Birgul Isik had not expected to find her oldest son waiting for her at the bus station when she and four of her children returned from Istanbul to the central Anatolian province of Elazigon on Tuesday.
She certainly wasn't expecting the 14-year-old to pull out a gun as she moved to embrace him."You've disgraced the family," he said, and shot her five times in the head and chest.
She is still in a coma.
For the police who charged the boy with attempted murder, and arrested his father and uncle on suspicion of incitement, it is just another example of the "honor" crimes that result in the deaths of scores if not hundreds of Turkish women each year. Most die for breaking the rules of propriety: they talk to men in the street, they wear the wrong clothes, they insist on education rather than an early arranged marriage.
Isik's crime was to appear on television. It was the fifth time she had fled her violent, bigamous husband. Ignored by the authorities, abandoned by her own parents, who reportedly told her "a woman's place is with her husband," she finally agreed last Friday to appear on a show many have described as Turkey's equivalent of Oprah Winfrey.
You only have to glance at Yasemin Bozkurt's daily program Woman's Voice to see why. There's the live studio audience, the frequent angry exchanges. The themes are familiar too: match-making, runaway children, violent husbands.
A radical break from Turkish TV's traditional mix of local sitcoms and Hollywood fare, the show, like its half-a-dozen competitors, has proved a hit. Despite the early afternoon slot, it regularly rates among the country's top 10. It has also courted controversy from the start.
The presenters see themselves as defenders of women's rights, confronting issues that had previously been hidden away in the silence of family homes. For their critics, they are purveyors of "victimization TV," using people's suffering to improve ratings and advertising revenue.
According to RTUK, the state body that monitors -- and censors -- broadcasts, 3,600 viewers complained about the shows in the first three months of this year.
"I'm fed up with watching women fight on TV," said one. Another complained that his wife was so engrossed she no longer got up to get her children a glass of milk.
Nedim Hazar, a columnist for the conservative daily Zaman, was blunter. If the presenters refuse to make changes, he wrote last month, "they should build a clinic, a prison and a morgue in their studios."
Events on April 16 seemed to prove the critics right.
A day after they appeared on Woman's Voice to talk about bride exchange, a custom particularly widespread among Turkey's Kurdish minority, two men were shot to death by a relative. A policeman was also killed trying to intervene.
Despite media outrage, the show escaped unscathed. This week's attempted murder in Elazig changed that. On Wednesday, Kanal D announced it was suspending Woman's Voice. Another private channel followed suit with its equivalent, You're Not Alone.
"These programs touch a raw nerve," said the RTUK's head, Fatih Karaca, in support of the closures."They discuss family, children, marital relations -- sensitive topics to Turks -- in an indecently open way."
Yasemin Bozkurt's peers rallied round her. Blaming the violence on the show is absurd, argued her Show TV rival Serap Ezgu.
"Let's ban Formula 1 -- it encourages speeding. Let's ban cartoons -- last month a kid jumped from the fourth floor because he thought he was Superman," Ezgu said.
For sociologist Ayse Oncu, the vilification of the shows has a lot to do with the audience they cultivate -- lower-middle-class housewives. It's not for nothing, she says, that critics condescendingly call the shows shanty-town TV.
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