Swift justice promised as Tugce buried

As hundreds gathered for the funeral of Tugce Albayrak, the student fatally beaten after intervening in a fight, prosecutors said they would act quickly against suspects.

Swift justice promised as Tugce buried
Pallbearers carry Tugce's coffin. Photo: DPA

The mosque of the local Turkish-Islamic cultural association (Ditib) in Wächtersbach, Hesse, played host to the funeral service for the 23-year-old student before her burial in a neigbouring town.

Wreaths and other floral tributes were left on large tables in front of the mosque with messages like "You're always in our hearts" or "It could have been my daughter".

“We're all very sad. This is a very emotional situation for us”, local Ditib chairman Hakan Akbulut said.

Hesse minister-president Volker Bouffier and Turkish Ambassador Hüseyin Avni Karslioglu attended the prayers for the good samaritan.

Meanwhile, state prosecutors in Offenbach, where Tugce was studying and the fatal attack took place, said that they would be bringing charges “quickly”.

“In criminal cases, particularly with young people, charges should be brought and the main trial begin within six months”, a spokesman said.

He added that the results of an autopsy were expected in January and that investigators were currently trying to improve the quality of a CCTV recording of the crime.

An 18-year-old man is in custody for the attack on Tugce on 15 November which led to her death two weeks later, although he is unlikely to be charged with murder.

Investigators don't yet know whether his punch or Tugce's impact on the ground caused the fatal injury to her temple.

Tugce's death, which happened after she was beaten for stepping into an altercation between several men and two women, has made her into a folk hero.

She has become the face of an online campaign for more people to have the courage of their convictions in everyday life.

And a petition has been started for Tugce to be awarded the Order of Merit for her actions.

SEE ALSO: Two girls saved by Tugce A. come forward

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Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.