Adopted African Model In Turkey In Search For Parents Who Abandoned Her In Cemetery

Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency:  Newsflash

A famous black model adopted by a Turkish family 37 years ago is looking for her biological African family who left her in a cemetery after birth, leaving her feeling “in limbo”.

Tugce Guder Karas, 37, was abandoned in the cemetery of Kadem-i Serif Islamic Monastery in the district of Samatya in the north-western Turkish city of Istanbul in 1984.

Karas, who was taken to the hospital by a resident who found her, was looked after by the hospital staff for 15 days before she was sent to an orphanage.


Aliye Guder and Idris Guder, a Turkish couple whose dream was to raise children after losing both their biological babies, wanted to adopt Tugce Guder Karas the moment they saw her in the orphanage.

Tugce Guder Karas was raised like a Turk in the family’s home.

She participated in beauty contests while studying at Bogazici University and was elected Turkey’s top model in 2005.


For a while, she was both a model and an actress after representing Turkey at the Best Model of the World modelling pageant.

After marrying her partner Ugur Karas in 2008, who she has a child with, the couple moved from Istanbul to the north-western Turkish city of Yalova for a more secluded life.

Stating that she has been searching for her biological family for years but could not find them, Karas said: “I feel like a Turk, but I may be Sudanese, Somali or Ethiopian. I do not know where I am from; I am in limbo.”


She added: “My (adoptive) parents are irreplaceable. I always pray for them. They are very nice people, and they took great care of me, but I am very curious about my biological family and I want to find them no matter what.”

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