The owner of the Turkish arm of Tiffany’s jewellery empire has been declared dead after falling from the Norwegian Spirit cruise ship on 26 October 2022.

Dilek Ertek, 71, is believed to have fallen into the South Pacific just off the coast of Tahiti at 3:00am.

The search for Ertek’s body has ceased and the tycoon has been declared dead.


Her family claim that CCTV footage indicates that Ertek fell from the ship at 3:00am, but her Swiss boyfriend – who was on holiday with Ertek at the time of her disappearance – did not report her missing until approximately 20 hours later.

Turkish media confirms that security footage is being studied and appears to show a figure falling into the sea at the supposed time of the incident.

The 74-year-old boyfriend, who has not yet been named, was isolated in a separate cabin and observed by crew until the ship docked at Papeete Port three days after the incident.

He was then questioned by Tahitian police but later released due to a lack of evidence.

It is believed that he has since returned to Switzerland.

Ertek’s son, Gokce Atuk, told officials that several items of jewellery had gone missing from his mother’s safe in her cabin aboard the Norwegian Spirit cruise ship, the Mail Online reported.

Many are considering her death as suspicious due to the missing items of jewellery, combined with the fact that Ertek was 5’2″ and tee-total – making it unlikely for her to accidentally fall over the 3′ high guard rail on the balcony of her cabin.

The Turkish media have reported that there are issues with the investigation as Ertek’s room was not properly searched by Tahitian authorities.

The family, along with Ertek’s lawyers, are said to be taking legal action against Norwegian Cruise Line, who operate the vessel.

The tycoon boarded the Norwegian Spirit cruise liner on 24 October in Papeete Island, French Polynesia.

Ertek was due to celebrate her birthday on 5 November in the South Pacific island of Bora Bora, with the cruise ending in Honolulu, Haiwaii.

Dilek Ertek opened Istanbul’s first Tiffany & Co storefront in 1995 and was the distributor for the luxury jewellery retailer in the region for over 20 years.

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