(Hurriyet Newspaper, 18 November 2013)
The Hugh Hefner of Turkey
In Adana, the case that was opened for the
nullification of the marriage between 85 year-old
Selahattin Ozgen and Gunnur Ozgen, 46 years
younger and the mother of two children, has still
not been concluded after 12 years.
Selahattin Ozgen had retired from working as an
accountant at the Cotton Research Institute in Adana
and after the death of his wife Semiha in 1997 he began
to live alone in Mersin's Camliyayla district. In 1999
Selahattin's house burned and he was left paralyzed.
At that time, his son Bahadir Ozgen (60) allegedly had
his father marry his (Bahadir's) live-in girlfriend Gunnur,
who was 39 years-old in 1999, in order to be able to
collect his father's retirement pay.
The marriage was performed on 8 August 2000 by the
village chief of Daripinar village. Selahattin Ozgen died
four months later at the age of 85. A battle then erupted
among Selahattin's children because of the wedding.
Salih Arpat Ozgen (64) filed suit in 2001 in Mersin's
court to nullify the marriage. Gunnur Ozgen, who allegedly
married her father-in-law for his retirement pay, stated in
her statement to the court that she was forced to officially marry
Selahattin because her status as Bahadir's mate was unofficial.
The local court reached a decision on the case on 23 October
2008, finding that Salih Arpat Ozgen did not have standing to
bring a case. So the case to nullify the marriage died. However,
on 8 June 2010 a higher court ruled that the case should be heard
again. The lower court took up the case once more and decided
to send the case file to medical officials in Istanbul to determine
whether Selahattin Ozgen was in full command of his faculties
when he married Gunnur.
Lawyers opined that the sanity of a deceased person can only
be determined from the witness statements and other information
in the case file. Exhuming the body from the grave for this purpose
is not a consideration.
Family feuding in Adana and Mersin.