A Turkish man has been charged with murder after allegedly shoving his pregnant wife off a cliff while they were on vacation together.
Hakan Aysal allegedly pushed his wife, Semra Aysal, off a cliff in Butterfly Valley, southeast Turkey where the couple was staying on vacation in June 2018.
Semra Aysal is thought to have died instantly after the fall, where she plummeted more than 300 meters to the ground.
The couple took multiple selfies and other photographs at the scenic location before the incident. The pictures have emerged since Hakan Aysal was charged.
Initially telling police that Semra Aysal lost her balance and slipped on the cliff, the 40-year-old was arrested in November last year, almost a year and a half since his wife and their unborn baby died.
Semra Aysal, who was 32 years old at the time, was seven months pregnant with their child.
The indictment stated: “He took his seven-month pregnant wife (Semra Aysal) to the Butterfly Valley in Fethiye, where they were supposed to be on vacation. They sat there for about three hours during which the defendant waited for a moment when there weren’t people around.”
Following her death, Hakan Aysal reportedly tried to cash in on a life insurance policy that he had taken out for his wife.
The policy guaranteed a payout of 400,000 Turkish lira, which is equivalent to approximately $57,000.
It also listed Hakan Aysal as the only recipient of the money in the case of Semra Aysal’s death.
The request for the money was denied due to the ongoing police investigation but raised red flags for prosecutors, who later said the incident was not an accident but a premeditated murder with the ultimate goal of accessing the life insurance money.
Speaking in court, Semra Aysal’s brother said that the defendant showed no emotion and did not even appear to be sad after his wife’s death, choosing to sit in the car rather than go inside the Forensic Institute to get her body.
Naim Yolcu explained: “When we went to the Forensic Medicine Institute to get the body, Hakan was sitting in the car.”
Hakan Aysal defended himself by saying: “After taking a photo, my wife put the phone in her bag. Later she asked me to give her the phone. 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.”
Hakan Aysal remains in custody, and if found guilty of the murder, will face a life sentence in prison.