Turkey was shocked on Sunday evening by the murder of Vatan Şaşmaz, a ubiquitous TV host and actor, in an upscale hotel in Istanbul's Beşiktaş district.

A police investigation into the incident revealed that Şaşmaz, 43, was the victim of a murder-suicide at the hands of his ex-girlfriend. Authorities identified Filiz Aker, a former model, as Şaşmaz's killer, while media outlets reported "unrequited love" as the motive for the murder.

Aker killed herself with a single gunshot to the head after killing Şaşmaz in the Beşiktaş hotel room where she had been staying in Istanbul since last month. Their bodies were discovered by two relatives of Aker, a Turkish-American citizen, when they went to check on the woman after failing to get through to her on her phone. Aker was apparently having lunch with her relatives before she excused herself and went to the hotel room where she met Şaşmaz, who she has been infatuated with for years. Doğan News Agency reported that Aker was "obsessed" with Şaşmaz, a married man, but he repeatedly rejected her advances.

Aker's niece, Dora Ercan said she met her aunt right before the incident and that Aker went upstairs to her room after receiving a phone call and that was when she killed the 43-year-old actor.

"Vatan is innocent, my aunt was deeply in love with him for years and kept telling us that he was going to divorce his wife and marry her," Ercan said.

Sympathies poured in for Şaşmaz yesterday. He will be buried at an Istanbul cemetery today. With his radiant smile and energetic on-stage manners, Şaşmaz was a sought-after presenter, a staple of TV commercials and had a supporting role in popular sitcom, "Çocuklar Duymasın," which coincidentally aired its latest episode the day Şaşmaz was murdered.

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