Nurse Ruled As COVID Risk By Turkish Court Has Child Returned On Appeal

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

A nurse who had her child taken away by a Turkish court because her ex-husband complained she might infect him with COVID-19 has had the ruling overturned after the story made international headlines.

Cemile Deniz, 31, who works in the State Hospital Home Health Services unit in the northern Turkish city of Ordu, was locked in a bitter custody battle with her ex-husband who complained that her work means she could contract COVID-19 and pass it on to their five-year-old son.

A lawyer for dad Mehmet Atakan Deniz told the Ordu 2nd Family Court: “The child’s mother is an ambulance nurse and constantly goes in and out of people’s houses, the child is under serious risk due to the coronavirus pandemic.”


The court agreed, saying: “Considering the high contagiousness of the novel coronavirus, it has been concluded that it will be in the child’s best interests to give temporary custody to the father at this stage.”

The story made international headlines as it was revealed that the husband was a police officer who Cemile said comes into contact with strangers all the time and was just as much risk as she was.

After the story made international headlines, the case was back in court following an appeal and the decision has now been reversed.


Defending her position, the mum said: “We (health professionals) all take precautions against the novel coronavirus. The Ministry of Health gives me all my equipment. Before going to a patient’s house, we check whether those living there have the virus.

“Kuzey’s father is a police officer in the municipality of Altinordu. His job is a higher risk than mine.”

Her lawyer Irfan Demir requested a report from the expert committee consisting of psychologists and pedagogues which backed the request to have the boy returned to his mother and the court approved it.


The court concluded: “As the child needs the attention, love and affection of his mother due to his age and development, it has been decided that it would be appropriate to give custody to the mother.”

The child has since been taken from his father’s home and returned to his mother.

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