British journalist found dead at Turkish airport
Jacqueline Sutton, 50, who worked for the UN and the BBC, died at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport en route to Iraq.
The BBC reported that Jacqueline Sutton worked for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting NGO.
The BBC reported that Jacqueline Sutton worked for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, a non-governmental organisation. Photograph: Facebook
Tributes have been paid to a British journalist who has died in Turkey in suspicious circumstances.
Jacqueline Sutton died at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, according to local media reports. The Turkish newspaper Hürriyet said she was en route to the Iraqi city of Irbil and was due to change flights in Turkey.
It was not clear how Sutton had died, with some reports saying she had taken her own life. But fellow journalist and development worker Rebecca Cooke called for an international investigation.
“Shocking and sad news about the death of Jacky Sutton in Istanbul. An international not just local investigation is needed,” she told the Press Association.
She held various positions over the years with humanitarian organisations and the United Nations as well as working as a producer for the BBC, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Sutton, who spoke five languages including basic Arabic, had been studying for a PhD at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University.
Her research was on international development support to female media professionals in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2013 and she had been carrying out field work in Irbil, Iraq, since July.
The director of the centre, Prof Amin Saikal, said staff at the university were “deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic death of one of its brilliant PhD students”.
Prof Saikal added: “She was not only an outstanding research scholar, but a highly valued friend and colleague who made remarkable contributions to the work and activities of the centre.”
She was reported to be the acting Iraq director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) at the time of her death.
Sudipto Mukerjee, a country director with the United Nations development programme, wrote: “Very difficult to believe that my colleague undpiniraq staffer and seasoned traveler JackySutton committed suicide.”
Lebanon-based Jessica Dheere said she was devastated at the news, which comes after the death of the IWPR’s director, Ammar Al Shahbander, who was killed in a car bomb attack in Baghdad in May.
She tweeted: “Incredibly distraught about death of 2nd IWPR IRAQ director in 6 mths. RIP Jacky Sutton. U were a force.”
The Foreign Office confirmed it is providing consular assistance to Sutton’s family. It declined to discuss any details surrounding her death and the IWPR has not responded to a request for comment.