(Hurriyet Newspaper, 10 May 2013)
Don't wait up for me, honey...
Zakaria El Omari (23), a Belgian citizen of Moroccan
descent, married another Moroccan, Nawale Bagari
(22), last November. The newlyweds came to Istanbul
on 12 April for their honeymoon and settled into a hotel
in the Sirkeci section of the city. On 19 April, Omari,
who is a chauffeur in Belgium, told his wife "I'm going
to evening prayers. I'll be back after a while." The
young husband, however, did not return.
When her husband did not come back in the ensuing
hours, Nawale Bagare called his family in Belgium.
The worried family appealed to the Belgian police
who then contacted the Belgian consulate in Istanbul,
saying that Omari had gone missing. The Istanbul police
got involved and the team that had sought Sarai Sierra,
the young American woman who was murdered after
disappearing in Istanbul, interviewed Omari's wife and
family members who came to Istanbul the next day.
MOBESE video images were examined and it was
determined that Omari had gone to the Hocapasa mosque
in Sirkeci on the evening of 19 April, left there at 2130
and was next seen withdrawing 100 Euros from an ATM
on Ankara Boulevard. Omari next boarded the tram
headed from Eminonu to Aksaray and he was seen speaking
with two males, Marmara University students who subsequently
told police that Omari had asked them how he could get to
the Bayrampasa bus station.
From other video records, police determined that Omari
checked into another Istanbul hotel but when they went
there Omari was not around. Finally, on 29 April, Omari
showed up at a police station asking "are you looking for
me?" His response to further questions from police was
"I don't remember."
As the investigation intensified, it turned out that Omari
had been at nightclubs and bars cavorting with other women
for the 10 days he was missing. Omari, his wife and family
members have all returned to Belgium.