Saturday, 20 August 2011

Turkey stabbing: bodies of Northern Irish women to be flown home

Recep Cetin, 17, is alleged to have confessed that he slit the throat of Marion Graham, 54, and also stabbed her in the heart after she refused to allow him to marry her daughter Shannon.

Cetin is also alleged to have killed Ms Graham's friend Kathy Dinsmore, also 54, after luring the two women to a secluded forest about two hours' drive from the tourist resort of Kusadasi. Their bodies were found in woodland about 20 yards apart.

Yesterday, Shannon Graham's father Raymond McGuinness, who flew to Turkey from his home in Northern Ireland to comfort his daughter, suggested Cetin was determined to marry Shannon in part because he was "keen to get hold" of a holiday apartment which Mr McGuinness owned in Kusadasi, close to the one where the women were living.

Mr McGuinness accused Cetin, who grew up in an impoverished area of eastern Turkey, of being a "gold digger".

Police have interrogated Cetin, who was charged yesterday with murder, over his motive for the attack. The teenager, who had been in a relationship with Shannon for two years, was living with the girl, her mother and Ms Dinsmore in a rented apartment not far from the one owned by Mr McGuinness.

Shannon's father said the boy harboured a "dark side" and was prone to bouts of jealousy, especially if his girlfriend attracted the attention of other Turkish men.

"There was always something that was not quite right. He had a look in his eyes; you could see the jealousy," said Mr McGuinness..

He added that Cetin was "always on Facebook" and frequently telephoned his house in Northern Ireland to "check up" on Shannon. "He was almost, you might say, obsessed by her. He was just mad about her," added Mr McGuinness.

Shannon and her mother, who lived in Newry, County Down, were regular visitors to Turkey, having stayed there last Christmas and returned again at the start of the summer.

Details emerged yesterday of Cetin's tempestuous relationship with his girlfriend. Cetin, a well-known figure on the beachfront who was known to British holidaymakers as "Alex", dropped out of school at 13 and began a relationship with Shannon when he was 15.

In May, Cetin began renting a villa in a quiet residential area of Kusadasi, which he shared with Shannon, and his two victims.

Neighbours claim that they could often hear shouting and arguing coming from the apartment.

One Irish resident said yesterday: "They didn't really fit in here. It's a very quiet, friendly place. There was a lot of aggression and raised voices. We kept our distance."
Last Thursday, according to Cetin's uncle, who did not wish to be named, the waiter dropped Shannon off at the beach in the morning before taking the two older women on a shopping expedition.

Cetin used a local taxi to ferry them to Izmir where his father Eyup runs a corner shop. From there Cetin took a family car to drive the women out to the woodland area of Buca. Exactly what happened in the forest is still being investigated by Turkish police.

Initially Cetin claimed the women had been abducted by three men and that he had suffered a cut to his hand and been knocked unconscious as he tried to fight them off.

But, according to his uncle his story was vague and unconvincing.
"I took a call from a friend of Cetin's about 8.30pm on Thursday night," explained the uncle.

"He said Cetin was at the police station and had been stabbed. I don't have a lot of time for my nephew - he's become disrespectful and arrogant in the last couple of years but he's family and so I had to go and see what had happened.

"When I arrived at Kusadasi police station, Cetin and Shannon were both there. Cetin had a cut bandaged on his hand. I spoke to him for a few minutes and he told me the story about three men in a black van. He couldn't explain how he returned to Kusadasi.

"I talked to Shannon at the station for a while. She seemed very calm and was coming up with suggestions as to who the men in the black van might be. She was trying to help the police find who had abducted her mum and the other Irish lady."

One friend of Cetin's told police the boy had dumped a bag in a bin on his return from Izmir. A police search discovered Cetin's blood-stained clothes.

"I think his story fell apart and after a few further hours of interrogation Cetin broke down and confessed to killing the two women," said his uncle.

"He told police that Marion planned to take Shannon back to Ireland effectively ending their romance and the pair were heart-broken."

According to Turkish media, Cetin told police that he had tried to plead with Ms Graham one last time in the woods to let Shannon stay in Kusadasi and marry him. But she refused claiming Shannon was too young and her friend backed her up. They were then murdered, dying of multiple stab wounds.

"I know that Cetin and Shannon were very much in love," said the uncle. "They had been virtually inseparable for the last two years.

"They would argue - that's quite normal - but I think he slapped her once or twice. He would get cross if she sunbathed topless."

A spokesman for the Irish foreign ministry said an embassy official was comforting Shannon. She said: "Shannon is very upset at what has happened. She gave a statement to the police, but has not been questioned or held in custody."

The blinds of Ms Graham's Newry home were drawn and the garden of the mid-terraced house overgrown as she has been living in Kusadasi for the last few months.

Members of the Dinsmore family issued a statement yesterday speaking of their sorrow.
It said: "John and George Dinsmore are devastated by the tragic death of their beloved sister Kathy Dinsmore while on holiday in Turkey."
Source: Daily Telegraph

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