No tenants for months for house where British agent died

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No renter has been seeking the three-story building in Istanbul’s Karaköy, where former British intelligence officer James Gustaf Edward Le Mesurier fell from his terrace and died.

The mystery behind the death of Le Mesurier, who was found dead on the street of his house on Nov. 11, 2019, could not be clarified, although the investigation file has been closed.

After his death, Emma Hedvig Christina Winber, the spouse of the officer, evacuated the house on Feb. 15, and the household items in the building were loaded into seven trucks.

Since then, the house could not be rented to a new customer for seven months, although a rental sign was hung in the 500 square meter building, located in one of the most central and busiest locations in Istanbul.

“There is no legal problem with the building. The seal of the building was removed earlier this year. In the past months, we wanted to rent the building for 60,000 Turkish Liras ($8,000) per month. Now we want 50,000 liras ($6,600),” said İlker Erkan, a real estate agent.

“The building was shown on televisions and newspapers for days. Everyone knows this place. People come and take pictures in front of it. There are also those who come to rent. They consult us. They give up when they find out it’s the building where the agent died,” said Tarık Emir, a shopkeeper on the street where Le Mesurier died.

The body of the former officer, the co-founder of the Syrian civil defense group known as the White Helmets, was found on Nov. 11 by a passerby who was going to a nearby mosque for morning prayers.

At the end of the investigation, which lasted about three-and-a-half months, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had decided not to pursue the case anymore in March.

The White Helmets, known officially as Syria Civil Defence, have been credited with saving thousands of people in rebel-held areas during years of bombing by the Syrian government and Russian forces in the country’s civil war.

Hurriyet Daily News

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