Housekeeper Gul Fayzullaeva (above) says James Le Mesurier was feeling ‘unwell’ and ‘stressed’ in the days before his sudden death
The British former army officer who helped found the White Helmets went to hospital with high blood pressure just over 24 hours before he was found dead outside his Istanbul apartment, MailOnline can reveal.
James Le Mesurier’s final few days were pieced together by one of the last people to see him alive – the housekeeper at the home on the island of Buyukada that the humanitarian shared with his wife Emma Winberg and their two young daughters.
Speaking to MailOnline from the enviable £1,000-a-month rented property, Gul Fayzullaeva said the father-of-two had appeared ‘tense’ and ‘stressed’ and complained of feeling unwell on Saturday.
‘James was not himself on Saturday,’ said Ms Fayzullaeva. He was tense and stressed about something.
‘I couldn’t tell what was worrying him but he said he didn’t feel very well and didn’t have any dinner that evening.
‘I measured his blood pressure and it was 160/120. He was concerned enough to go to the hospital.
‘They gave him an injection and a pill and he came home later that night.
Ms Fayzullaeva lives at this £1,000 per month property on the island of Buyukada, Turkey, rented by Mr Le Mersurier and his Swedish wife, Emma Winberg, 39, and his two daughters
Mr Le Mesurier, pictured, was a former British Army officer who founded Mayday Rescue, which helped train the White Helmets when it began in 2013. He fell from a third floor ledge from an apartment above his Istanbul offices and was discovered at 5.30am on Monday
Le Mesurier’s wife Emma Winberg (pictured right in Istanbul) gave a three-hour statement to Turkish police, who will not allow the mother-of-two to leave Turkey while they probe his death
‘When I went out to smoke about 11pm, I looked up at his bedroom window and saw that he and Emma had gone to bed as their light was off.
‘The next morning they both went back to Istanbul as normal. But that was the last time I saw them both.’
Ms Fayzullaeva said that her employer had recently experienced problems sleeping.
She said: ‘Emma told me that he had started taking tablets to help him sleep as he couldn’t seem to rest properly at night.
‘When he went to the hospital on Saturday, he asked for sleeping tablets but the doctor said they didn’t have any there and if needed them he’d need to get them on the mainland.
‘I wouldn’t have known had she not told me as he looked in good health and was physically quite fit.’
Less than two days after his Saturday night hospital visit Mr Le Mesurier fell from a third floor ledge from an apartment above his offices that were his base in the central Karakoy district of the city.
His body was found at about 5.30am local time on Monday.
According to an account given to police by Ms Winberg, the couple had gone to sleep at 2.30am on Monday but awoke at 4.30am.
She said that he gave her a sleeping pill with a glass of water because she too couldn’t sleep and they both went to bed.
The ledge in the centre of Istanbul from where White Helmets founder James Le Mesurier fell to his death in the early hours of Monday morning
Mr Le Mesurier fell from the circled ledge at sometime between 4.30am and 5.50am on Monday. His death comes a week after Russia accused him of being a British spy for MI6
Mr Le Mesurier and his wife often stayed at the apartment in Istanbul while they were at the White Helmets headquarters where Ms Winberg was also a director of their foundation
However, just an hour later she was woken up by police after her husband’s body was found lying on the street outside.
Mr Le Mesurier, whose White Helmets humanitarian organisation saved thousands of lives in war-torn Syria, had been labelled an MI6 spy just days before he died by Russian government officials critical of his work in the Middle East.
The claim, denied by Mr Le Mesurier’s family and colleagues, has ignited speculation that shadowy forces could have been responsible for his untimely death.
Mystery surrounds Mr Le Mesurier’s death as Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad accused the CIA and ‘Western intelligence’ of murder
Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has accused the CIA and ‘Western intelligence’ services of being behind the death – and claimed the Turkish intelligence services may have carried out the killing on behalf of the West.
Ms Fayzullaeva dismissed the claims as ‘nonsense’.
She said that on the Saturday, 48 hours earlier, the former army officer had been off his food and had blood pressure of 160/120, which prompted him to go to the Buyukada Merkez medical centre, a ten-minute walk from his home.
There he was given an injection and a pill to lower his blood pressure enough for him to return home later in the evening.
Ms Fayzullaeva, who also lives in the home on Buyukada and looks after the property when they are away, said: ‘I’ve rang Emma twice to see how she is but she hasn’t picked up the phone.
‘I don’t want to bother her too much because she is grieving, she must be devastated.
‘They were a close couple. Very affectionate with one another.
‘When James stayed here in Buyukada he used to smoke out on the balcony so he could have done the same in Istanbul.
‘Perhaps he went out onto the ledge to smoke and fell. Maybe he was drowsy from taking a sleeping pill.
Mr Le Mesurier had high blood pressure, was feeling stressed and was unable to eat on Saturday, which prompted him to visit the Buyukada Merkez medical centre (pictured)
‘I don’t know what happened but I don’t think he was a spy and I don’t think that had anything to do with his death.
‘The claims made by the Russians are nonsense. He wasn’t part of MI6.
‘He didn’t have any Russian friends over to the house. I’d know as I’m originally from Uzbekistan and speak Russian.
Mr Le Mesurier’s housekeeper said that he and his wife were a loving, tactile couple
‘He was a really nice man and treated me very well
‘James and Emma rented this house and lived here over the weekends. They had their wedding party here last year.
‘They socialised quite a lot. People would come and stay with them for a few days, mainly British people.
‘His two daughters aged ten and nine sometimes come and stay but they don’t live here full time. I think they might be at school in the UK.’
The palatial 100-year-old home, overlooking the sea, is behind gates and has a sprawling, well-maintained back garden.
Locals on Buyukada, where cars are largely banned and the most popular mode of transport is horse and cart, say that the white wooden home is near to the house where Soviet revolutionary Leon Trotsky lived in exile in the late 1920s and early 30s.
Mr Le Mesurier is said to have kept a low profile, not really mixing with others, but who was seen jogging occasionally around the island.
Ms Winberg (pictured, left) enters a car as she leaves the Forensic Medicine Institute on Wednesday where her husband’s body was being held before it was repatriated to the UK
Mr Le Mesurier’s body was flown back to Britain and repatriated last night however Turkish media have reported that his wife has been told not to leave Turkey.
She spent three hours at a central Istanbul police yesterday where she was questioned, according to reports, over the contents of mobile phones and laptops found in the apartment.