Russia's Channel One recently covered the story of a Turkish woman named Gülsüm Kabadayı who has taken on the role of mother for a paralyzed 21-year-old Russian boy in Antalya for the past four years. The show, hosted by famous Russian journalist Andrey Malahov, had the audience in tears. Malahov explained that this young boy, whose identity is still unknown, was paralyzed in a car accident years ago and Gülsüm Kabadayı has been acting as his mother in an unprecedented display of devotion and compassion. Malahov also shared that the boy, who has been given the name Umut, begins to cry when he hears Russian words.
'IF YOU UNDERSTAND, STICK OUT YOUR TONGUE'
The show started off with a short biography of Umut's life, or at least as much as is known. The host explained how four years ago, Kabadayı stood up for the Russian boy, who had no one to care for him, and decided to take him home. Footage of Kabadayı massaging the young boy, feeding him with a bottle and kissing his cheeks, brought everyone to tears. When the Channel One correspondent approached Umut to say to him, "We are trying to find your relatives in Russia," you could see the paralyzed boy begin to squeeze the reporter's hand.
The Russian reporter then told Umut to stick out his tongue if he understood and sure enough, Umut stuck out his tongue. The moment the devoted mother Karadayı entered the studio in Moscow, she was greeted with great applause. Malahov asked her, "You have done what many politicians and diplomats have been unable to do. You have proven that true ties of friendship exist between Turkey and Russia.
Where do you find the strength to take care of the Russian boy as if he was your own child over the past four years?"
In tears, Karadayı responded by saying, "From my God, my nation, my doctors and other Turkish mothers. This is truly something that cannot be explained with words." When Karadayı said, "I trusted in my nation, and my nation has assisted me. I asked for help from God and God helped me," the entire studio broke into applause.
'UMUT' IS 21 TODAY
On August 30th, 2008, Umut was hit by a bus in Antalya's Aksu district. The boy, whose identification was unknown, went into a coma. Gülsüm Kabadayı, who was also at the hospital with a relative who was receiving treatment, decided to do something about the situation and ended up taking on the boys care. Bone analysis showed he was 17 years old at the time and he was referred to by the name Umut, which means 'hope'. Eventually, he was given an identification card under the name "Mustafa Öz" and his birth date was written as January 1st, 1992.