Marion Graham family arrive in Turkey after murder

Kathy Dinsmore and Marion Graham Kathy Dinsmore and Marion Graham were from County Down

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The family of murdered County Down woman Marion Graham have arrived in Turkey and have been reunited with her 15-year-old daughter.

Ms Graham and her friend Kathy Dinsmore, both in their 50s and from Newry, were stabbed to death in a wood near the city of Izmir on Thursday.

The 17-year-old boyfriend of Ms Graham's daughter Shannon has appeared in court over the murders.

Shannon's father, Raymond McGuinness and her son David arrived in Izmir.

Mr McGuinness was taken to see his daughter. She has been cared for by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in Turkey.

Mr McGuinness also plans to make arrangements to repatriate the bodies of the women.

He said he hoped to have the bodies of his former partner and her best friend home in Northern Ireland by the middle of next week.

Mr McGuinness said the family had completed the identification process.

Earlier, Sinn Fein MLA for Newry Mickey Brady said he had been in touch with both the Graham and Dinsmore families, who were "deeply shocked and saddened".

"I have also made contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. They are now looking after Shannon and they have told me she is bearing up quite well given the circumstances," he added.

The suspect, Recep Cetin, is reported to have confessed to killing Ms Graham and Ms Dinsmore after being refused permission to marry his young girlfriend.

He appeared at a preliminary hearing in Turkey on Friday evening and was expected to be charged later on Saturday.

The first full court hearing is expected on Monday.

Turkish police have yet to issue an official statement on whether the youth will be tried as an adult or juvenile.

A taxi driver and Recep's father were questioned by police, but have since been released.

The suspect is alleged to have taken Ms Dinsmore and Ms Graham to a secluded wooded area and murdered them there.

The friends were on holiday in the popular tourist resort of Kusadasi, about 100km from Izmir.

Murder suspect Recep Cetin Recep Cetin, 17, is alleged to have confessed to the killings

Shannon was on a boat trip when the killings happened. She alerted police when she arrived home and could not get in touch with her mother.

Ms Graham's sister Monica Higgins said the family were "absolutely devastated".

Relatives of Ms Dinsmore have also spoken of their pain at the tragedy and paid tribute to the former Newry and Mourne District Council worker.

'Solidarity'

Her nephew Robert said the family were in shock and were struggling to come to terms with the "sheer brutality" of the killings.

"The family is devastated, this is not the news that any family will be able to cope with very easily," he said.

"We are all in shock and the fact that it happened in such a brutal manner.

"Our thoughts are with the Graham family as well and together we will see this through.

"At this moment all we can do is stay together, comfort each other and listen by the phone, and when the time comes we will make our way out to bring Kathy home."

Ms Dinsmore's family will travel to Turkey next week.

Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey said he was "deeply distressed" to hear of the deaths of two women from the diocese.

Bishop McAreavey is an uncle of John McAreavey, whose wife Michaela was murdered while on honeymoon in Mauritius in January.

He said the killings in Turkey brought back painful memories of that time and that he felt a "real sense of solidarity" with the Graham and Dinsmore families.

"I know that at mass tonight in the cathedral and in the different parishes we will be carrying these families in prayer," he said.

"Anything we can do to support these families at such a horrendous time, we will do."

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