Who is Hakan Aysal? Man pushes pregnant wife off cliff after taking selfie to claim insurance, say reports

Authorities arrested 40-year-old Hakan Aysal for the murder of his wife Semra Aysal, 32, and their unborn baby during a holiday in Butterfly Valley in the city of Mugla, Turkey


                            Who is Hakan Aysal? Man pushes pregnant wife off cliff after taking selfie to claim insurance, say reports
Hakan Aysal allegedly pushed his wife Semra Aysal off a cliff moments after this photo was taken (Fethiye High Criminal Court)

A Turkish man reportedly posed with his heavily pregnant wife for a photograph on top of a cliff before he allegedly pushed her to her death in a bid to claim life insurance money.

Authorities arrested 40-year-old Hakan Aysal for the murder of his wife Semra Aysal, 32, and their unborn baby during a holiday in Butterfly Valley in the city of Mugla, Turkey, the Daily Mail reported. Semra was seven months pregnant when Aysal pushed her off the cliff in June 2018, killing the expectant mother and their baby instantly.

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Prosecutors alleged the 'accident' — which took place when the couple had been taking pictures together on the cliff — was a deliberate act carried out by Aysal as he intended to cash in on the insurance he took out shortly before Semra's demise.

Semra was seven months pregnant when Aysal pushed her off the cliff in June 2018, killing the expectant mother and their baby instantly (Fethiye High Criminal Court)

 

An indictment against the husband for "deliberate murder" states that he "planned the murder of his wife by first taking out a personal accident insurance on her behalf with a guarantee of 400,000 Turkish Lira (£40,865) and where the only beneficiary was himself," according to the Daily Mail.

The only reason the couple spent more than three hours on top of the cliff was so that Aysal could ensure no one was around, prosecutors claimed. As soon as Aysal realized he was alone with his wife, he pushed her off the cliff, they further alleged.

Aysal had claimed the insurance payment just days after his wife's demise, but the disbursement was declined when the investigation became public, according to the indictment. Now, Aysal will be remanded in custody for premeditated murder, per a ruling by the Fethiye High Criminal Court.

"When we went to the Forensic Medicine Institute to get the body, Hakan was sitting in the car," the victim's brother Naim Yolcu told the court via video link. "My family and I were destroyed, but Hakan did not even appear sad."

"My sister was always against taking out loans. However, after she died, we learned that she had three loans taken by Hakan on behalf of my sister," he added. "Also, Semra had a fear of heights, what extreme sport is she going to be doing when she is scared of heights?"

Investigators prodded Aysal about the questionable insurance premiums. He said: "I have been interested in extreme sports since 2014; parachute, bungee jumping, rafting. That is why I had life insurance before I got married."

The suspect was also asked about the specific article in the accident personal insurance that guaranteed him as the sole beneficiary if Semra died, but Aysal said he "did not examine the policy much. The banker arranged the paperwork. I just brought it to my wife to get it signed. I was not aware that there was such an article."

Aysal has denied being responsible for Semra's death. "After taking a photo, my wife put the phone in her bag. Later she asked me to give her the phone," he told the police. "I got up and then heard my wife scream behind me when I walked a few steps away to get the phone from her bag. When I turned back, she was not there. I did not push my wife."

An investigation into the incident is still underway.

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