Tests show Japanese woman is daughter of late champion Süleymanoğlu

Tests show Japanese woman is daughter of late champion Süleymanoğlu

Dinçer Gökçe - ISTANBUL
Tests show Japanese woman is daughter of late champion Süleymanoğlu

DNA tests run by the forensic medicine institute have shown the 27-year-old Japanese citizen Sekai Mori is the daughter of the iconic Olympic champion Turkish weightlifter Naim Süleymanoğlu.

The latest test results make Sekai Mori an eligible inheritor and may set the stage for a legal battle over the late champion Süleymanoğlu’s inheritance.

Besides Sekai Mori, Süleymanoğlu has three more children, two living in Istanbul and one in Ankara.

If the Japanese woman becomes Süleymanoğlu’s legal inheritor, his inheritance will be distributed among his four children.

Bulgarian-born Süleymanoğlu, the diminutive “pocket Hercules,” died in November 2018, a month after undergoing a liver transplant surgery. The 50-year-old had been suffering from cirrhosis for a long time.

The body of world and Olympic champion weightlifter Süleymanoğlu was exhumed in Istanbul in July in a paternity case filed by Sekai Mori.

Süleymanoğlu’s daughters from his Turkish wife had opposed exhuming his body from the grave, but the court decided to move on with the procedure and demanded for samples to be collected from the late champion’s remains for a DNA test.

A source said the test results confirmed Sekai Mori’s claims that she is Süleymanoğlu’s daughter.

After the report prepared by the forensic medicine institute enters the paternity case dossier, the Japanese woman will be entitled to claim her share in Süleymanoğlu’s inheritance, according to the source.

Another source said Süleymanoğlu had four children from three different women. “However, Süleymanoğlu never officially married with any of those women,” the source noted.

The late champion’s inheritance includes four or five properties with an estimated combined value of 2 million Turkish Liras (around $370,000).

The sources also said four months prior to his death, Süleymanoğlu had transferred 2 million liras to his brother’s bank account. He raised the money by selling a land plot in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.

“We believe he wired the money to his brother because he did not want the money to be inherited by his children. We will take legal action regarding this money,” the source, who asked not to be named, added.

It was reported earlier in Turkish media that Süleymanoğlu wrote in his will that Sekai Mori also “has a right in his inheritance.”

According to reports, Süleymanoğlu met Kyoko Mori, a Japanese journalist, during the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Mori, who was 10 years older than the Turkish Olympist, had settled in Turkey with Süleymanoğlu and gave birth to a girl in Ankara in 1991.

Many years later, after Süleymanoğlu’s death, Sekai Mori was found in Japan through the efforts of the Turkish sports legend’s brother, Muharrem Süleymanoğlu.