The family of Marian Graham, the mother of five murdered in Turkey, near Izmir, have spoken for the first time of their “absolute devastation”.
Marian Graham, 52, was found stabbed to death on August 18 alongside her best friend Cathy Dinsmore in a remote wooded area close to the city of Izmir, near Kusadasi in Turkey.
Marian Graham 15-year-old daughter Shannon, whose boyfriend, Recep Cetin, has been arrested for the brutal double murder, has revealed that the Turkish youth had NEVER asked her to marry him.
Shannon Graham revelation explodes claims that Cetin murdered the women after Marian refused to allow him to marry Shannon. In her eyewitness account of the events of the fateful night, Shannon details how Recep Cetin – known as Alex – cynically tried to cover his tracks with an extraordinary claim he had been kidnapped by the Turkish Mafia.
Marian Graham and her daughter Shannon.
With the approval of her elder siblings, Shannon explained in detail what happened on the day of the double murder.
Alex, who worked in a Kusadasi restaurant called Victoria, was sharing an apartment that Marian, Shannon and Cathy had been staying in since July 16.
On Thursday, August 18, Alex had organized for Shannon to go on a boat trip with a friend.
“The boat trip was for 9 o’clock,” said Shannon.
“But Alex and I woke at 7.30 because he had to be in work for 8 a.m. I went in to Mum to get her to tie my bikini. We left and I went down to Alex’s restaurant to wait for my friend. Alex was cleaning the restaurant and when 9 o’clock came, Alex and I started making our way over to the boat. That’s where I met my friend Sandy. Me, Sandy and Alex went up onto the top of the boat. He stayed with us for about 30 minutes and we took pictures and stuff like that. He told me to ring him during the day to let him know how I was getting on. There were no signs that day, nothing unusual. It was all normal.”
Later, while enjoying her boat trip, Shannon decided to call Alex.
“I first rang him at 12 o’clock but his phone was off,” she said.
“I thought his battery was dead. I rang him again at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. but it was still off. The trip finished at 4.30 and we went back to Alex’s restaurant, round the corner. I thought Alex would have finished his break by then. I asked his boss where he was and he said he wasn’t back from his break. So we waited.”
At 5 p.m., when Alex still failed to show up, Shannon left and went to another restaurant with her friend.
“Then Alex rang me,” Shannon said.
“He was panicking on the phone. He said, <<Come home now – there’s a problem>>.
“I said, <<What’s the matter?>> and he said, <<I’ll tell when you come home>>. Then he rang again and said, <<Where are you?>> and I said, <<I’m waiting for the bus. Why, what’s the problem?>>. He said, <<Me, mum and Cathy’s been kidnapped but I got away>>. Just as he said that, the bus came. When we got to our house, I saw Alex lying outside in the garden. His hand was all bloody. He was shaking. I asked him to explain.”
“He said, <<Me, mum and Cathy were walking to the supermarket and a big car, like a jeep, stopped and these three big Mafia men came out.>>
“I asked him what they looked like and he said they had long hair and moustaches. He said they first took Cathy and that Cathy was in the car pulling her hair and screaming but mum kept grabbing onto Alex so they wouldn’t take her. Alex kept grabbing onto mum and that’s when the kidnappers sliced his hand.”
Recep Cetin told Shannon he woke up in a “ditch” close to where it happened. He claimed he was making his way back to the house when a taxi driver saw him and took him home.
“All the neighbours were there at that stage,” said Shannon.
“I took Alex into the house because he wanted to change out of his clothes. He said he didn’t own them and I had never seen them before. He said the kidnappers changed him into them. We went up to the bedroom and I put his own clothes on him. Then I put the clothes the kidnappers put on him into a bag and I took them downstairs for the police.”
Both Shannon Graham and Recep Cetin (Alex) were taken to the hospital and later to the police station.
“That was the last time I saw him,” Shannon said. She still had no idea that her mother and friend were dead.
“The next day, Friday, me, Alex’s dad and the taxi driver got into a police car. We first went to the hospital but then we went to Izmir. A translator asked me what happened and I told him. After that, we went to the court house and a girl from the Irish embassy told me that mum and Cathy had been found in a forest. She told me that they had been killed. I was so shocked. I was crying. I couldn’t believe it. I was trying to ring my brothers and sisters because I didn’t think they knew.”
Shannon Graham and Recep Cetin who has been charged for Shannon's mother stabbing
Along with Shannon’s father, Raymond McGuinness, from whom Marian separated 10 years ago, her brother David flew to Kusadasi to bring his little sister home.
Shannon Graham and her mother had been going to Turkey for the past eight years, with Cathy Dinsmore joining them for the last three.
Every summer, Shannon, Marian and Cathy excitedly booked their flights for Turkey.
“We stayed there all summer,” said Shannon. “It was something I looked forward to. Cathy did too. When we first went, we stayed in a little apartment beside Ladies’ Beach, then sometimes we stayed in the town but this year, we just rented. We were all well known in Turkey. Mum knew everyone and everyone got on with her. We used to go on trips, go to the shops and off to the swimming pool. We made friends and it was like home from home. I had a second life out there.”
It was during one such holiday that Shannon Graham met Recep Cetin, who would later become her first real boyfriend. But contrary to press reports, she had not been sharing an apartment with him since she was 12.
“I started going out with him more than a year ago,” she said.
“But I first met him four years ago. Mummy knew him for the same length of time. I wanted to go out with him two years ago but Mummy wouldn’t let me because I was too young. She said okay last year so we started going out.”
According to Shannon and her sisters, Marian Graham “trusted” her daughter’s boyfriend.
‘”he was with him a lot of the time,” said Shannon.
“We always went into his family’s restaurant where he worked. Alex and my mummy got on great. He called her Mum. He used to kiss her on the cheek and say, “Goodnight, Mum.”
Shannon Graham insisted reports last week suggesting that Alex had been violent towards her were “totally untrue”. “We argued, like most couples but he never hit me,” she said.
“My mum wouldn’t have let me stay with him if he did. One day we were in the living room and Alex and I were upstairs. Mum thought I was crying but really I was laughing. She was downstairs with Sandy and Sandy said she never saw her jump off the sofa as quick because she thought something was wrong.”
More significantly, the Shannon Graham dismissed claims that Recep Cetin (Alex) had asked to marry her and that her mum had refused.
“That’s why I would just love to know why he did it,” said Shannon
“The marriage part isn’t true. The first thing I heard of that was in the papers. He didn’t ask me to marry him and to my knowledge he didn’t ask my mother either.
“I was wearing Mummy’s ring on my engagement finger when I came home but that has nothing to do with him. He didn’t ask me to marry him.”
On the day of the murders, Marian, Shannon and Cathy had planned to book their tickets home after Shannon returned from the boat trip. They were due to return to Newry this week.
“Mum was supposed to have dinner ready for me when I got back,” said Shannon.
“She wasn’t going anywhere that day. Alex must have planned the shopping trip when he left me. She was sick that morning – she had an upset stomach and would have said if she was going out. Alex just planned that at the last minute. He probably just said, <<Shannon’s away, we’ll do something instead of sitting around the house>>. The last thing she said when I was going out that morning was, <<Give me a kiss and take care>>. She was so affectionate. She loved you to cuddle her a lot.”
For Shannon Graham, who plans to return to school next week, the loss of her mother was difficult to articulate.
“I was always with my mum,” she said. “We went everywhere together. In Turkey, during the day we went to the beach or the pool and at night we went to restaurants – that was our wee routine. I was the baby so I was spoiled but Mummy was strict in some ways. I knew not to cross her but she would have done anything for me. She would have spent her last £20 on me.”
Shannon continued to tell the story:
“I wanted to speak to Alex but the police wouldn’t let me, she said.
“The only thing I wanted to know was why he did it, because I don’t know why he did what he did. When I heard what he did, I couldn’t believe it. He never asked me to marry him so why did he do it? What was going through his mind? Did he ever think twice about what he was actually doing? Did he ever think to stop? And why did he lie to my face about what happened?”
When asked if she ever go back to Turkey, Shannon Graham said:
“I have been going to Turkey for nine years and have good memories there with Mummy.”
“There was a place in town Mum loved. She would sit at the summer seat by the water for hours and hours… I would nag her and try and get her to leave. My memory of her sitting there is a happy one. That’s what I think of when I think of her… happy in Turkey.”
Shannon Graham, the 15-year-old girl, whose Turkish boyfriend is the prime suspect in her mother’s murder, attended Marion Graham’s funeral service in Northern Ireland this morning.
Marion Graham and her best friend Kathy Dinsmore, both 53, were stabbed to death in a forest near city of Izmir, 75 miles north of the Turkish holiday resort of Kusadasi last Thursday.
Marion Graham’s funeral service took place this morning at St Mary’s Chapel in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland.
Sad Shannon Graham, victim’s daughter, worn a ring on the third finger of her left hand, but it was unclear whether is an engagement ring.
Turkish waiter, Shannon Graham‘s boyfriend Recep Cetin, originally thought to be 17, but who may be older, is the main suspect in the Izmir double murder.
Shannon Graham (center) attended mother's funeral service in Northern Ireland this morning
[googlead tip=”lista_medie” aliniat=”stanga”]Recep Cetin allegedly killed the women after being refused permission to marry Shannon Graham.
There were hundreds attending the Marion Graham’s funeral service at St Mary’s Chapel in Newry. Marion Graham funeral service was timed to allow mourners to travel to Kathy Dinsmore’s funeral in the nearby town of Warrenpoint.
Sad Shannon Graham attending mother's funeral at St Mary's Chapel in Newry.
Father John Byrne told the mourners in Newry:
“Both families are united in their grief and it is natural that they have so many questions but so few answers.
Losing someone so close as a mother and a dear friend has caused numbness and confusion.”
Father described Marion Graham, who had five children, as “a loving mother and great friend”.
“She lived her life to the full and enjoyed the company of friends and neighbours,” he said.
“Marion was still young and had much more to give in life but any plans and expectations for the future have been cruelly cut short and it will take time for her loved ones to come to terms with this life-shattering episode.”
Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore bodies were flown to Dublin on Wednesday and Shannon Graham was among those who accompanied the coffins on their way home.
Canon John Kearney of St Peter’s Church from Warrenpoint, said during Kathy Dinsmore’s funeral service:
“For so many people in this church today, the death of Kathy has turned their world upside down.
We are shocked as individuals and we are visibly shaken as a community when we learned about the unexpected and tragic death of Kathy who was born and reared here in Warrenpoint and was known by so many.
We do not want to believe or accept that a person who was known so well and loved so much is now dead.
In a sense we are paralyzed. We are suspended in disbelief.
Today there is a huge emptiness in our hearts because Kathy has been taken away from us in this way.”
Some regional politicians attended the both victims’ funerals.
Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore were very close friends and were on an extended stay in Turkey when the stabbings took place.
Recep Cetin is the prime suspect in Shannon Graham's mother murder.
Recep Cetin, the chief suspect in women’s murder may be held in prison until the end of Ramadan after a prosecutor was appointed to oversee charges.
Recep Cetin, whose true age is not known, will be held in custody for at least another week as the Islamic holy month ends on August 30.
The Turkish waiter, who has eventually confessed to killing the two women in a forest near Izmir, earlier tried to cover up their murders by claiming they had been attacked by a gang of men.
Recep Cetin is alleged to have driven Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore to the woodland area of Buca, near Izmir, and killed them. Marion Graham was stabbed in her heart and Cathy Dinsmore had her throat cut.
Reports claim Recep Cetin told police he had pleaded with Marion Graham one last time in the woods to let Shannon Graham stay in Kusadasi and marry him.
But Marion refused, claiming Shannon Graham was too young, and was supported by her friend Kathy.
[googlead tip=”patrat_mediu” aliniat=”stanga”]Raymond McGuinness, one of the Izmir murders victim’s ex-husband arrived in Turkey yesterday evening to comfort his distraught daughter, Shannon Graham.
Saturday afternoon, Raymond McGuinness, accompanied by his son David, went to the central courthouse of Izmir to identify the bodies of Marion Elizabeth Graham, his ex-wife and her best friend, Kathy Dinsmore, through photographs.
When he was leaving the court, Shannon Graham’s father said:
“I have met Shannon earlier today, and she is very upset.”
“Once the identification process is over, then we will try to repatriate the bodies back to Ireland, but that won’t be until mid-week.”
“This is clearly a very distressing time for us, and so we would like a bit of privacy.”
Shannon’s father described his ex-wife, one of the Izmir murders victims, as “the life and soul of the party” who “adored Shannon”.
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Shannon Graham called the police when her mother and her best friend, Kathy Dinsmore, failed to return from a daytrip with Cetin Recep, who is also known locally by the name Alex.
According to local media reports Cetin Recep stabbed Marion Graham, 54, in the heart and cut Kathy Dinsmore’s throat. Both women were stabbed as many as 15 times.
Cetin Recep confessed the Izmir murders.
Cetin Recep clashed with Shannon Graham’s mother, Marion, last week when she learned he had kicked Shannon during a fight.
Raymond McGuinness said Marion Graham “went ballistic” and warned Cetin never to lay a finger on her daughter again.
McGuiness said also that Cetin Recep had threatened to kill Marion but that Shannon had dismissed the threat as “just words”. The young Turkish waiter, Cetin Recep, was a “possessive” and jealous boyfriend, who became “besotted” with Shannon when they met about one and a half year ago at the restaurant where he worked.
Last Thursday, Cetin recep took Marion Graham and her best friend, Kathy Dinsmore on a shopping trip to Izmir, while Shannon was in a boat trip for the day.
Cetin’s uncle, who wanted to remain anonymous, said:
“They left by taxi for Izmir, where his father Eyup runs a shop. There, Cetin took a family car to drive the women out to the woodland area of Buca where he murdered them.”
“A friend of Cetin’s called me and said Cetin was at the police station and had been stabbed. I don’t have a lot of time for my nephew – he’s disrespectful and arrogant but he’s family and so I had to go and see.”
“When I arrived at Kusadasi police station, Cetin and Shannon were both there. Cetin had a cut bandaged on his hand. I spoke to him for a few minutes and he told me a story about three men in a black van.”
“He couldn’t explain how he returned to Kusadasi.”
“I talked to Shannon at the station. She seemed very calm and was coming up with suggestions as to who the men in the black van might be. She wasn’t sobbing or crying.”
One of the Recep Cetin’s friends told Turkish police that Cetin had dumped a bag in a bin near family house. Investigators discovered Cetin’s blood-stained clothes.
Recep Cetin’s uncle added:
“I think his story fell apart and after a few further hours of interrogation, Cetin broke down and confessed.”
“He told police that Marion planned to take Shannon back to Ireland, effectively ending their romance.”
“Cetin and Shannon were very much in love.”
“They had been virtually inseparable for the last two years. Shannon’s been coming here since she was a child – she’s well known on Ladies Beach.”
“Everyone knew she was Cetin’s girlfriend. They would argue – that’s quite normal. I think he slapped her once or twice.”
“He would get cross if she sunbathed topless – those things are quite common here with Muslim men dating independent Western women.”
The horrible Izmir murders shocked and sickened the predominantly Irish holidaymakers in Kusadasi, the Turkish popular Aegean resort.
The horrible Izmir murders shocked and sickened the predominantly Irish holidaymakers in Kusadasi
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Another friend of Cetin, Veli, from Sundial Tours, known as Slim Jim confirmed that both teenagers were serious about each other:
“Recep was like a younger brother to me. Yes, he could be a bit headstrong but he was a 17-year-old lad. He had the odd fight but nothing serious.”
“He never pushed Shannon to convert to Islam.. He was comfortable with her western style of dress. He knew short skirts and bikinis were normal for her.”
“I’m stunned about what’s happened. It just doesn’t make sense. They could have waited a couple more years and married anyway without her mum’s permission. It’s a terrible tragedy.”
Dan Doyle – ex-husband of the other Izmir murders victim, Kathy Dinsmore – suffered an astonishing tragic coincidence when his second wife died on the same day.
Dan Doyle, from Newry, Ireland – Kathy Dinsmore’s ex-husband – was mourning the death of his second wife, Colette Doyle, who died suddenly in hospital on Thursday, the same day as the Izmir murders.
Kathy Dinsmore and her best friend Marion Graham were murdered in a forest, near the city of Izmir, 70 miles from sunshine resort of Kusadasi after they objected to a Turkish teenager, Recep Cetin, marrying Marion Graham’s 15-year-old daughter, Shannon.
It is understood that Dan Doyle and Kathy Dinsmore have been divorced for several years and that he subsequently married Colette with whom he had three children.
Colette Doyle died suddenly in Craigavon Area Hospital on Thursday, leaving six children – Gareth, Kevin, Brendan, Conlin, Hannah and Danielle. Another child, Darryl, tragically died previously.
Recep Cetin, Turkish waiter who has confessed the murders of two British women in a forest near Izmir city on Thursday has been charged with stabbing to death Marion Graham and her friend Kathy Dinsmore.
Recep Cetin, 17, initially tried to cover up their murders by claiming they had been abducted by a gang of men.
The teenager has been charged with stabbing to death Marion Graham, 54, following a row over her daughter Shannon, 15, who he was dating.
He drove Marion Graham and her friend Kathy Dinsmore, 54, to a forest near Izmir and stabbed them. Marion Graham was stabbed in her heart and Kathy Dinsmore had her throat cut.
Shannon Graham and Recep Cetin, who has been charged with stabbing to death Shannon's mother.
Recep Cetin, who is now in police custody, was a well-known figure on the beachfront at the Turkish[googlead tip=”vertical_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”] resort of Kusadasi, at the Aegean Sea, westside of the Turkey, and was nicknamed Alex by British tourists.
The young man, who dropped out of school at 13, had been dating Marion Graham’s daughter, Shannon, for 18 months. Last May, he rented a villa in Kusadasi which he shared with Shannon, Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore.
Marion and Shannon Graham, who both lived in County Down, Northern Ireland, but travelled on Irish passports, used to spend the summertime in Turkey.
Marion Graham was stabbed in her heart by Recep Cetin.
Their Kusadasi neighbors said they often heard shouting and arguing coming from villa.
One resident said:
“They didn’t really fit in here. It’s a very quiet, friendly place. There was a lot of aggression and raised voices – we kept our distance.”
Local media reports claim Recep Cetin told police he had pleaded with Marion graham one last time in the woods to let Shannon stay in Kusadasi and marry him. But woman refused, claiming Shannon was too young, and was supported by her friend Kathy Dinsmore.
Last Thursday, Cetin offered to take Marion and her friend on a shopping trip to Izmir, 70 miles away, after dropping off Shannon to go on a boat trip.
According to Recep Cetin’s uncle, who has asked not to be named, the teenager then used a local taxi to ferry women to Izmir where his father Eyup runs a corner shop. From Izmir, Recep Cetin took a family car to drive them out to the woodland area of Buca.
[googlead tip=”lista_mare” aliniat=”stanga”]Recep Cetin returned to Kusadasi where he claimed a black van had pulled up in the forest with three men inside. He also said the men tried to abduct Marion and Kathy, and while trying to fight them off he was cut on the hand and knocked unconscious.
Recep Cetin was a well-known figure on the beachfront at the Turkish resort of Kusadasi
But according to his uncle his story was unconvincing.
“When I arrived at Kusadasi police station Cetin and Shannon were there. Cetin had a cut bandaged on his hand. He couldn’t explain how he returned to Kusadasi.”
“After a few hours of interrogation Cetin broke down and confessed to killing the women. He told police Marion planned to take Shannon back to Ireland, ending their romance and they were heartbroken.”
Turkish police initially arrested Cetin’s father, Eyup Cetin, and the taxi driver that had taken the group to Izmir.
Marion Graham, who was divorced from Shannon’s father, had remarried a Turk named Yucel but they have separated. Shannon’s father, Raymond McGuinness also owns an apartment in Kusadasi.
Raymond McGuiness arrived in Izmir Saturday after flying from Ireland to be with his daughter and to identify the bodies.
“I have met Shannon and she is very upset. This is clearly a very distressing time for us.”
Recep Cetin has been further remanded in custody but his father, Eyup, and the taxi driver were released.
Recep Cetin cut Kathy Dinsmore's throat.
Last night it emerged that Kathy Dinsmore’s ex-husband, Dan Doyle, suffered a double tragedy last week when his current wife, Colette, 54, died in hospital on the same day Kathy was killed. Colette, the mother of three of Mr Doyle’s children, died suddenly in Craigavon Area Hospital, Portadown, on Thursday.