Umut Seferoğlu was planning to celebrate the birthday of his American wife Jessica Marie on Oct.17 when he returned home from work. Instead, he found an empty home with his wife and their two children missing. He is now seeking help from authorities, accusing his wife of abducting their children and taking them to the United States.
The couple met nine years ago when his mother-in-law visited Turkey as a tourist for a tour where Seferoğlu was the guide. They married in 2010 and settled in Istanbul. They had twins in 2013, but marital problems arose. When his mother-in-law arrived on Oct.15, Seferoğlu thought it was for his wife's birthday but instead, mother and daughter packed up and took the children with them. The Turkish husband says he rushed to the airport and tried to get a restraining order to prevent his children from traveling abroad but failed due to missing paperwork. He flew to the U.S., but his wife refused to show him the children
Speaking to İhlas News Agency, the husband says he had "problems" with his wife, but they were "the same things that can happen in any marriage," and they were not considering "a divorce." His wife filed for divorce shortly after leaving for the United States and according to a report in Habertürk daily, she cited domestic violence as the reason. Seferoğlu denied this.
He said he "did not deserve" to be "deprived of his children." "I want both children and my wife to return," he says.
Beybin Somuk, lawyer for the husband, said the children were born and raised in Turkey, and the mother violated custody rights of her client. "It constitutes a crime under The Hague Convention that stipulates children need to be returned to the country of their habitual residence," she said.