Prosecutor admits mistake in probe into attack on Japanese women in Turkey

Prosecutor admits mistake in probe into attack on Japanese women in Turkey

Prosecutor admits mistake in probe into attack on Japanese women in Turkey

The body of the Mai Kurihara has been repatriated to her country. DHA photo

A public prosecutor in the central Anatolian province of Nevşehir admitted that the arrest of the first suspect in connection to an attack on two Japanese women was a mistake, while the body of the Japanese woman killed in the attack has been repatriated to her country.

Nevşehir Public Prosecutor Osman Nuri Güler told Turkish and Japanese journalists in his office on Sept. 13 that they had made the wrong decision but then corrected it, speaking on the arrest of the first suspect, who turned out to have no connection with the attack, Anadolu Agency reported.

Another suspect, 27-year-old M.V.D, was arrested on Sept. 11 by a local court on murder charges, a day after the attack that lead to the death of Mai Kurihara and the injury of Hoshie Teramatsu in the famous tourist village of Göreme. Late Sept. 11, F.U. was detained and arrested by the court, after confessing to the attack. M.V.D. was released by the court after revealing F.U. as the perpetrator of the attack and other evidence in his car and house.

Prosecutor Güler said the mistake was caused by the similarity of the two men’s cars and Teramatsu’s recognition of M.V.D. He said they had held another line-up with the two suspects and the injured woman identified F.U. as the attacker this time.

“We have made a mistake but corrected it [with M.V.D.’s release],” said Güler.

Güler also said that Teramatsu had told them that there was only one attacker, and added that F.U. only sexually assaulted the injured woman, denying media reports that the suspect had sexually assaulted Kurihara after killing her. The indictment will be prepared within 30 days, he added.

The body of Kurihara was sent off to Tokyo with prayers at Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport late Sept. 13, Doğan News Agency reported. The airport officials had prayed in front of the coffin before taking it to the plane.

Mükremin Tokmak, the head of the Cappadocia History Culture Research and Protection Association, claimed that rumors of new attacks on women are haunting the tourist town, after the attack on the Japanese women.

Tomak said they had heard rumors that an Indian woman was also attacked in Nevşehir’s Göreme district on the same day as the attack on the two Japanese women, which left one dead and the other seriously wounded.

“After the attack on the Japanese tourists, we’ve got reports that an attempted rape against an Indian woman was prevented by a local man. A young man, who said he prevented the attack from being carried out, was about to tell his story in front of the Göreme Municipality Assembly, the day we gathered to condemn the attack on the Japanese women. But he was not allowed to speak about this incident. Today, we heard that a Turkish woman was murdered, but I hope this is only a rumor,” said Tokmak. “Such incidents are beset by fears that tourists will not come here anymore,” Tokmak said.

The association shared a video on its Facebook page in which a young local man is attempting to say that he had saved another woman from an attack, but was then told by others not to discuss the issue on Facebook.

A gendarmerie official in the district told the Hürriyet Daily News on Sept. 13 that they had received no report on any of these incidents. The official also denied having any information about the murder of a Turkish woman or attack on an Indian woman.