Waiter held in Turkey murders probe

The prime and only suspect over the murders of two Northern Ireland women in Turkey is a teenage waiter who had been in relationship with the daughter of one of the victims, sources said today.

The bodies of Marion Elizabeth Graham and Kathy Dinsmore, both from the Newry area of Co Down, were found in a forest near the port city of Izmir late last night.

Their throats had been cut, police sources have revealed.

The 17-year-old suspect is expected to be brought before a judge in Turkey this evening for a preliminary hearing.

Ms Graham owns a property in the Kusadasi area and had been spending a considerable amount of time in the popular Aegean resort with her 15-year-old daughter, Shannon.

It is believed the teenage waiter has confessed to the attack.

Local reports from the Anatolia news agency suggested that one possible line of investigation centres on claims that the girl's mother had refused to allow the young couple to marry.

It is understood the waiter's father and a taxi driver were also arrested.

The daughter was not with the women when they were attacked and had been on a boat trip out of Kusadasi for the day.

Irish diplomats are liaising with relatives of the two women, while an official from the Irish Embassy in Ankara has travelled to Izmir and an Irish hotelier based in Kusadasi is also in Izmir.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin confirmed consular staff are trying to track down family members.

"We are providing consular assistance through the embassy in Ankara," the spokesman said.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said she was shocked by the deaths and offered her sympathy to the bereaved families.

"My thoughts are with those involved in this terrible incident," she said.

"And also with their families, who never got the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones.

"I think all the people of South Down will be saddened by this news."