Suspect reportedly admits to attack on Japanese in Turkey

JERUSALEM – A man arrested Tuesday for allegedly stabbing two Japanese women, one fatally, in the Cappadocia region of Turkey has owned up to the charge, a local paper quoted investigative sources as saying.

According to Dogan News Agency and other Turkish media, the suspect is a 26- or 27-year-old electrician. Police have sent DNA samples taken from him to a lab in Ankara to verify whether there is a genetic match with evidence from the crime scene. The probe is ongoing, as neither the weapon used nor the motive has been found.

Turkish media reported that the man has a history of drug abuse and 17 crimes, including obscenity and theft, on his record. The man, who was recently released from prison, was reportedly spotted driving a red car around Goreme — the area where the women were staying — within three days of the attack.

The Turkish public prosecutor’s office said it will not be releasing any details of the case.

Meanwhile, in Sendai, the father of the deceased girl, Mai Kurihara, 22, and other family members left Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, to fly to Turkey Wednesday morning. The father, Mitsuhiro Kurihara, 50, looked haggard as he got into a car without saying a word.

According to the Miyagi Prefectural Police, Kurihara said he had received no information about the suspect from the Foreign Ministry, and that he was going to confirm the facts for himself.

The kin of the other 22-year-old woman, who suffered severe stab wounds in the attack, was to arrive in Cappadocia Wednesday morning, via Istanbul.

Noriyoshi Kato, 52, vice principal of the high school in Wakabayashi, Sendai, that Mai Kurihara graduated from, said she “was very cheerful and active.”