Mehmet Degerli: Victim’s lover describes pair’s last meeting in Dalston car park before ‘love triangle killing’
16:11 01 December 2016
A woman whose lover was allegedly murdered because of a bitter love triangle has described the moment she learnt of the man’s death.
It happened in a Dalston car park on the night of June 7, hours after Semra Yumak met married father-of-two Mehmet Degerli for a secret tryst in her car.
It is claimed the 49-year-old, originally from Turkey, was killed later that night by Ms Yumak’s husband Huseyin Akkoyun, 47, and his nephew Mustafa Alparslan, 20, of Remington Road, Stoke Newington.
They allegedly strangled and then ran over Mr Degerli in a car park in Sandringham Road, Dalston, just yards from Ms Yumak’s home where she lives with her four children. Both men deny murder.
This morning she told jurors at Southwark Crown Court how she had driven to Navarino Road with Mr Degerli at 10.30pm for a chat, and returned to Sandringham Road just after midnight where he had left his car.
But when they pulled up she claims she could see two men sitting in a Mitsubishi Colt car opposite the Qashqai – one of whom she believed was the defendant Alparslan, having recognised the car’s registration plate as belonging to his mother.
Giving evidence from behind a screen, she said: “The car was under the light of the lamp post so I could see their faces. Mustafa was in the driver seat and I’m not sure who was in the other seat. His cap was halfway. When he saw me he pulled it down completely.
“I was a bit shocked to see them there and Mehmet said. “Don’t stop. Keep on driving.”
She initially thought the second man could be Alparslan’s brother. But as they drove around the corner into Abersham Road, she spotted her husband’s empty Zafira. She told jurors she had thought he was in Turkey at the time.
“I was a bit excited to see both cars and Mehmet told me to calm down,” she said.
“He said: ‘Drop me off at the end of the road and I’ll walk.’ He said: ‘Go home and just lock your door.’”
Ms Yumak then drove around the block slowly, and when she pulled up at her home she saw her husband’s Zafira do a sharp left into Cecilia Road.
She claims she phoned Mr Degerli at 12.19pm “to check he was safely in his car”, but she said he told her he was walking towards it. She never spoke with him again, jurors heard.
His body was discovered by a passer-by collapsed in a small residents’ car park at the junction with Cecilia Road just after 1am. Paramedics tried to save his life at the scene, but his heart was not beating and was pronounced dead just before 2am.
At 2.30am Ms Yumak woke up her children so they could eat breakfast as they were fasting for Ramadan. But she was disturbed an hour later by a phone call from Mr Degerli’s own wife and her “close friend” Fikreyi, who told her Mr Degerli was dead.
She said: “I was proper falling asleep and when my phone rang I was a bit shocked.
“She said: ‘Will you please come down? There are officers here.’ She was crying. I left the house and there were police officers outside.
“Everywhere there were police officers and tapes everywhere as well.”
She was stopped by police officers who asked where she was going, and she found her car had been taped off.
“They said: ‘There’s been a bit of an accident here. No one can leave.’”
The trial continues.