Jacky Sutton, BBC Journalist, 'Found Hanged' In Istanbul Airport, But Friends Raise Doubts Over Suicide

Friends of a British journalist, who apparently committed suicide in Istanbul, have said they do not believe the reported circumstances of her death.

Jacqueline Anne Sutton, known as Jacky, is reported to have died at the city's airport having missed a connecting flight to Irbil, Iraq.

She was found hanged in the airport's toilets, according to The Daily Mail.

The 50-year-old 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, The Press Association reports.

Jacky Sutton was found hanged at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, according to Turkish media

She was the acting Iraq director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) at the time of her death.

Her friends questioned Turkish media reports that she killed herself after not having enough money to pay for a new ticket for the connecting flight she had missed.

She is reported to have arrived at Ataturk Airport from London on Saturday night.

Journalist and international development worker Rebecca Cooke said the death was "shocking and sad news" and said it needed "an international not just local" investigation.

Sudipto Mukerjee, a country director with the United Nations Development Programme, wrote he found it "very difficult" to believe she killed herself.

World Food Programme Iraq director Jane Pearce said she was also sceptical of the media reports.

Ms 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 Erbil, Iraq, since July.

Centre director Professor Amin Saikal said people at the university are "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."

Julia Shaw called the news "unbelievable".

She tweeted: "Jacky Sutton you will be dearly missed. Unbelievable news."

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 Ms Sutton's family.

If you have been affected by the issues in this article please call the Samaritans on 116 123.