Being a father does not only take compassion for children, but also takes a physical bond. Osman Çürümez of the western Turkish city of İzmir learned this the hard way, as he found he was not the biological father of the three children from his two marriages.
The 57-year-old junk collector married his first wife in 1987. The couple had a boy and a girl, currently aged 20 and 17, respectively. Çürümez left İzmir for Istanbul in 2008 for a better-paying job. When he failed to send money back home for the care of his family, a domestic dispute arose. During a heated argument on the phone, his wife told him he was not the real father of the children. "She insulted me and told me she does not need me anymore, as the children are now grown up," he said. What is more devastating for the husband was that the father of his children was his brother-in-law. The couple eventually divorced but the fate had more in store for Çürümez who was excited to have another child with N.G., a woman he married in 2012. Some two weeks before the birth, his wife confessed that the baby was not his. His second wife had apparently fallen for another man during their marriage and conceived a child with him. The unfortunate husband parted ways with his second wife after she confessed to cheating on him.
His dreams to have his own child shattered, Çürümez now lives with the 13-year-old son of his second wife who chose to stay with him instead of his mother.
"These women easily tricked me. I became some sort of ‘surrogate' father. Why me? I don't know why they [hurt] me. They exploited my integrity, my mercy for children. I cannot trust people anymore," Çürümez said in tears.