Former model kills popular Turkish TV host Vatan Şaşmaz in Istanbul hotel, commits suicide
Çetin Aydın - ISTANBULVatan Şaşmaz, a renowned TV host and anchor, was shot dead in a hotel room in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul late on Aug. 27.
The assailant, identified as former model Filiz Aker, reportedly fired four shots at Şaşmaz in his back before committing suicide with a single bullet in her head at the luxurious Conrad Hotel.
Aker had reportedly been having dinner at the hotel with her niece Dora Ercan at around 5 p.m. and later went to her room after receiving a text message.
After Ercan inquired about Aker’s whereabouts to hotel staff, they opened the door to the room and found 43-year-old Şaşmaz and 55-year-old Aker lying on the ground.
Police and health teams arrived at the scene but both were pronounced dead.
Security footage shows moments before TV presenter Vatan Şaşmaz's murder
According to initial examinations, Aker committed suicide with her registered gun after killing Şaşmaz with four bullets in his back as he tried to leave the room.
Police units left the scene following a 3.5-hour long inspection. The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has stated that it has made were no immediate detentions into the incident.
The bodies of Şaşmaz and Aker were first taken to the Şişli Etfal Education and Research Hospital and later transferred to the Forensics Institute for an autopsy.
According to a police report, Şaşmaz and Aker had a relationship in 2009 but then broke up. Şaşmaz got married to another woman in 2015.
Aker had also been staying at the Conrad Hotel for a month and held a U.S. green card.
Speaking to reporters at the scene, Ercan said her aunt went to the hotel room saying she had “work to do for about half an hour.”
“She had been talking emotionally. I wondered whether she was going to try to harm herself, so we got security officials and went upstairs. I saw Vatan’s body on the ground. The door was closed,” Ercan said.
She also added that Aker was “talking as if she was saying farewell.”
Ercan’s husband, meanwhile, claimed that Aker was suffering from psychological problems.
However, on Aug. 28, Şaşmaz’s uncle Mete Yılmaz called the incident a “perception operation” and said his niece was “entrapped.”
Born in 1974 in Istanbul, Şaşmaz began his acting career at a modeling agency in 1993 and acted in a number of commercial films and TV series. In 2000 he started as a morning host for private broadcaster ATV. He continued in that position for four years and subsequently as an entertainment news host for nine years.