In June 2018, Hakan Aysal, 40, was found guilty of pushing his pregnant wife Semra Aysal, 32, from a cliff in southern Turkey. Aysal is accused of pushing his wife off a cliff in the famous Butterfly Valley in the country’s south-eastern region of Mulga, according to police.
After they posed for pictures together on the cliff in 2018, Hakan Aysal allegedly pushed Semra Aysal, who was 7 months pregnant, 1,000 feet to her death, in order to claim nearly $57,000 insurance money.
Recep Sahin, who filmed Semra’s last moments alive, took the stand at a previous hearing and told the court: “I stopped there to see the view of Kabak Bay with my family.”
“My daughter was filming the view with my phone and the Aysal couple came down the slope at that moment.”
“We even joked, ‘either this man will throw the woman off or the woman will throw the man’. There was no interaction between them.”
Aysal was unusually calm following the incident, according to another witness.
He said: “I was driving there when I saw someone was waving at me, and I stopped.”
“Hakan came and said his wife had fallen down the cliff. We immediately got out of the car and started looking for her, but we couldn’t see where she would have landed from where we were.”
He added: “We tried to get closer to the edge for a better look. Hakan did not come with us down there.”
“We stayed there until the gendarmerie arrived. Hakan was very carefree and calm. He was not acting like a man whose wife just had fallen off a cliff.”
According to court documents, Aysal was charged with conspiring to murder his wife and had taken out life insurance on her behalf worth £21,700, which he swiftly claimed after his death.
Asylan was the only one covered by his wife’s insurance policy.
When authorities announced an investigation into Semra’s death, it was turned down.
The victim’s older brother, Naim Yolcu, said in a previous hearing: “When we went to the Forensic Medicine Institute to get the body, Hakan was sitting in the car. My family and I were destroyed, but Hakan did not even appear sad.”
He added: “My sister was always against taking out loans. However, after she died, we learned she had loans taken out by Hakan on behalf of my sister. “
He informed the court that Aysal was afraid of heights and that taking Semra up a cliff would be foolish.
Since 2014, Aysal claims to have been involved in extreme sports such as mountain climbing.
His social media account featured a plethora of photographs of his ostensibly high-flying lifestyle, which included trips all around the country and stays in high-end hotels abroad.
When quizzed about a clause in his wife’s insurance that made him the sole beneficiary of any pay-out in the event of death, he said: “I did not examine the policy closely. The banker arranged the paperwork. I just brought it to my wife to get it signed. I was not aware there was such an article.”
He denied being responsible for Semra’s death, telling the court at the time: “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. When I turned back, she was not there. I did not push my wife.”
A jury found Aysal guilty of his wife’s murder yesterday and sentenced him to 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
Following the hearing, Naim told reporters: “Our pain is great, but we have been relieved a little with the punishment given.”
“He could not get away with the murder. No one will get away with femicide in Turkey.”
Femicide is on the rise in Turkey, especially after the country announced its withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention in July of last year.
According to the ‘We Will Stop Femicide Platform’s 2021 Annual Data Report, 280 women were killed by men in 2021, while 217 women were found strangely dead.’