Istanbul, Oct 19 () - A British journalist and doctoral student traveling from London to Arbil has been found dead at Istanbul Atatürk Airport after missing her connecting flight.
The 50-year-old British woman, Jacqueline Sutton, arrived in Istanbul at 9:58 p.m. on Oct. 17 with Turkish Airlines flight number 1986. She was later found dead in a toilet, allegedly after having hanged herself with her shoelaces.
Initial reports suggested she had committed suicide, but colleagues dismissed the possibility that the woman, who had worked for the United Nations and the BBC, might have committed suicide.
“[I find it] very difficult to believe that my colleague ... and seasoned traveler Jacky Sutton committed suicide” said Sudipto Mukerjee, a country director with the United Nations Development Programme, in a Tweet after the incident.
“Shocking and sad news about the death of Jacky Sutton in Istanbul. An international, not just local, investigation is needed” fellow journalist and development worker Rebecca Cooke said after the incident, according to The Guardian.
Sutton, who spoke five languages and was continuing a PhD at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University, had a connecting flight to Arbil at 12:15 a.m. but reportedly missed her flight.
During her consultation with ground services after missing her flight, Sutton was informed she had to purchase another ticket, as the airlines were not responsible for the incident.
Stating it would be financially impossible for her to purchase another ticket, Sutton went to the restroom at the airport’s international arrivals terminal. Reports indicate the woman committed suicide inside the restroom using the laces of her shoes.
Sutton’s body was found by three Russian passengers who notified paramedics. Upon their arrival at the scene, paramedics could not detect Sutton’s pulse.
After being notified by the health teams, police arrived at the scene of the incident and launched an investigation.
Sutton’s body was transferred to the morgue of Turkey’s Institution of Forensic Medicine.
Sutton was the acting Iraq director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) at the time of her death.