The death of an 18-year-old Italian Nigerian volleyball player who fell from the 6th floor window of an Istanbul hotel is now a subject of Turkish police investigation.
Julia Ituma’s body was found in front of the hotel where her team was staying, hours after her team’s knockout of the champions league semi-final clash.
In security footage from inside the hotel, Ituma can be seen talking on the phone in a hallway in the evening hours, and then sitting outside the door to her room for about an hour in a “pensive and thoughtful” mood, before entering her room for the last time, police said.
“We are all dismayed by this tragedy which affects not only the volleyball world but all of Italian sport,” the Italian Volleyball Federation President Giuseppe Manfredi said in a statement.
“My first thought goes to Julia’s family, to whom I send my deepest condolences and guarantee that the Italian Volleyball Federation will provide maximum support,” he added.
Ituma’s volleyball club, Igor Gorgonzola Novara, also expressed their “deep pain” over her passing, adding that the Turkish police were working to determine the cause of death.
“Igor Volley wishes to express their condolences and partaking in the pain of Julia’s family and loved ones. The club and all its members, heartbroken by the loss, will keep a respectful silence on the matter,” the team said in a statement.
The team was in Istanbul playing a volleyball Champions League semi-final against local team Eczacıbaşı Dynavit, who have also expressed their condolences.
The Italian Volleyball Federation also announced on Thursday that there would be a minute of silence in Ituma’s memory across all volleyball matches over the weekend.