Tiffany’s tycoon dies after plunging to death from cruise ship with ‘jewels missing from cabin’


Tiffany’s jewelry tycoon, 71, plunges to her death from Norwegian Spirit cruise ship at 3am off Tahiti coast as it’s revealed gems were stolen from her cabin – and boyfriend took TWENTY HOURS to report her missing

  • Tiffany’s distributor Dilek Ertek fell into the sea off the coast of Tahiti at 3am
  • Her family say she was with a Swiss lover and jewels are missing from her cabin
  • The lover was questioned by police in Tahiti but was released without charge 

A wealthy tycoon who owns Tiffany’s jewellery empire in Turkey has died after plunging to her death from a cruise ship during a dream South Sea Islands holiday.

Dilek Ertek, 71 – the distributor of Tiffany’s in Turkey for over 20 years – fell into the South Pacific off the coast of Tahiti from the Norwegian Spirit ship on October 26.

Respected Turkish newspaper Sabah reported her family have urged police to investigate Miss Ertek’s Swiss national lover who was with her on the trip.

Her son Gokce Atuk says jewelry had gone missing from the safe in his mother’s cabin.

And despite ship CCTV footage showing she probably fell at 3am, her unnamed lover only reported her missing some 20 hours later, according to local media.

A wealthy tycoon who owns Tiffany's jewellery empire in Turkey has died after plunging to her death from a cruise ship during a dream South Sea Islands holiday

A wealthy tycoon who owns Tiffany’s jewellery empire in Turkey has died after plunging to her death from a cruise ship during a dream South Sea Islands holiday

Dilek Ertek, 71 - the distributor of Tiffany's in Turkey for over 20 years - fell into South Pacific off the coast of Tahiti from the Norwegian Spirit ship on October 26

Dilek Ertek, 71 – the distributor of Tiffany’s in Turkey for over 20 years – fell into South Pacific off the coast of Tahiti from the Norwegian Spirit ship on October 26

Ertek's son Gokce Atuk says jewelry had gone missing from the safe in his mother's cabin on the liner (pictured)

Ertek’s son Gokce Atuk says jewelry had gone missing from the safe in his mother’s cabin on the liner (pictured)

Experts seem baffled over how Miss Ertek – who was just 5ft2 and tee-total – was able to fall over the metre-high guard rail to her cabin. 

The 74-year-old partner was kept under observation by the ship’s crew in a separate cabin before they then docked in Tahiti three days later.

He was reportedly questioned by police in Tahiti before being released due to a lack of evidence. He has since returned to Switzerland.

A search at sea for Miss Ertek’s body has been discontinued.

Miss Ertek had boarded the vessel on October 24 in Papeete Island, French Polynesia, to celebrate her birthday in Bora Bora, a small South Pacific island on November 5.

The cruise was set to end in Honolulu, in Hawaii.

Experts seem baffled over how Miss Ertek - who was just 5ft2 and tee-total - was able to fall over the metre-high guard rail to her cabin

Experts seem baffled over how Miss Ertek – who was just 5ft2 and tee-total – was able to fall over the metre-high guard rail to her cabin

She had boarded the vessel on October 24 in Papeete Island, French Polynesia, to celebrate her birthday in Bora Bora, a small South Pacific island on November 5

She had boarded the vessel on October 24 in Papeete Island, French Polynesia, to celebrate her birthday in Bora Bora, a small South Pacific island on November 5

A search for her body was organised immediately but to no avail, with the vessel reporting the situation to the authorities and returning to the nearest port, on Papeete Island.

Security footage from the vessel is being studied, with images showing that an unknown figure fell into the sea at that time, according to Turkish media.

Turkish media report that there are also issues with the investigation.

It is claimed that Tahitian authorities did not search Ertek’s room properly.

Some feel they have only gone through the motions as the death happened outside their area of jurisdiction.

Dilek Ertek was born in Istanbul and graduated from Mimar Sinan University, Department of Architecture

Dilek Ertek was born in Istanbul and graduated from Mimar Sinan University, Department of Architecture

But lawyers for Ertek have reportedly argued that the investigation is Tahiti’s responsibility as it was the closest country when the incident at sea happened.

Her lawyers are reportedly preparing to file a suit against the ship’s operator.

Gokce Atuk reportedly went to Tahiti to help with the search efforts, which have now been stopped, prompting him to launch legal challenges.

Captain Mustafa Can reportedly said: ‘It is difficult to fall from this type of passenger and cruise ship.’

Dilek Ertek was born in Istanbul and graduated from Mimar Sinan University, Department of Architecture.

She went on to study diamonds at the Gemological Institute of America in New York.

At the end of 1995, she opened the first Tiffany store in Istanbul. She was the distributor of Tiffany & Co. in Turkey for more than 20 years.

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