Germany bids farewell to brave Turkish young woman
Enis Tayman / Kazım Doğan ISTANBUL / OFFENBACH
The crowd wore t-shirts with Tuğçe’s photo captioned 'Seni seviyoruz' (We love you) and held hand-written signs saying 'Danke [Thank you] Tuğçe.'Thousands in Germany are saying “danke” to a Turkish young woman who was brutally attacked for trying to rescue two German women from being harassed. After her life support is turned off on her birthday, German President Joachim Gauck called the family.
Tuğçe Albayrak, a 22-year-old student of Turkish-descent, went into the coma on Nov. 15 after she intervened between three men of Serbian-descent who were harassing two women in a restaurant in the German city of Offenbach.
She was brutally beaten by one of the attackers, an 18-year-old identified as Sanel M., in a parking lot an hour after she had stepped in to help two women screaming for help in front of the restaurant’s bathroom.
Her family and friends have waited for good news as she lay in a coma for two weeks but doctors said she was left brain dead by the attack on Nov. 26.
Her parents have decided to take her of life support systems on Nov. 28, the date of her birth 23 years ago.
Hundreds of people have staged silent protests in front of the restaurant where the scuffle erupted on Nov. 27, bidding farewell to the brave girl.
The crowd wore t-shirts with Tuğçe’s photo captioned “Seni seviyoruz” (We love you) and held hand-written signs saying “Danke [Thank you] Tuğçe.”
German President Joachim Gauck called the Albayrak family to condole with them. "Like our citizens, I felt shocked in the face of this terrible attack. Tuğçe deserves great respect and admiration. She will always be a role model for us," Gauck said in his message of condolences.
Speaking to daily Hürriyet, Tuğçe’s uncle Yasin Albayrak reproached the family of her attacker for not expressing sorrow over the incident.
“Their kids made a mistake. They could at least say ‘Your pain is our pain.’ I feel sorry for that kid also. But I guess they don’t feel sorry for our daughter,” he said.
Albayrak also called on the two German women saved by Tuğçe to give a deposition to the police.