A teenage Turkish waiter has confessed to the murder of two Northern Irish women following a row over his relationship with the daughter of one of the victims.
The murdered women were named on Friday evening as Marion Elizabeth Graham, 54, and her friend Kay Dinsmore, 50, both from County Down.
They were stabbed to death in a forest by a village close to the city of Izmir early on Friday. The friends were found after Graham's daughter reported that she had failed to turn up for a planned boat trip off the resort of Kusadasi.
Sources in Izmir said police were alerted to Graham's disappearance and arrested a 17-year-old man who was alleged to have been in a relationship with her daughter. He is believed to have worked in a Kusadasi restaurant where both the Graham and Dinsmore families often ate during their holidays.
After a police interrogation he is alleged to have told detectives that he lured the two women into the area promising them a tour of Izmir. Local reports said the teenager claimed he decided to kill the women because Graham was standing in the way of his marriage to her daughter.
Earlier he had claimed that en route to taking the women to a local shopping centre his car had been blocked on a road by another vehicle and the three of them had been kidnapped. He told police that the next thing he could remember was waking up near his house.
Police found the two women 20 yards apart. Both had had their throats cut. The father of the main suspect and a local taxi driver have also been detained in connection with the murders.
The two victims had been enjoying a holiday in Kusadasi, a resort popular with Irish tourists. They had travelled to Turkey on Irish passports and the Republic's embassy in Ankara dispatched an official to help the family on Friday. It is understood one of the women owned a property in the resort.
Members of the women's families on holiday in Kusadasi also travelled to Izmir on Friday along with a Turkish friend and local hotelier.
The murdered women came from Newry and nearby Rostrevor on Carlingford Lough. One of them is understood to have been a lecturer at a further education college.
Political leaders in Northern Ireland united in expressing solidarity with the Graham and Dinsmore families.
The MP for South Down, Margaret Ritchie, said: "The prayers and thoughts of the entire population in this constituency will be with these women who lost their lives in such traumatic circumstances, their families, their relatives and friends at this sad and difficult time."
The Sinn Féin assembly member for Newry, Mickey Brady, sent his condolences to the relatives. "Such tragedy should never be visited on a family and to think that two families from this area will be plunged into such despair," he said.
The Ulster Unionist assembly member and devolved minister Danny Kennedy said: "On behalf of the Ulster Unionist party I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the families at this awful time and to offer any support and assistance which they may require."