Palestinians await return of stranded Turkish bride

A large wedding portrait of Yasser Dais, 28, and his Turkish wife, Ozge Derilgen, 26, still hangs in their living room — even while the home lies empty.
The couple was forced to move from their second-floor quarters in the Dais family home in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Hebron to neighboring Jordan after a long — and so far unsuccessful — fight to obtain an Israeli visa for Derilgen.

They now keep in touch with Dais’s parents, Lina and Nadir, through almost daily video calls, which are full of smiles that quickly turn to tears once the calls end. 
“I love Ozge as I love my own daughter,” Lina Dais told Anadolu Agency. “She always spent time with us when she was here.”
“We were really close and now we miss her,” she said. “For a month after she left, I couldn’t hold back my tears.”
Dais had been studying Turkish while Derilgen had been studying economics when the two met at Erciyes University in central Turkey’s city of Kayseri in 2013.
They were married by January of 2014 and soon moved to Hebron, paying a 30,000-shekel deposit so that Derilgen might obtain an Israeli visa. 
The Israeli authorities refused to renew her visa, however, and refused to give her a residency permit, according to the family.
This meant that, when Derilgen had to return to Turkey 18 months later to visit her sickly mother, she was unable to come back to Hebron. 
“I’m calling on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to help us because, while my son is stateless, Ozge is a Turkish citizen,” Lina said.
“The [Ramallah-based] Palestinian Authority has no power to bring her back,” she lamented. “So I’m begging Erdogan to help us.”
Nadir, the father, said his son’s basic right to a family was being denied, noting that the family had recently hired a Jerusalem lawyer to fight for Derilgen’s return. 
When Derilgen was first denied a visa by Israel’s diplomatic mission in Turkey, Yasser moved there to live with her. But the lack of work later forced both of them to relocate to Jordan in January. 
Before the move, Yasser had been working with his brothers at their family’s three mobile-phone shops in Hebron, which Nadir says are struggling without his son’s help. 
Both parents say the family is struggling to get through the current “difficult days” but continue to hold out hope for the couple’s eventual return to Hebron. 
“I want God to show us the day they come together in their country,” said Lina. “This is their most basic right.” 




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