Mystery as retired economist, 83, vanishes while walking his dogs near rural Turkish retreat – as his British wife and daughter beg for help finding him after massive month-long manhunt found no trace
- Korhan Berzeg vanished on June 17, while walking in woods near his hometown
- The whereabouts of the 83-year-old remain unknown more than five weeks on
- His British wife and daughters are now calling for help in cracking his case
The British family of a renowned Turkish economist who seemingly disappeared without a trace while walking his dogs in the forest are begging for help after large-scale search efforts turned up no leads.
Korhan Berzeg, 83, vanished on Saturday, June 17, while walking in the woods in Armutlu, close to the Gönen district of his hometown Balikesir, where the family was visiting from their regular home – a stunning villa on an island close to the capital Istanbul.
His Doberman pinscher Tina also disappeared, with his second dog – an adopted stray named Esmeralda – only alerting the family when she turned up at the house alone.
Grandfather-of-three Berzeg had recently retired after a long and storied career as a world-renowned economist which included stints as the Asia Director at the World Bank in the US, advisory roles in the US and Saudi governments, and various teaching positions at respected universities.
But now his wife Angela, 80, and daughters Sibel and Nisa, both of whom are in their 50s, have pleaded with anyone that has information on the whereabouts of their father to get in touch after sniffer dog patrols and drone searches failed to find a trace of Korhan’s presence.
Korhan Berzeg, 83, vanished on Saturday, June 17, while walking in the woods in Armutlu, close to the Gönen district of his hometown Balikesir
Korhan is seen alongside wife Angela in this picture shared on social media calling for help in solving his disappearance
‘If anyone has even the slightest inkling of information — if you have seen or heard anything that could shed light on my husband’s disappearance — I beg you to come forward,’ Angela said in comments carried by The Sun.
‘No detail is too small, every piece of information could hold the key to unravelling this bewildering mystery and restoring hope to our shattered lives.
‘Korhan, if you can hear my plea, know that your absence is felt deeply by all who love you. We will never stop searching, and we will never give up hope.’
Nisa, 50, added: ‘None of it makes sense. My dad went off on his regular morning walk and never came back.
‘It’s incredible that nothing — no clothing, a shoe, his glasses, a dog collar, nothing — has turned up.
‘It’s upsetting to think of it but perhaps my dad and Tina have been taken somewhere by someone and that someone may have harmed them.
‘But why? Why would anyone hurt my elderly father years after his retirement? It just doesn’t add up.’
In the past month since Korhan’s disappearance, police have canvassed an area of 200 square kilometres (77 square miles) in and around Balikesir.
Search teams have deployed sniffer and cadaver dogs in an attempt to find clues or a body, and used infrared cameras mounted to fleets of drones to scour the area from above.
The search operation extended through 22 rural neighbourhoods, 10 wells, 60 abandoned buildings and various forested areas, pathways, swamps, fields and a stream, according to authorities.
More than 300 officers took part in the search operation, but more than five weeks on from Korhan’s ill-fated stroll, the cops have nothing to show for it.
Korhan’s daughters believe he may have been kidnapped, arguing that had he suffered an accident or been injured, Tina the Doberman would have remained by his side or gone to call for help.
Tina’s disappearance alongside her owner suggests that ‘they may have both been taken somewhere’ and that ‘if Tina had been unharmed she would’ve been found by now’, according to Nisa.
Gönen’s public prosecutor’s office is continuing the investigation into Korhan’s disappearance.
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