LOCAL > Prime suspect in Sierra case trying to flee to Syria: Claim

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency

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Sarai Sierra was laid to rest in Staten Island, New York, on Feb 15. AP Photo

Sarai Sierra was laid to rest in Staten Island, New York, on Feb 15. AP Photo

The prime suspect in the murder of Sarai Sierra, a U.S. woman whose body was found near Istanbul’s ancient city walls in Sarayburnu on Feb. 2, is trying to escape into Syria, daily Hürriyet reported.

According to the report, forensics experts have determined that a hair sample collected from a pillow at the address of the top suspect, Ziya T., in the northwestern province of Karabük, matches the blood samples found on the T-shirt of Sierra, as well as under her nails.

Once the story had broken, Ziya T. headed to Hatay, where he reportedly asked several people to help him enter into Syrian territory.

Mahmut G., a resident of the district where Sierra’s body was found, also told the police that he had seen Ziya T. in the neighborhood. 

He said that Ziya T. had “scars that might have been caused by nails.” “I asked him what it was, and he told me that he fell in the bushes,” Mahmut G. told the police, the report said. 
Another witness identified as Hasan B. said he saw Sierra taking photos of the city walls. Ten minutes after, he heard screaming.    
Ziya T., also known as “Laz Ziya,” who makes a living by collecting used paper, reportedly left Istanbul after Sierra’s body was found by the police. Police officers said Ziya T. might be in the southern province of Hatay. 
Istanbul police officers had said earlier in the day that a group of two or three people may be implicated in Sierra’s murder by having helped carry her body to the ancient city walls.
The 33-year-old mother of two disappeared in Jan. 21. She was laid to rest in Staten Island, New York, on Feb. 15. 


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Notice on comments

lee u

2/21/2013 8:01:14 PM

hmm the money to go there? Im thinking that if you really want to go to a place & money is tight, you'll find ways, maybe thats the reason she stayed in those neighborhoods, plus the "friends" she met online, probably she was thinking "this way is cheaper" who knows? I agree with Athiz J, why the sperm samples? maybe this guy raped her and also took the things with them, also the family said that the guy was imbalance too.but hey an ipad does not cost thousands of dollars as somebody mentioned

Geir Fugleberg

2/21/2013 7:10:54 AM

Unpleasant,but simple fact of life : People who walk around whit thousands of dollars of gadgets in deserted parts of megacities in aereas where homeless down and outs congregate tend to get into trouble. Just like f.instance women who hitchike wearing bridal gowns in rural parts of the midle east also tend to get into trouble.Sad fact,but cases like this says nothing abouth Turkey. Maybe it says something abouth the victems?,but ofcs. one should not talk badly abouth the deceased.

Peter Kypros

2/20/2013 11:32:03 PM

@Jim Rebel Your comments about Greece and Greeks are rather ridiculous. No one in his/her right mind will take an incident and make a conclusion about crime in a country. It violates simple rules of statistics. If you happen to be given a free ticket to Greece make sure you do not throw it away. There are many people who loved to buy it from you at a discount of course. Have you even been to Greece? Talk after you do so. Tourism is up by 30%.

mara mcglothin

2/20/2013 10:19:21 PM

AMERICAN I think you need to take a break from Turkey, you have obviously caught the Turkish conspiracy flu that is always going around.

samsun çarşamba

2/20/2013 9:41:06 PM

what happened to the other rumors such as going to germany and holland( said that she was poor) and why she kept her phone closed...it isnt a simple crime, ı think

lara ulusoy

2/20/2013 6:59:04 PM

I think we're all letting our imaginations run wild because none of us is convinced that this case is normal. There are so many contradictions and so many missing links that none of us will be able to find or be sure of. She was not raped and her jewelry was not stolen so why did the man kill her? He could have easily taken the ipad and the phone and ran away, so obviously his main concen was the information inside them. but again, I can go on forever imagining things.We will never know!!

Not Here

2/20/2013 6:00:23 PM

Wow.. the comments here are amazing. Why do so many people bring up the other places where crime is high as if to show that Turkey and Istanbul have such low rates of crime? Rapes in the USA, this victim's libido, and other rationalizations as if it was her fault for being alone. Truly ridiculous. Wake up people; Istanbul is not as safe as you want it to be. It is a fact. Stop being part of the problem, and try to be part of a solution. Tourists need to know the truth.

american american

2/20/2013 5:08:25 PM

if one checks the murder rate of the us and turkey, you will find it almost identical. this was obviously a case of murder by the turkish government so they could crack down and 1) put up cameras all over the city in the name of security and 2) remove the undesirables. taylan wasn't brought into the station because he was just 'following orders'.

mara mcglothin

2/20/2013 4:52:50 PM

I always enjoy when Turkish men approach me with the big grin and obnoxious behavior. I will quickly call them a son of a donkey and imply that their parents were never married in their native tongue. Usually my rather large, famous Turkish husband is not too far away to come and reinforce what I have already said. Then there is a lot of talk of my "abi" etc and then I am the one with the big grin.

andrea dealmagro

2/20/2013 4:17:34 PM

"There is no student who hasn't been raped in the USA!!" That is absolutely ridiculous. I am a mom and was also a student here in the US. Is there violence in the US? Yes, but not like that. @Athiz: a DNA sample is not necessarily a sperm sample. Your DNA is present in your blood and that is normally where it is taken from although it can also be obtained from hair, saliva, skin, and yes, sperm.
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