(AFP) -- A Turkish court sentenced five members of the same family to life imprisonment for the "honour killing" of Naile Erdas, 16, who got pregnant as a result of rape, activists said Monday.
In its verdict, a court in the eastern city of Van sentenced the murder victim's brother to life in jail for the 2006 murder to cleanse the family honour, the Van Women's Association said.
The girl's father, mother and two uncles were also given life sentences for instigating the murder, while a third uncle was jailed for 16 years and eight months for failing to report the murder in one of the heaviest sentences handed down in Turkey for such a killing.
"We can say this verdict is a first in terms of the harshness of the sentences and the fact that the entire family was convicted," Mazlum Bagli, a researcher into honour killings at the Dicle University, said.
Zelal Ozgokce of the Van Women's Association also welcomed the sentence as an appropriate deterrent.
"It is very good that the entire family was punished for the crime," she said. "It will serve as a deterrent. People will become aware that they will face the consequences of an honour killing."
Erdas became pregnant as a result of a rape but concealed her condition until she was hospitalised for a severe headache, when doctors determined she was pregnant.
When the family made threats and offered bribes to get the girl back, doctors decided to keep her in the hospital and informed police and the prosecutor's office.
One week after Erdas gave birth, the prosecutor agreed to send her home after the girl's father promised she would not be harmed.
But she was shot dead by her brother a few hours after returning home.
In "honour killings", generally prevalent among Turkey's Kurdish community, a so-called family council names a member to murder a female relative considered to have sullied the family honour. In most cases this is because of an extra-marital affair.
But there have been cases where those killed have been rape victims or women who simply talked to strange men or requested a song on the radio.
In recent years, the government and civic groups have stepped up efforts to stamp out honour killings, but the practice still has considerable public support in the mainly Kurdish southeast.