Turkish woman wins Russian hearts for nursing missing boy

Turkish woman wins Russian hearts for nursing missing boy

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Turkish woman wins Russian hearts for nursing missing boy

DHA photo

Turkish woman Gülsüm Kabadayı became an overnight hero when she appeared on a Russian TV show on Jan. 23, calling for the authorities to find the relatives of the Russian boy who has been under her care since she found him in a hospital in Antalya.

Russian deputy Roman Khudyakov, who was on the show with Kabadayı, even kissed her hand in gratitude, thanking her and the Turkish authorities for taking care of the boy, whose identity remains unknown.

Kabadayı found the Russian boy when he was 17-years-old, unconscious and undergoing treatment in an Antalya hospital. When no one came to claim him, Kabadayı chose to stay with the boy, naming him Umut, meaning “Hope.” She stayed with him in hospital for over 300 days, 110 of which Umut spent in intensive care. Umut soon received a Turkish ID card, identifying him as Mustafa Öz, and was placed under state care upon his release.

Kabadayı, however, refused to leave Umut, who she now calls her “son,” and continued taking care of him. The state assigned her as a foster parent to Umut, and offered her a monthly grant.

Turkish authorities tried to find Umut’s relatives, but failed to do so.

Calling on Russian families

Kabadayı called on Russian citizens and the authorities to help find Umut’s real family.

“I took him four years ago when he was like a baby,” she said. “Now he is a healthy boy. I have three sons, and he is my fourth.”

Kabadayı also thanked for all the support she had received from Russia.

“I thank them all for the support, I was surprised. I feel stronger now,” she said.