The family of missing UK national David Cann is hoping the public can help them give back to two agencies involved in the hunt for the 56-year-old teacher from Portsmouth who vanished earlier this month.
Mr Cann told fellow holidaymakers he was planning a walk from Hisarönü to Ölüdeniz via the ghost village at Kayaköy on July 2 but he never returned.
CCTV places him at the Happy Nur Hotel that morning where he left his passport and his suitcases still unpacked.
But, despite extensive searches by local police, the AKUT search and rescue teams, Turkey’s AFAD (the Ministry of Interior, Disaster and Emergency Management) and even a Commando unit from the Turkish army, no trace of him has yet been found.
Family arrived in the area within days of initial reports of Mr Cann’s disappearance and have praised both local Turks and the region’s expat community for their help and support in the 12-day search.
But, on Saturday, AKUT search and rescue teams announced all possible routes Mr Cann may have taken had been covered and they had no choice but to pause the hunt – at least until any new information emerges.
Although smaller-scale searches may continue under the umbrella of the Jandarma, after consultation with the Foreign Office, the family had to make the difficult decision to return to the UK on Sunday.
However, speaking from home yesterday, spokesperson and Mr Cann’s niece-in-law Georgina Thomas confirmed family members will return to the Fethiye region as and when there are new developments.
They have also launched the gofundme page to help raise money for AKUT and the Lucie Blackman Trust, which supports family with members in crisis overseas and which has also been closely involved so far.
The remainder of the money will be used to help towards the family’s relatively small travel and accommodation costs while the hunt for Mr Cann continues.
News broke late yesterday that Interpol have now escalated the case, which may bring additional resources to bear; however, it has now been two weeks since Mr Cann was last seen.
Mrs Thomas said: “One thing AKUT have told us is that they are baffled by the fact that, despite extensive searches using all their resources – including drones and sniffer dogs – they found no trace of Dave.
“Admittedly, there are different routes he may have taken but they are well-known and not entirely remote so the fact they haven’t found him gives us all hope.”
Launched on Monday, the appeal had raised just under £400 towards a £10,000 target as the Fethiye Times “went to press” last night.
“The support we have had so far from the community has been incredible,” said Mrs Thomas. “The offers of help and kind thoughts have been numerous and a comfort to all of us.
“We also simply cannot thank members of AKUT enough. They have been thoroughly professional throughout and we understand and appreciate why they have had to suspend the search for now.
“However, we have a meeting with the Foreign Office to push for more support on Thursday (July 18) and we will decide our next steps after that.
“We will do whatever it takes to find out what happened to Dave and, naturally, we all hope that he will be found safe.” More information on the family’s gofundme page and how to donate can be found here.