A WAITER accused of murdering two Irish women has claimed his alleged victims attacked him with knives and that his father, who is accused of helping him, is innocent.
Recep Cetin (22) and his father Eyup Cetin (43) appeared before Izmir High Criminal Court in western Turkey as their trial resumed.
Mr Cetin is accused of killing Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore (both 53) from Newry, Co Down, in woodland near the holiday resort where they were staying in Kusadasi, Turkey.
Ms Graham and her daughter, Shannon (15), regularly travelled to Turkey, where Shannon met Mr Cetin and started a relationship with him.
The pair were said to have been a couple for two-and-a-half years while the family spent their summers in the Turkish resort.
By August 2011, their relationship had become strained after Mr Cetin put pressure on Shannon to marry him.
Neighbours reported a chaotic relationship, with shouting heard late into the night.
In a bid to dissuade Mr Cetin from attempting to marry her daughter, Ms Graham is thought to have enlisted the help of her friend, Ms Dinsmore.
The pair agreed to drive with Mr Cetin on a shopping trip, before it is alleged he drove them to woodlands, stabbed Ms Graham in the chest and cut Ms Dinsmore's throat.
Yesterday, Mr Cetin told the court his father Eyup, who is in the dock for allegedly aiding and abetting the crime and denies the charge, was not present when the incident happened in August 2011 – and that he acted alone.
Mr Cetin told the court: "My father has nothing to do with the incident. If my father was involved, he wouldn't be here."
Mr Cetin reiterated a claim he made during a previous hearing – that the killings were committed in self-defence.
He alleged that the victims attempted to stab him – and that mental-health problems have blurred his memory of the incident.
The dramatic hearing was eventually adjourned by judges until February so that the testimony of security force officials, who arrived at the crime scene first, could be heard.