Families in Turkey accused of forcing young women to take their own lives
Nuran Uca never made it to 61 Aydin Arslan Street. If she had gone to the colourful two-storey building, climbed its narrow stairwell, walked down a corridor and sat in the plump brown armchair that so many other women had used, she might be alive today. There, with counsellors from the Kam-er support group, she could have talked about the "crime" of falling in love with a man she could never marry.
Instead, on June 14 the Kurdish woman succumbed to the phenomenon that is claiming lives in this Kurdish area of south-east Anatolia: she hanged herself in the bathroom of her home.
"She was just 25 but it was especially tragic because both were teachers, educated people," said Remziye Tural at Kam-er, the women's organisation that has become a lifeline in Turkey's poor south-east for those who face death because of a perception of dishonour. "She was modern and wore tight clothes - which is why his family rejected her. She was banned by her parents from seeing or speaking to him, and then they stopped her leaving the house. In the end the pressure was too much."
Despite the searing heat, Ms Tural is dressed for work in a pink T-shirt, combat trousers and boots.
On the streets of Batman, a city with a population of 250,000, an alarming number are harbouring suicidal thoughts, and acting on them.
Across Turkey, men are twice as likely as women to take their own lives, but, defying that trend, more than 300 women in Batman have attempted suicide since 2001. Seven women died in almost identical copy-cat deaths in one month alone.
The rising number of suicides has brought schoolgirls marching in protest to Batman's cemetery crying "stop the violence", a courageous act given the conservative mores in Batman.
"The numbers are increasing," said Ms Tural. "By June this year, 19 had tried to take their lives and most were successful. That's just in Batman. All over, in villages and towns, young girls are committing suicide."
There were those who had jumped into the River Tigris, others who had fallen off rooftops or cut their wrists, and some, like Nuran Uca, who had opted to end their lives abruptly as they were doing chores around the house.
Invariably, survivors said it was their kader, or destiny, to meet such an end.
But women's groups and human rights advocates believe the suicides are tantamount to murder. Stories have emerged of girls as young as 12 being locked in rooms for days with rope, poison or a pistol.
"There's a lot of evidence to suggest that these are, in fact, 'honour killings' passed off as suicides - that these girls are being forced to take their own lives," said Aytekin Sir, a psychiatrist who has studied the practice. There is no evidence that Nuran Uca's family forced their daughter to kill herself.
Last year, Yakin Erturk, a special UN envoy, arrived at the same conclusion, saying "honour suicides" had clearly begun to replace "honour killings", with the deaths increasingly being disguised as accidents.
It really sucks to be a woman in Turkey.