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Friday 21 June, 2024
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Hakan Aysal jailed for life for pushing pregnant wife Semra Aysal off cliff

BY Anas Shah Oct 28, 2022. 11:12 am UPDATED: Oct 28, 2022. 11:12 am

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A man who forced his expectant wife off a cliff so he could collect a life insurance policy will be imprisoned for the rest of his life.

In June 2018, Hakan Aysal, 41, was found guilty of pushing his 32-year-old wife Semra Aysal, who was seven months pregnant, from a cliff in the well-known tourist destination Butterfly Valley in Mugla, southern Turkey.

He had pushed his wife over the 304-meter cliff after luring her there to take a selfie. His wife was frightened of heights.

A court heard testimony about how he carried out the heinous deed in June 2018 as part of a depraved scheme in which he obtained $A39,000 in life insurance on her behalf and immediately claimed it after she passed away.

Aysal, who initially disputed the murder, was convicted at a prior hearing.

The 41-year-old made a last-minute insanity plea earlier this week, but the Fethiye High Criminal Court dismissed it.

He made an attempt to appeal the decision, arguing that he had been mentally ill, but doctors from the 4th Specialization Department of Forensic Medicine rejected his arguments.

Hakan Aysal

He was informed on Tuesday that he must spend at least 30 years behind bars before being considered for release.

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After seeing pictures of the couple on top of the cliff in news stories, police started to become suspicious of Aysal, which led a witness to come forward and produce video evidence of the peculiar behaviour of the 41-year-old Turk.

At a prior hearing, Recep Sahin, who captured on camera Semra’s final moments, testified to the court, saying: “I stopped there to admire the view of Kabak Bay with my family.

Hakan Aysal

“My daughter was filming the view with my phone and the Aysal couple came down the slope at that moment.

“We even joked, ‘Either this man will throw the woman off or the woman will throw the man.’ There was no interaction between them.”

Aysal appeared strangely composed following the incident, according to a different witness.

He said: “I was driving there when I saw someone was waving at me, and I stopped.

“Hakan came and said his wife had fallen down the cliff. We immediately got out of the car and started looking for her, but we couldn’t see where she would have landed from where we were.”

Mr Sahin added: “We tried to get closer to the edge for a better look. Hakan did not come with us down there.

“We stayed there until the gendarmerie arrived. Hakan was very carefree and calm. He was not acting like a man whose wife just had fallen off a cliff.”

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After his wife passed away, Aysal, who was the only beneficiary of her policy, applied for life insurance on her behalf. However, when the police declared an investigation into Semra’s death, the application was turned down.

Naim Yolcu, the victim’s older brother, stated at a previous hearing: “Hakan was sitting in the car when we went to the Forensic Medicine Institute to fetch the body. Hakan didn’t even seem upset despite the fact that my family and I were ruined.

“My sister was always opposed taking out loans,” he continued. However, after her passing, we discovered that she had Hakan take out debts on my sister’s name.

He testified in court that Aysal was afraid of heights and that it was inappropriate for him to take Semra there.

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