ISTANBUL – Hürriyet
The suspected murderer of Sarai Sierra called his brother on Feb. 9 to tell him that he might flee to Syria.
Ziya T., runaway suspect in Sierra case, called his brother Hamdi T., who told reporters that he thinks his brother was “somehow a part of the murder.”
“I doubt for his life. I am not concerned if he did kill [Sarai Sierra] or not, but police must find him and it must be revealed if he is guilty or not. I gave every kind of assistance to the police for them to find my brother. Our nerves are frayed as a family, especially mine. My psychology is upside down. I cannot walk out on the streets. Guilty or not, please call me, let us know where you are ... Surrender,” Hamdi T. said, according to daily Hürriyet.
Hamdi T. also said Ziya T. had called him on Feb. 9 to say he was in Hatay and that he might cross the Turkish border into Syria, saying “I have to leave.”
Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu yesterday confirmed that Turkish authorities were searching for Ziya T. across the country.
“Our security forces are intensively conducting searches outside of Istanbul. When he is found, clear answers will emerge,” Mutlu said.
U.S. citizen Sierra, who has two children, aged nine and 11, left the United States on Jan. 7, for the first time in her life, to take pictures in Istanbul, which is visited by millions of tourists every year. She went missing in Istanbul on Jan. 21 and her dead body was found on Feb. 2. Dozens of people have been questioned in connection with the murder near the ancient city walls, which local authorities say have turned into a “nest” for drug users and criminal gangs. Police have been searching for suspects since then, but the number one suspect Ziya T. has still yet to be found.