Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A Turkish court has annulled the marriage of a woman who was 31 when she married her 71-year-old husband after the billionaire’s daughter claimed he was ill and mentally unstable when they wed.
Billionaire Kerope Cilingir, who died last year, was the son and only heir to the inheritance of his mother Matild Manukyan, a wealthy Turkish businesswoman of Armenian descent.
His mother Matild, who was born in 1914, started life as a tailor after graduating from Notre Dame de Sion and when her husband died, and she was left to raise Kerope, she managed to make a name for herself working for the high society as a tailor, and in order to pay the rent on a property she inherited from her father, she turned it into a brothel.
The business proved so lucrative, that she invested in more brothels, eventually running almost 40 across the country, and the money earned from the extremely lucrative business was vested into real estate that made her the wealthiest person in the country before her death on February 17, 2001.
According to reports, Matild left her son six 5-star hotels, two factories, two mansions, over 500 apartments, 70 commercial buildings, 220 taxis, dozens of land plots, shares in many businesses, and EUR 150 million in a bank in France.
It meant she became Turkey’s top taxpayer for five years in a row before she died at the age of 84 with her son Kerope inheriting the estate.
Kerope later married Neslihan Kahraman, 40 years his junior, in 2011, and his daughter Dora Cilingir from a previous relationship immediately filed a criminal complaint against her new stepmother.
In the filing, Dora claimed that her father Kerope married Neslihan Kahraman while he was seriously ill in hospital. With the help of associates, she claimed that Neslihan, then aged 31, used forged documents to register the wedding.
She requested that the wedding be annulled because of her father’s condition at the time, stating that among other things including physical and as he was also mentally unstable.
Although Kerope died on 5th August last year, the case was still ongoing and was delayed by the coronavirus lockdown but now a verdict has finally been reached.
The Istanbul Family Court has ruled to annul the marriage of 71-year-old Kerope Cilingir and 31-year-old Neslihan Kahraman, thereby invalidating her claims to a chunk of the USD 3 billion (GBP 2.2 billion) fortune.
Had the marriage not been annulled she would have been entitled to at least a quarter of the total inheritance on his death if it had not been challenged.
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