Dilek Ertek: Tiffany tycoon, 71, mysteriously falls to death from cruise ship, body lost at sea

Ertek, who was only 5 feet 2 inches tall, managed to fall over the meter-high guard barrier to her cabin, leaving experts perplexed

Dilek Ertek: Tiffany tycoon, 71, mysteriously falls to death from cruise ship, body lost at sea
Dilek Ertek, 71, a Tiffany's distributor in Turkey, fell into the South Pacific Ocean from the Norwegian Spirit cruise ship on October 26, off the coast of Tahiti (LinkedIn/Dilek Ertek and Norwegian Cruise Line/ncl.com)
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TAHITI, FRENCH POLYNESIA: During her dream vacation in the South Sea Islands, a wealthy mogul, who controls Tiffany's jewelry empire in Turkey, died after falling to her death from a cruise ship. Dilek Ertek, 71, Tiffany's distributor in Turkey for more than 20 years, fell into the South Pacific Ocean from the Norwegian Spirit ship on October 26, off the coast of Tahiti. 

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According to the Daily Mail, her family has requested that the authorities investigate her lover, who is of Swiss nationality, as he had accompanied her on the vacation. Gokce Atuk, Ertek's son, claims that jewelry vanished from his mother's safe. She may have fallen into the icy waters about 3 am, according to the ship's CCTV footage, but her unnamed lover didn't report her missing until 20 hours later, according to local media.

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Ertek, who was only 5 feet 2 inches tall, managed to fall over the meter-high guard barrier to her cabin, leaving experts investigating the case perplexed. Before they anchored in Tahiti three days later, the 74-year-old Swiss partner was kept sequestered in a different cabin and monitored by the ship's staff. Police in Tahiti reportedly questioned him before releasing him due to the lack of proof. Since then, he has gone back to Switzerland. 

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When an initial search for her body proved futile, the ship informed the authorities and headed back to the nearest port, on Papeete Island. Security footage from the ship is currently being examined that suggest an unidentified figure fell into the water.  Authorities in Tahiti are said to have "improperly searched" Ertek's room.

Some people argue that because the death occurred outside of their sphere of jurisdiction, they have merely performed the bare minimum. However, according to reports, Ertek's attorneys have argued that Tahiti should be in charge of the probe because it was the closest nation at the time the maritime incident occurred.

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The search for Ertek's body at sea has been called off. Ertek had gotten aboard the boat on Papeete Island, French Polynesia, on October 24 in order to travel to the tiny South Pacific island of Bora Bora for her birthday on November 5. The cruise was supposed to come to an end in Hawaii's Honolulu.

Dilek Ertek was born in Istanbul and earned a degree in architecture from Mimar Sinan University. She continued on to the Gemological Institute of America in New York to study diamonds and eventually started the first Tiffany store in Istanbul towards the end of 1995. For more than 20 years, she served as Tiffany & Co.'s distributor in Turkey.

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