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Tuğçe Albayrak, A Local German Hero

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This Morning, on a cold fall day, thousands of Germans gathered to pay tribute to Tuğçe Albayrak, a college student was killed by an 18 year old man after she heroically stepped in to protect two girls from the bullying and harassing actions said to have been performed by the assailant and other men at a local restaurant in Germany.

This heroic tragic story was made public two week ago when Tuğçe Albayrak was attacked at the parking lot outside a local McDonalds in Offenbach near Frankfurt, according to news.

Tuğçe received blows to the head in a very graphic fight seen shown in blurry CCTV footage of the parking lot. The assailant (18 years old), is suspected to have returned for Tuğçe after she saved the two teenage girls from his harassing advances. The footage shows her falling still to the ground after suffering a traumatic brain injury that put her in a deep coma that she never recovered from. Her parents took the decision to take her off life support last Friday on her 23rd birthday after it was decided by doctors that she would never regain her consciousness and is in fact brain dead.

Her alleged attacker, who is from the Sandzak region of south-west Serbia, has admitted attacking Albayrak and is being held in police custody. Earlier today, thousands of Germans and Turkish people gathered around the mosque where Tuğçe’s funeral was help to pay their respects to Tuğçe who was called a hero. Outside the Offenbach hospital where she died, and where people had been holding a vigil since the attack on her on November 15, people brought flowers and lit candles and a pianist played the student’s favorite songs. Till this day over 100,000 people have signed a bill sent to Germany’s president, Joachim Gauck, urging him to award Albayrak the national order of merit for her heroic actions.

The German President sent a letter of condolences to the Albayrak family at the weekend in which he confirmed he was taking the appeal seriously and expressed his “anger and shock” at the attack. “Nobody can measure the pain that you, your family and the friends of your daughter must be enduring,” he wrote. He also praised her courage. “Where other people looked the other way, your daughter showed exemplary courage and moral fortitude and stood up for the victims of an act of violence”. Gauck added, she had “become herself a victim of a brutal crime”.

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