Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
This is the moment an Italian man is reunited with his Turkish father for the first time in 36 years after tracking him down on Facebook.
Osman Zerey, 65, from the northern Turkish province of Ordu, went to Milan, Italy, to work in 1979, where he met an Italian woman and the two started a relationship.
The pair had a son who was named Salvatore Napoli, but Osman was deported in 1985 by the Italian police despite having a son, and as he had not married his partner he did not have the right to appeal the decision.
Osman, who had to leave his son behind, wanted to communicate with his child, but the child’s mother with whom he no longer had a good relationship was against it, and as a result, 1985 was the last time he saw the boy.
Salvatore, now 38 and a father himself, started looking for his father after his mother passed away. His first clue was his dad’s name which he found in an old photo album.
Salvatore took this information and began adding everyone he could find on Facebook with his father’s name.
Eventually, the 38-year-old successfully made contact with his long-lost dad and immediately bought a plane ticket and flew to Turkey.
Osman waited for his son at his home in the district of Fatsa where he had organised a party to celebrate his son’s arrival.
Local news site IHA that the re-united father and son embraced and cried.
IHA reports that Osman said: “How lucky am I to meet my son after 36 years. He found me thanks to the internet. Even though I tried, unfortunately, I could not reach him. “
He added: “Thank God he found me after 36 years. I am so happy. He was only two years old when I saw him last. Not only have I been reunited with my son, but now I also have a grandchild.”
Salvatore said: ” I have spent a long time looking for my father. Every time I asked my mother, she refused to give me information.”
He went on: “She didn’t mention my father at all, whenever I ask about him she immediately changed the subject. I didn’t know his name or who he was. I only knew that my father was Turkish.
“I started adding everyone with the last name Zerey on Facebook. Afterwards, I found a photograph and through this, I was able to reach him.”
Salvatore summed up the experience saying: “I am very happy to have found my father. Of course, I will return to Italy in the coming days, but I will regularly come back to Turkey to visit him and I will bring his grandson with me.”