Tourist, 22, stabbed to death in Turkey


A Japanese woman was killed and another was left in critical condition after being stabbed Monday in Cappadocia, a historic region in central Turkey, the Japanese Embassy said Tuesday.

The deceased, Mai Kurihara, 22, from Natori in Miyagi Prefecture, and a 22-year-old friend from Toyama Prefecture who was hospitalized were reportedly attacked with a knife while walking in the Zemi Valley of Cappadocia, famous for its World Heritage sites. Both were enrolled as seniors at Niigata University’s Faculty of Education.

The second victim, whose name has been withheld, reportedly suffered numerous stab wounds, of which the most severe were to the neck. She was admitted to an intensive care unit at a local hospital and was receiving treatment, the embassy said.

Turkish security officials launched a search for the culprit. According to local media reports, the two women were found around 1:45 p.m. Monday by another group of tourists, who reported the incident to the police.

Mehmet Ceylan, the governor of Nevsehir Province, where the attack occurred, said he was “deeply saddened” by the news and vowed utmost efforts to capture the attacker.

Meanwhile, Mai Kurihara’s father, Mitsuhiro Kurihara, said early Tuesday that he received a phone call from the Japanese Embassy in Ankara informing him about the incident. “I can’t believe this,” he said.

Shiori Sato, 22, a neighbor of the family who went to elementary and junior high school with Kurihara, was in tears on hearing the news. “She was a very cheerful and smart girl. Everybody liked her. I can’t believe she was (murdered),” Sato said.

The father of the other victim told reporters at his home: “I never expected this to happen. This doesn’t make any sense.”

The two students departed for Turkey on Friday and planned to return home Sept. 19, he said, adding his daughter has traveled overseas several times, mostly in Asia, including to South Korea with Kurihara.

“My daughter was very interested in Turkey and had always wanted to go there,” he said. “It’s really hard, as I don’t know the details of what happened.”

  • Mehmet

    Japan was always the 1st nation to help my country (Turkey) whenever a natural disaster occurred. I feel so ashamed of the inhuman act against these Japanese ladies. It is a pity that murderers are not executed in Turkey nowadays. I hope the murderer(s) are seized soon and rot in the prison. Please accept my sincere condolences. I feel that your loss is also my loss.

  • El Anon

    This is terrible. I would gladly trade the Olympics to have this beautiful young lady back. I feel so sorry for their parents and friends.

  • Orhan Celen

    i feel so sorry about Mai Kurihara .she has got killed because turkish prime minister recep tayyip erdogan made himself in turkey as a GOD and he want all people to obey him.this happened because tayyip lovers saw ,what happened to tayyip in argentina and blamed on innocence in turkey against japonese people.everyday in turkey innocence people getting killed because they want their freedom.

    • Ben Snyder

      I really, truly hope that this wasn’t a case of retaliation for the Olympics. Regardless, whoever did this was extremely unbalanced to begin with, and ready to scapegoat just about anything as provocation. On that note, the scapegoating needs to stop right here, right now. Two people with great potential have been victimized in an otherwise wonderful country with deeply caring people that have also been shocked and saddened by these events. People shouldn’t think any less of either Turkey or Japan because of it.

    • Leon Davis

      I gather this Repyap Estrogen fellow is quite the jihadist.

    • tuana

      first of all my condolences to the family of the young lady and I pray for her friend to recover soon. we are very sorry.
      you should be ashamed of yourself for telling lies, slandering and defaming your people and the prime minister elected with more than fifty percent of the votes in a democratic election. the slanderers wont be able to return my beloved country back to chaos of 60s and 80s. and we are not afraid of the culprits trying to defame our government. because we know all the games they play over my people.

  • EQ

    It’s a tragedy. Condolences to the family of Mai Kurihara and a heartfelt “Courage – Hang on” to the family of the second victim. Sadly, some things just don’t change. Even in 2013, two young ladies cannot walk unescorted without being attacked. This does not only happen in Turkey. It happens in many countries.

  • Turk Oglu

    as a Turkish person i feel so down and ashamed that i know importance of those people who visit my country,also Japan has always been friend of Turkish nation,this is an incident that should not have taken place,however as it is said “one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel”,i am not sure how i will face a Japanese tourist should i come a cross in my life time? most likely either i will remember this incident at some point or i will be reminded, so sad – so shameful,Turkish government must pay an apology at highest level possible, as a person i do apologize for this in-human behavior….may god forgive this insane person for his madness that he has brought shame on us all and ought to be locked up for good….

  • Mesut Gürbüz Pehlivan

    Having been an English and Japanesse speaking tour guide I have spent many years with this respected nation and its people ( Japan) I assure all on this earth that the whole Turkish Nation sees this incident as disgusting and their hearths / prayers are with the families of the victims and the Japnaese. I would like to extend my sincere condolonces to the family of the victim and best wishes in recovering as early as possible to the other lady now suffering in hospital . I wish our ashamed suffering mood over the disgusting incident as a nation would be understood and passed to the families of the victims as well as to the Japnese Nation .

  • çok tekin

    Dear honorful Japanese friends,
    I am terribly sorry for what happened to Mai Kurkihara. As a country that respects, loves and admires Japanese people, everybody in Turkey is utterly ashamed and shocked of what happened. Unfortunately we don’t have capital punishment anymore, but I hope the murderer rots in prison. Our condolescences to the Japanese people. As my predecessor said, we feel that your loss is also our loss. Toruko to Nippon tomodachi desu!

  • tuana

    I am very sorry for the incident. I hope Lady Kurihara’s family accepts our condolences. And we pray for her friend to recover soon. I am so touched with the special interest of the ladies in our culture thinking of my and my daughter’s interest in japanese and korean culture. My daughter has learnt japanese. We have a plan to visit both countries inshaAllah. I have always felt and believed we have a bond with both culture although we have drifted away during the course of the history and lost most of our asian genetic heritage together with some of cultural heritage. In Islam we believe if a person is unjustly or brutally killed then the person is a martyr and is blessed eternally. May Allah bless her with this status and may Allah help her friend recover soon.

  • yavuz

    I feel wery shame as a Turkish.. we are wery sorry about that. forgive us