Aysin and Ali Ulvi Büyüknohutçu were found murdered in their home in the Finike district of Antalya province on 10 May 2017.
Aysin and Ali were best known for their activism and lawsuits against stone quarries in Finike and the rest of Antalya. “This was their dream retirement,” said a source close to the family, who asked to remain anonymous due to fear of reprisals. “They moved there for inner peace. Then they came up against the marble companies.”
They could not avoid them. The road up to their home passes from the turquoise coastline of the Aegean through pomegranate and orange groves to a dusty orange quarry – one of more than a dozen in Finike.
The opencast mines divert rivers, blast rocks with TNT and stir up dust that chokes the surrounding vegetation. When the couple discovered that some had also been opened close to heritage sites in contravention of licensing regulations, they took action.
Long involved in leftwing politics, consumer rights groups and residents associations, the couple linked up with several friends to form a group called Toraçder.
Ali was also the chairman of a tenants’ rights association and a consumer rights working group within the Antalya City Council.
31-year-old suspect Ali Yumaç previously confessed that an individual linked to a stone quarry, one of many in the region that the couple was fighting against, had hired him to commit the murder. He committed suicide in prison, where he was being kept while awaiting trial.