A Turkish waiter made a chilling death threat to the British mother who refused to let him marry her 15-year-old daughter, before stabbing her and her best friend to death.
Recep Celik, 17, lured Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore, both 53, to a secluded wood and cut their throats because he was infatuated with Miss Graham's daughter Shannon who he had been dating for two years.
Last week her mother Marion, 53, had a blazing row with Celik, who uses the name Alex. After he kicked Shannon during an altercation, Miss Graham ‘went ballistic’ and told him never to lay a finger on her daughter again.The waiter apparently responded by threatening to kill Miss Graham if she came between him and Shannon.
Last night Turkey’s state-run news agency Anatolia said Celik had confessed to killing Miss Graham and her friend Cathy Dinsmore, also 53, who both came from Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland.Shannon was being cared for by an Irish Embassy official. ‘She is in an absolutely dreadful state but we are doing our best to comfort her,’ a consular source said.
For several years Miss Graham, Miss Dinsmore and Shannon have been regular visitors to Turkey, where Miss Graham’s family own a holiday home in the popular seaside resort of Kusadasi. Shannon and Alex started dating after she and her mother visited the restaurant where he worked.
Like many naive British girls who find love on holiday in Turkey, she was bowled over by his attention and soon found what started as a holiday romance turned into a marriage proposal. She travelled to see him every school holiday. Pictures of them together show them holding hands and smiling. But yesterday Shannon’s father, Raymond McGuinness, said her mother was terrified Celik was abusing her.
Mr McGuinness, who was flying out to be with his daughter early today, said he was never fully in favour of the relationship. ‘There was always something that was not quite right,’ he said.
An English holidaymaker who became friendly with Shannon and Celik said the Turkish youth seemed to be ‘very possessive’ and ‘desperate’ to marry Shannon.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said: ‘He used to write to Shannon on Facebook when she was back in Northern Ireland. If she didn’t message him regularly enough, he would be messaging her asking why.
‘He was even strange to people like me, just friends. If I passed him in the street without hugging him he’d hold it against me and act strangely for the next few days.’
On Thursday, Celik sent Shannon on a boat tour off Kusadasi while he offered to take her mother and Miss Dinsmore on a sightseeing tour of Izmir, 60 miles away.
They travelled there by taxi. Once in the city, Celik collected his father’s car and drove the women to a wooded area in Buca, a suburb of Izmir notorious locally as a crime hotspot, where he slashed their throats.
Shannon raised the alarm yesterday after the two women failed to return from the trip. Celik initially denied to police any connection to the women or involvement with their disappearance.
But after their bloodstained clothes were reportedly found in a bin near his family home, he admitted driving them to the woods and stabbing them on Thursday night. He then led police to the bodies.
Mr McGuinness said that after the women disappeared, Alex came back to Shannon saying they had all been kidnapped and he had a bad cut on his hand.
‘I don’t know what has gone on really. But there has been some sort of kidnap and then this tragedy has taken place and now Alex is in custody,’ he said.
In Newry, neighbour Brian Hyland said: ‘Marion was an absolutely lovely woman, very quiet and very polite and absolutely dedicated to her children.'Shannon is a lovely girl and is like any teenager really. But she’s very well behaved and polite.’
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