Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Murder in Turkey: They killed my dreams ... accused’s shocking confession to detectives

The Turkish boyfriend of 15-year-old Shannon Graham told police that he murdered her mother and best friend because "they killed my dreams".

Recep Cetin, a waiter in the seaside resort of Kusadasi, allegedly confessed that he stabbed Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore after failing to convince Shannon's mother that the pair should marry and move to Northern Ireland to make a life together.

During a private court hearing in Bayrakli Courthouse in the city of Izmir on Friday night, a judge was given access to the initial police reports so that he could decide if there was enough evidence to remand Cetin in custody.

Details of the court hearing have only just emerged.

Cetin initially denied any involvement, telling police that while in the forest a black van pulled up and three men jumped out and abducted the two women. But after being quizzed by Turkish police for more than eight hours, he admitted his involvement.

The police reports presented to the judge state that when asked by police why he had murdered Mrs Graham and her friend Kathy Dinsmore, Cetin replied: "They killed my dreams". He told officers that when he first met Shannon "I was in love" and said the pair had been planning to get married and live in Ireland, but that Mrs Graham had not wanted it to happen.

Cetin said the women came with him to Izmir on Thursday afternoon because he had told them he had a friend there with a good picnic area and they would enjoy themselves.

Shannon was on a boat trip at the time. It has not yet been officially established if her boat trip had been arranged by Cetin.

After listening to the preliminary police case the judge decided that there was enough evidence to detain Cetin. He is currently being held in Bergama Prison, a juvenile justice centre around 100km north of Izmir.

He is not expected to appear back before the court for several weeks. It is also possible that because he claims to be 17 years of age, the judge can rule that any court hearing is held in private.

It has been suggested by sources close to the investigation that if convicted as a juvenile of premeditated double murder, he could be jailed for 24 years.

Cetin's father and a taxi driver were also arrested for questioning over the murders but the judge ordered they be released as he did not believe there was a case against them.

It is understood that an initial forensics report shows that both women were stabbed 15 times, mainly in the chest area. It is believed that Cetin stabbed Marion first. When Kathy saw what was happening she tried to flee, but he is accused of then turning on her, stabbing her to death.

The best friends' bodies were discovered in a wooded park on the outskirts of Izmir. A large police cordon remains around the area where they were found a short time after the attacks.

A full autopsy report is expected to be released to police today.

It is understood that the two bodies are to be moved from the morgue in Izmir this morning with preparations to fly them back to Ireland under way.

Mrs Graham's former husband Raymond McGuinness and their son David arrived in Izmir on Saturday evening to formally identify the bodies. Ms Dinsmore's niece and nephew, Ruby and Robert, flew in yesterday.

A spokeswoman for Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs said repatriation depends on flight availability.

She said the bodies will be signed off and released as they have now been identified.

The family is being assisted by Irish diplomat Fiona Nic Dhonnacha, the deputy head of mission in Ankara, who has travelled to support the family in Kusadasi.

Mr McGuinness said he hoped a flight back to Ireland could be arranged by the middle of the week.

He said: "We've identified the bodies and my main concern now is my daughter. We're going to arrange the flight home as soon as possible."

Cetin had been sharing a villa with Shannon, Marion and Kathy in Kusadasi.

He has been described as being a "troublemaker" by some locals, who said he would often be seen in fights and having arguments. However, people who know him said they cannot believe that he could be a killer.

Restaurant owner Serafestin Dural, who has known Shannon, her mother, Kathy and Cetin for almost three years, said: "When I heard the news I was really shocked. I couldn't believe that he could do that. I know he was with Shannon but from what I could see he had lots of girlfriends. I know he was wanting to make a life in Ireland."

At the weekend, devastated Shannon and her father returned to the villa she shared with her mother in the resort of Kusadasi to pack their belongings.

The family did not speak as they packed suitcases, laptops and bags into a waiting car.

Neighbours on the quiet estate have said that Cetin and the women had furious rows on a daily basis.

Their Turkish next-door neighbours even stopped their children walking past the three-storey villa after they were disturbed by the noise from the house.

They said it was after an angry row last week during which Cetin is believed to have kicked Shannon.

After this, her mother Marion is understood to have told him that she was taking Shannon home. Cetin, who dropped out of school at 12, then allegedly threatened the mother.

Neighbours also told how they watched Cetin outside the villa on Thursday, shortly after the two women had been killed.

The residents, who asked not to be named, said: "We saw him (Cetin) lying in the dirt outside his house on Thursday afternoon. He was covered in mud and had a cut to his hand but the blood had dried.

"We went over to him and offered to call an ambulance but he came to and told us he would take a taxi to hospital.

"On his way he dumped a bag in the rubbish bins. At that point we had no idea what he had done."

Meanwhile, Marion Graham's second husband, a Turkish waiter, yesterday told of his shock.

Yucel Kilinc said: "Marion and I married five years ago but we always argued and just couldn't make it work so we separated three years ago.

"When I heard what happened I was shocked and horrified. I just don't understand how this could have happened."

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