Pippa Bacca

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Pippa Bacca
09-02-07 Pippa.jpg
Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo

(1974-12-09)9 December 1974
Died31 March 2008(2008-03-31) (aged 33)
Cause of deathStrangling

Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo (9 December 1974 – 31 March 2008), known as Pippa Bacca, was an Italian feminist artist who, together with a fellow artist, was hitchhiking internationally to promote world peace under the motto, "marriage between different peoples and nations", [1] symbolically wearing a wedding dress during her trek. [2]

Hitchhiking asking people, usually strangers, for a ride in their road vehicle

Hitchhiking is a means of transportation that is gained by asking individuals, usually strangers, for a ride in their automobile or other vehicle. A ride is usually, but not always, free.

Wedding dress dress worn by a bride during the wedding ceremony

A wedding dress or wedding/bridal gown is the clothing worn by a bride during a wedding ceremony. Color, style and ceremonial importance of the gown can depend on the religion and culture of the wedding participants. In Western cultures, brides often choose white wedding dress, which was made popular by Queen Victoria in the 19th century. In eastern cultures, brides often choose red to symbolize auspiciousness.


On 31 March 2008, Pippa Bacca disappeared in Gebze in Turkey. Her body was discovered in the same city on 11 April 2008. The police arrested a man who later led them to her body. [2] [3] [4]

Gebze Town in Marmara, Turkey

Gebze is a district in Kocaeli Province, Turkey. It is situated 65 km southeast of Istanbul, on the Gulf of Izmit, the eastern arm of the Sea of Marmara. Gebze is the second largest district in Kocaeli after İzmit, the provincial centrum in terms of population. Gebze has experienced rapid growth in recent years, from 159,116 residents in 1990 to 299,047 in 2011.

"Brides on Tour"

Bacca was part of a world peace effort known as "Brides on Tour," for which she and fellow artist Silvia Moro had departed from Milan, Italy on 8 March 2008. [5] The artists, wearing white wedding dresses, then travelled through the Balkans and arrived in Turkey on 20 March 2008. They had planned to hitchhike through the Middle East, their final destination being Jerusalem. [4] [5] Concerning their attire, they reported on their website that "That's the only dress we'll carry along — with all stains accumulated during the journey." [3] [6]

Milan Italian city

Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,395,274 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.

Jerusalem City in the Middle East

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

On her sister's hitchhiking plans, and in light of the discovery of her body, her sibling Maria stated to Italian news agency ANSA that "Her travels were for an artistic performance and to give a message of peace and of trust, but not everyone deserves trust... We weren't particularly worried because she had been hitchhiking for a lot of time, and thus was capable of avoiding risky situations... She was a determined person when it had to do with working for art." [4]


Bacca and her companion split up just prior to arriving in Istanbul, planning to meet up again in Beirut. Bacca disappeared after 31 March. [3] Her credit card was reportedly used at noon of that day. [4] Bacca's naked, strangled and decomposing body was found near some bushes near Gebze, about 40 miles southeast of Istanbul. [1] [2]

Istanbul Metropolitan municipality in Marmara, Turkey

Istanbul, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosporus strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives in suburbs on the Asian side of the Bosporus. With a total population of around 15 million residents in its metropolitan area, Istanbul is one of the world's most populous cities, ranking as the world's fourth largest city proper and the largest European city. The city is the administrative center of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Istanbul is a bridge between the East and West.

Beirut City in Lebanon

Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. No recent population census has been conducted, but 2007 estimates ranged from slightly more than 1 million to 2.2 million as part of Greater Beirut. Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coast, Beirut is the country's largest and main seaport.

The man who led the police to her body, Murat Karataş, [3] was detained [2] and arrested after reportedly confessing to raping and strangling Bacca on 31 March after taking her in his Jeep from a gas station. [3] DNA testing suggested that Bacca was raped by multiple people, and not just Karataş. [7] The suspect said he was "under the influence of drugs and alcohol" and could not remember what happened. [8]

Gang rape

Gang rape occurs when a group of people participate in the rape of a single victim. Rape involving at least two or more violators is reported throughout the world. Systematic information and statistics on the extent of the problem is limited.

He had been traced after he inserted his own SIM card into the victim's mobile phone—which alerted police, since he had a previous conviction for theft. [2] Bacca's own information was wiped from the mobile device, implicating, according to the lawyer for Bacca's family, at least one other accomplice since Karataş could not speak English and left school after the third grade. [8]


The Turkish president Abdullah Gül called the Italian president Giorgio Napolitano to express his grief. [9] A commentary in Today's Zaman , while expressing sadness for the woman's death, criticised the supposed obsequiousness of Turkish politicians to "foreigners" in the Bacca case, writing: "Let's face it, if Pippa were a Turk, some people would feel free to say that a hitchhiking woman deserves to be raped." The columnist argued that local problems such as violence against women should be addressed regardless of Turkey's concern for being shamed before foreigners. [10] Hürriyet , a top selling Turkish newspaper, printed an article on the murder entitled "We are ashamed". [11]


A documentary, La Mariée (The Bride), about the story of Bacca, was directed by the French filmmaker Joël Curtz in 2012. [12] This documentary features video archives from her camera that the film team recovered during the shooting of the film. [13]

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  1. 1 2 Elisabetta, Povoledo (19 April 2008). "Performance Artist Killed on Peace Trip is Mourned". The New York Times .
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "'World peace' hitcher is murdered". BBC News . Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Missing Italian 'World Peace' Hitcher And Artist Found Dead In Turkey". All Headline News. Archived from the original on 6 May 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "'Brides for peace' protester found dead in Turkey". BreakingNews. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  5. 1 2 "Itinerary". Brides on Tour. Fotoup.net. Archived from the original on 14 March 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  6. "Brides on Tour". Brides on Tour. Fotoup.net. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  7. "'Bacca faced multiple rape'". Hürriyet Daily News . Istanbul. 2008.
  8. 1 2 Guler, Mehmet (5 November 2008). "Pippa Bacca murderer says he does not remember killing". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on 25 February 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  9. Povoledo, Elisabetta (19 April 2008). "Performance Artist Killed on Peace Trip is Mourned". The New York Times .
  10. Karabat, Ayse (20 April 2008). "Being disgraced in the eyes of whom?". Today's Zaman.
  11. "Missing Italian woman artist Pippa Bacca found dead in Turkey". Hürriyet . Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  12. "The Bride (La Mariée)". JoëlCurtz.com. Joël Curtz.
  13. "The Bride". International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013.