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Germany Pays Tribute To Tugce Albayrak, Student Killed For Confronting Harassment

01/12/2014 15:58 GMT | Updated 01/12/2014 15:59 GMT
Yusuf Kenan Albayrak/Facebook

Germans are paying tribute to 23-year-old student Tugce Albayrak, who died on Friday after attempting to stop the harassment of two teenage girls.

A Serbian man has confessed to striking Albayrak during the incident, which occurred on November 15 in an Offenbach McDonald's. She reportedly went to the aid of two girls after she heard screaming from the restaurant's toilets.

The three males dispersed, but later approached Albayrak in the the car park where the Serbian man, who has been named only as Senal M, hit her with a stone or a bat. Her head hit the floor, which is said to have been the cause of a brain injury that put her in a coma.

On November 28, Albayrak's parents decided to turn off her life support.

Her passing has since sparked national debate on civil courage, and prompted German President Joachim Gauck to write to the Albayrak family.

In a letter, he said: "Like countless citizens, I am shocked and appalled by this terrible act. Tugce has earned gratitude and respect from us all.

"She will always remain a role model to us, our entire country mourns with you. Where other people looked the other way, Tugce showed exemplary courage and moral fortitude."

A civil courage candlelight vigil was held in her memory on Sunday, at the heart of Berlin's Kreuzberg district.