Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo (known as Pippa Bacca) (9 December 1974 – 31 March 2008) was an Italian artist who, together with a fellow artist, was hitch-hiking from Milan to the Middle-East to promote world peace and trust in other people, symbolically wearing a wedding dress during her trek. Arriving in Gebze on 31 March 2008, she went missing. Her raped body was discovered in the same city on 11 April 2008. The police arrested a man who had placed his SIM card into Bacca's mobile phone and he later led them to Bacca's body.
Brides on tour
Bacca was part of a world peace effort known as "Brides on Tour" which had departed from Milan on 8 March 2008. The artists, wearing white wedding dresses, then travelled through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Bulgaria, and arrived in Turkey on 20 March 2008. They had planned to hitch-hike to Syria and then Lebanon by 31 March, arriving in Palestinian territories and Israel by mid-April, their final destination being Jerusalem. 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."
On her sisters hitch-hiking plans, and in light of the discovery of her body, her sibling Maria states 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."
Bacca and her companion split up just prior to arriving in Istanbul, planning to meet up again in Beirut. However, Bacca disappeared after 31 March. Her credit card was reportedly used at noon of that day. Bacca's naked, strangled and decomposing body was found near some bushes in the town of Tavşanlı in mid-April.
The man who led the police to her body, Murat Karataş was detained, was arrested after reportedly confessing to raping and strangling Bacca on 31 March after taking her in his Jeep from a gas station. DNA testing suggests, however, that Bacca was raped by multiple people, and not just Karataş. The suspect said he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and could not remember what happened.
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. Bacca's own information was wiped from the mobile device, implicating at least one other accomplice, since Karataş could not speak English and left school after the third grade.
Negative or sceptical reactions to the circumstances of Bacca's death were common in Turkey, along the lines of "An oddly and ostentatiously dressed woman, hitchhiking alone, in a foreign country—what was she thinking?" However, the Turkish president Abdullah Gul called the Italian president Giorgio Napolitano to express his grief. 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 freer 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.
A documentary entitled ″La Mariée″ (The Bride) about the story of Pippa Bacca was directed by the French filmmaker Joël Curtz in 2012. This documentary features video archives from Pippa Bacca's camera that the film team recovered during the shooting of the film.
- "World peace" hitcher is murdered BBC News retrieved 12 April 2008
- Missing Italian "World Peace" Hitcher And Artist Found Dead In Turkey All Headline News retrieved 12 April 2008
- "Brides for peace" protester found dead in Turkey BreakingNews retrieved 12 April 2008
- Brides on tour – itinerary retrieved 12 April 2008
- Brides on Tour retrieved 12 April 2008
- Shirky, Clay (2010). Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators. Penguin. pp. 103–104.
- "'Bacca faced multiple rape'". Istanbul: Hurriyet Daily News. 2008.
- Guler, Mehmet (5 November 2008). "Pippa Bacca murderer says he does not remember killing". Today's Zaman.
- Povoledo, Elisabetta (19 April 2008). "Performance Artist Killed on Peace Trip is Mourned". The New York Times.
- Karabat, Ayse (20 April 2008). "Being disgraced in the eyes of whom?". Today's Zaman.
- Missing Italian woman artist Pippa Bacca found dead in Turkey Hurriyet, retrieved 12 April 2008
- The Bride (La Mariée) Joël Curtz's website
- Joël Curtz has made a remarkable documentary with the help of Bacca's family and close friends, and using footage the girl shot herself IDFA International Documentary Film Festsival Amstersam