Just days after committing the heinous crime, the husband went to claim the insurance money.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on February 9, 2021. It has since been updated.
More than two years after pushing his pregnant wife off a cliff, 40-year-old Hakan Aysal has finally been charged with premeditated murder and remanded in custody. At the time, Hakan said that his wife, 32-year-old Semra Aysal, lost her balance and slipped but prosecutors are stressing that the man took his wife's life to claim her insurance policy worth thousands of dollars.
The tragic incident took place back in 2018 when, according to the police, Hakan took a selfie with Semra who was seven months pregnant at the time just moments before pushing her off the 1,000ft cliff while they were holidaying in Butterfly Valley, in the south-eastern Turkish city of Mugla. The mother and the unborn child passed away.
Husband takes cliff edge selfie with pregnant wife ‘then throws her 1,000ft to her death’— NEWS-ONE (@NEWSONE14898745) February 17, 2021
Hakan Aysal, 40, is accused by police of pushing Semra Aysal, 32, off the cliff where she was killed instantly while they were on holiday in Butterfly Valley pic.twitter.com/Ya2NgJdG4d
The prosecutors filed an indictment against Hakan for “premeditated murder," fearing it to be another case of femicide. It's now been accepted by the Fethiye High Criminal Court, according to Hurriyet Daily News. The prosecutors claimed that the accident was actually a murder committed for the insurance money. “In line with his plan, the defendant took out personal accident insurance on behalf of his wife, with a guarantee of 400,000 liras [$56,000], with the sole beneficiary being himself,” read the indictment.
They also claimed that Hakan sat on the top of the roof for three hours with his wife just to be sure he was alone when he carried out the heinous crime. Once he was sure there was no one around, he pushed Semra off the cliff killing both her and their unborn baby.
Although two years have passed, the wounds of losing Semra and her child to Hakan's greed are still fresh in the minds and hearts of her family members. As Semra's brother Naim Yolcu spoke in an online interview, the court heard the family's grief. "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," reported The Mirror.
He then revealed that Semra "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. Also, Hakan had a fear of heights, what extreme sport is he going to be doing when he is scared of heights?"
Hakan however denied being part of this crime saying the incident was nothing but a tragic accident. "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 the scream of my wife 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," reported Yahoo.
Talking about the insurance premium, he added, "I have been interested in extreme sports since 2014; parachute, bungee jumping, rafting. That is why I had life insurance before I got married."
When he was questioned about the article in the accident personal insurance that states, "in case Semra Aysal dies, her heir will be husband Hakan Aysal. In case Hakan Aysal dies, his heirs will be family relatives," Hakan had a reply for that as well. He said, "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."
The indictment claimed that he even went to the insurance company to claim the money within a few days of his wife's death but his application “was not accepted due to the investigation."
Aysal was found guilty of his wife's murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison without parole, per The U.S. Sun.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by swissmediavision (Representative Image)