‘I killed two women for love’ – says Turkish waiter on trial for murder of Northern Irish women
Recep Cetin was dating the teenage daughter of victim Marion Graham. He is also accused of murdering her friend Cathy Dinsmore
A Turkish waiter who killed two women from County Down has said he did it for 'love'.
Recep Cetin has already admitted killing Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore, in 2011.
The 22-year-old, who had been dating Ms Graham's daughter, Shannon, told a court in Izmir, west Turkey, today he was 'full of regret'.
"I was young and naive. I was in love," he said.
"I did not plan this in advance as the prosecution claim. I committed the murders under severe provocation. I did it so I would not lose my girlfriend.
"I only ask for a fair trial and hope God will forgive me."
Ms Graham and her friend Ms Dinsmore were said to have tried to warn Recep Cetin away from Shannon, who was 15 at the time.
The bodies of the women, both 53, were found in woods on the outskirts of Izmir in west Turkey in 2011. Both had suffered multiple stab wounds.
At Izmir Bayrakli Fifth High Criminal Court on Monday, prosecutors asked for Recep Cetin and his father Eyup, who is also accused of murder, to be given life sentences in solitary confinement.
Judges also ruled against conducting another mental health assessment on Recep Cetin, which had been requested by his defence at the last hearing.
Recep's father Eyup Cetin, who is also accused of murder, again claimed his innocence.
The 43-year-old repeated earlier claims that secret witness evidence placing him at the scene of the crime was contradictory.
He added: “I am innocent but I have been in prison for two years. My command of Turkish is poor so I can’t defend myself adequately.
"I accept any sentence the court will give if there is any evidence showing my involvement in this incident."
Relatives of the victims did not attend today's hearing.
The trial was adjourned to October 2, when a verdict is expected.
Lawyer Baris Kaska, who is representing relatives of both women, confirmed that the judge has set a new date of October 2 for the final hearing.
Mr Kaska said the judge had accepted a psychiatric report which deemed Recep Cetin sane at the time he was alleged to have stabbed the two women. Cetin's lawyer had challenged the medical report last month.
Mr Kaska said: "The judge has accepted my demand regarding the objection by Recep Cetin's lawyer to the medical report. There is no need to have a second report done.
"Recep Cetin's lawyers have also made their final statements regarding the case. Eyup Cetin's lawyers have demanded time to compose final statements. A final verdict trial will be on October 2."
Relatives of the two women did not travel to Turkey for the brief hearing but are expected to fly out next month.
Mr Kaska added: "If the judge had not accepted the medical report it could have meant we would have lost up to four months. I spoke with the families and I get the impression they are pleased that the case is progressing."
Recep Cetin has admitted stabbing the women, but claimed his father, who has consistently protested his innocence, was not involved.
A key witness has placed both men at the scene.
From his home in Newry, Co Down Ms Dinsmore's brother George Dinsmore said they were hopeful the case would conclude soon.
He said: "It has been a long time. When it is over, it is over but it is always in the back of your mind that things could change at any time. But, we are happy that things appear to have moved on.
"We are all dealing with a legal system that we are unfamiliar with. Hopefully it will all be sorted on October 2."
Proceedings were previously held up because Recep Cetin, who had been dating Ms Graham's 15-year-old daughter Shannon at the time of the killings, falsely claimed to be aged 17 in an apparent attempt to be tried in the juvenile courts where sentences are lighter.
Bone marrow tests confirmed that the waiter was aged 22.
Ms Graham and Ms Dinsmore, both from Newry in Co Down, were close friends and had been on an extended holiday in Turkey when they were killed.
It is claimed they were murdered after Ms Graham refused to allow Recep Cetin - known to the family as Alex - marry her teenage daughter.