More than 100 people have attended a vigil in Berlin in memory of a German student beaten to death after stopping a group of men harassing two young girls in a restaurant toilet.
Tugce Albayrak heard the girls, aged 13 and 16, screaming for help in the toilet of a McDonald’s in Offenbach on November 15, and she stepped in.
But later, as she walked through the car park, she was attacked and punched by three men and fell into a coma, having suffered a brain haemorrhage.
Her parents made the decision to turn off her life support machine on Friday, the day of her 23rd birthday, after doctors declared her brain dead.
The vigil was one of many more across Germany being held to honour Tugce, with people lighting candles and laying flowers.
One sign placed at the scene read: “You are not dead, you are just invisible around us. We are very proud of you Tugce.”
Cagla Ferat, one of the vigil’s organisers, said:
Tugce was of Turkish descent, and the former representative of the Turkish community in Germany, Kenan Kolat, has now organised a petition calling on German president Joachim Gauck to award the young student the country’s National Order of Merit.
It has attracted more than 50,000 signatures so far.
Police said an 18-year-old man has been arrested and is being held in connection with Tugce's death.