The victim's brother said the husband "did not even appear sad" after the wife fell to her death from the cliff.
A heavily pregnant woman, Semra Aysal, 32, spent the last few hours of her life on a cliff, overlooking an awe-inspiring view of the Butterfly Valley in the south-eastern Turkish city of Mugla. As she stood there on top, happily beaming at the camera and posing for pictures with her husband, she had no idea that people would find her dead body at the bottom of the cliff in just a few minutes.
Semra was around seven months pregnant when she was holidaying with her husband, Hakan Aysal, 40. After spending time on the cliff, it was found that the woman fell to her death and lost her life, along with that of her unborn child in what was said to be an "accident" by the husband. However, Hakan was later accused of throwing his wife off the cliff so that he could claim the insurance money that was taken in Semra's name not long before her death.
It was alleged that Hakan spent around three hours with Semra on the cliff to make sure that nobody was around. He went on clicking selfies with his wife, and the moment he was sure they were alone, Hakan allegedly pushed his wife off the click and let her fall some 1,000 feet to her death.
The heavily pregnant woman died instantly on impact, and so did her unborn child, and the police accused Hakan of the murder. Prosecutors also claimed that Hakan wanted to claim the money from an insurance where he was listed as the beneficiary, according to Mirror.
Although prosecutors accuse Hakan of intentionally causing Semra's death, the husband maintained his innocence and said about the incident, "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."
Following her death, family members of Semra felt that Hakan showed no signs of grief.
"When we went to the Forensic Medicine Institute to get the body, Hakan was sitting in the car," Semra's brother, Naim Yolcu told the court in a video interview. "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," added the victim's brother.
Calling the June, 2018 incident a "deliberate murder," the indictment against Hakan said the husband "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 (TRY) (£40,865) and where the only beneficiary was himself."
When Hakan was questioned about the insurance premiums he had taken, he responded saying, "I have been interested in extreme sports since 2014; parachute, bungee jumping, rafting. That is why I had life insurance before I got married."
But Semra's brother said in his video interview, "Hakan had a fear of heights, what extreme sport is she going to be doing when she is scared of heights?"
One of the points from the insurance policy highlighted was: "in case Semra Aysal dies, her heir will be husband Hakan Aysal. In case Hakan Aysal dies, his heirs will be family relatives."
To this, Hakan claimed, "I 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."
Currently, the investigation is still ongoing.
Cover image source: Fethiye High Criminal Court