Former Miss Turkey’s inheritance to be distributed to firefighters
An Istanbul court has finally concluded an 18-year lawsuit regarding the inheritance of Birsen Sakaoğlu, the titleholder of 1936 Miss Turkey, confirming that the savings of 25 million Liras ($2.96 million) belonging to her will be left to the Fire Department and its personnel in the Fatih district.
After winning the Miss Turkey beauty contest in 1936, Sakaoğlu settled in the United States with her husband, but then returned to Istanbul later and started a new life in the Fatih district.
Re-experiencing a trauma she encountered as a child in 1999, the old woman was trapped in the flames at her home but was rescued for the second time by the staff of the Fatih Fire Department.
Sakaoğlu passed away at the age of 94 in 2003, however she penned a will before her death, excluding her only surviving relative, her brother Selahattin İzmirli, who allegedly did not talk to her for years. Instead, she wanted to donate her savings to an institution that saved her as a “debt of loyalty.”
She instructed in her will that the interest from her savings that she had deposited in a bank be disbursed to the Fire Department and its personnel in the Fatih district every three months along with the rental income from her house.
İzmirli and his sons objected to the will and filed a lawsuit. However, İzmirli died during the legal process while a local court accepted the execution of the will. After an appeals process, the Court of Cassation upheld the verdict, and a new trial awarded the money to the firefighters.
The court confirmed the decision to distribute the inheritance of Sakaoğlu to 272 people working at the Fatih Fire Department, underlining the will in the reasoned decision it announced.