Popular TV host murdered in Istanbul hotel laid to rest
AA photoVatan Şaşmaz, a renowned TV host and anchor, was laid to rest at a funeral ceremony on Aug. 29 at Istanbul’s Güzeltepe Birlik Mosque, after he was shot dead in a hotel room in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district on Aug. 27.
Şaşmaz’s relatives, colleagues, and fans attended the ceremony in the city’s Üsküdar district. Following the funeral prayer, he was laid to rest at Çengelköy cemetery.
Şaşmaz was married to architect Yasemin Adalı, who is five months pregnant.
He was killed late on Aug. 27 at Beşiktaş’s luxurious Conrad Hotel in a hotel room by Filiz Aker, a former model. Aker is reported to have shot Şaşmaz in his back four times before committing suicide with a single bullet to her head.
Following the incident, a number of claims have been made into the underlying cause of the murder, with Aker’s alleged “love obsession” with Şaşmaz and her inability to come to terms with his recent marriage at the forefront. However, Aker’s relatives have claimed that Şaşmaz had not paid a long-running debt to his killer.
Aker’s brother, Sümer Bayer, who is currently imprisoned on murder charges, claimed that Aker had lent Şaşmaz $130,000 to buy a house in the U.S. but he did not pay it back. He said she then gave Şaşmaz $2.5 million to invest in the stock market in her name but he lost it all.
“She sold her house and villa in the Etiler area of Istanbul and her house in Miami. She had wanted her money back from Vatan. Vatan came to the [Conrad] Hotel again on Aug. 21. It should be on the record. Filiz told me this. In this meeting, Vatan reportedly told her that he couldn’t give her $130,000 right away but he would bring what he could next week. On the day of the incident, she was waiting for him to bring the money,” Bayer was quoted as saying by daily Habertürk.
Filiz Aker’s sister Eda Eren, however, told broadcaster ATV that Aker was “obsessively in love” with Şaşmaz, who as far as she knew was not in need of money. Eren also said Aker had attempted suicide twice.
Aker’s nephew Dilek Bayar, meanwhile, said Aker had recently lost a lot of money in the stock market and had been telling her that she would “kill all those responsible for losing my money.”
Police have launched an investigation into the murder case.