears to my eyes.

    Rest in peace my child….your legacy and memory will live on. Your death was not in vain, your challenges were inspiring.

  3. Donald Dogan says:

    It is a sad reality of Man’s pity claim of ownership on women. This young women have lost of life due to the unjust treatment of Kurd in Turkey that makes man more brutal and satisfy his demonized honor by the state, in order to control the life of women in general. And Western nations are equally to be blamed for allowing Turkey to oppress Kurds and force them into immigration that in many cases destroy their life for forever…

    I am very sorry that this beautiful women paid the highest price for something that is not her own making…

    May she rest in peace and her memory enlighten those that left behind…

    (To a young woman, reminding me of Fadime)

    You proud strong woman
    who think you have lost
    so beautiful you are
    Despite pain and struggle
    your back is still straight
    and your will steadfast
    In speechless admiration
    I , your helper
    welcome you
    and soon realize
    of your dark
    sparkling eyes
    that you again
    will take up the fight
    Your freedom
    is located somewhere ahead
    a place hidden
    under a layer of
    desert sand
    Silent, imperceptible
    and vigilant
    you move
    against your goal
    It may take years
    before you can break
    the promise you gave him and those
    who offended you
    I, your helper
    can not do anything
    except hoping and praying
    that your endurance
    and will
    will be persistent
    and that your day of liberty
    will be coming soon

    May the glory and honor be poured upon you

    The shame was never
    never yours

    Guro Angell

  5. […] spousal murder of model Melissa Nordell by her boyfriend (2001) and the honor killing of Fadime Sahindal, a Turkish-Kurdish immigrant, at the hands of her father (2002). Both women were exotically […]

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