Northern Ireland

Turkish holiday that ended in murder of two NI women

Murder victims Cathy Dinsmore and Marion Graham
Image caption Cathy Dinsmore and Marion Graham were from County Down

In Kusadasi, on Turkey's Aegean coast, Northern Ireland accents are everywhere.

Bars and restaurants display Gaelic Athletic Association tops and Irish League football shirts and serve Ulster fries.

Visitors from Ireland, north and south, are key to the tourist trade and local people do their best to keep holidaymakers coming back time after time.

That is what Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore did; they loved their holidays in this part of Turkey.

Marion Graham's teenage daughter, Shannon, also enjoyed her trips to the family's apartment in Kusadasi.

In 2010, she began a relationship with Recep Cetin, who worked for a restaurant there.

The next year, he murdered his girlfriend's mother and Cathy Dinsmore in a frenzied knife attack.

Recep Cetin offered to take the women on a trip while Shannon was on a short cruise.

They went by taxi to Izmir, 100km from Kusadasi.

Image caption Recep Cetin had a relationship with Shannon Graham

There, in a forest on the outskirts of the city, he killed the women from County Down.

Marion Graham was stabbed 17 times. Cathy Dinsmore suffered 35 stab wounds.

Shannon raised the alarm after she could not get in touch with her mother.

I travelled to Kusadasi the day after news of the murders broke.

A police officer showed me the place where his colleagues had found a bag containing Recep Cetin's bloodstained clothes.

Recep Cetin was arrested and charged.


Four judges investigated the murder in Turkey.

About every six weeks, they held hearings where witnesses testified.

Shannon Graham gave evidence in June 2012.

She said that, contrary to media reports, Recep Cetin had not asked her to marry him.

But she told the court that her mother had decided their next holiday would not be in Turkey.

The trial went on for more than eighteen months.

It would not have lasted as long had Recep Cetin been honest about his age.

He initially said he was 17.

That would have meant he would have been convicted in the juvenile court, where sentences are more lenient.

But medical tests proved he was in his early twenties.

Then he claimed he was psychiatrically ill.

Doctors examined him and found that, too, was not the case.

Recep Cetin admitted stabbing Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore, but denied murder.

Four months after the killings, murder charges were also brought against his father Eyup

Eyup Cetin was acquitted by a majority of the three judges who ruled on the case.

Throughout the trial, the lawyer for the victims' families, Baris Kaska, said it had been a "very tough case".

He said: "One of the problems is that it has never been clear why these murders were committed. We still have no meaningful answer."