Sarai Sierra is seen with her husband and children. Sierra’s dead body was found Feb. 2 along Istanbul’s city walls near Sarayburnu beneath Topkapı Palace.
U.S. tourist Sarai Sierra, who was murdered in Istanbul last year, has inspired Turkish director Mehmet Bükülmez to make a film about it.
Starring Maral Büyüksaraç, Ensar Ender, Silvia Santini and Erkan Can, the film depicts an Italian tourist who is murdered in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu and illegal events taking place in the backstreets of Beyoğlu. The film will be premiered at the Italy film festival. Bükülmez made the film in collaboration with Italian director of photography Marc Harwey.
The 33-year-old Sierra left the United States for the first time in her life on Jan. 7 last year to take pictures in Istanbul and went missing in the city on Jan. 21.
She planned to head to the Galata Bridge, a well-known tourist destination that spans the Golden Horn waterway, to take some photographs. When she didn’t show up in New York City on her planned day of return, her husband called the place where she had been staying. The owner of the hostel checked her room and saw her passport, equipment chargers and other items were still there.Her body found in Sarayburnu
Sierra’s dead body was found Feb. 2 along Istanbul’s city walls near Sarayburnu beneath Topkapı Palace. The suspect Z.T. or “Laz Ziya” admitted to killing Sierra, but said he did not rape her beforehand, but rather simply attempted to kiss her. Z.T. claimed he was on drugs at the time and that he killed the woman with a rock following a physical struggle.