Constantin Reliu, 63, was in for a serious surprise when he returned to his native Romania to find that he was legally dead, as far as everybody was concerned. Reliu worked regularly in Turkey as a chef, and went away for stretches of time. On one of his trips abroad he didn't return immediately, and his wife registered his death in 2016 after failing to hear from him. Reliu, naturally thought it would be a pretty straightforward process to prove to authorities that he was actually alive, because... well... he was alive, but he's fallen into a legal loophole nightmare and a court on Thursday in the northeastern city of Vaslui refused to overturn his death certificate because his request was filed ‘too late' and that decision is FINAL.
Speaking about his struggle, Reliu said: "I am a living ghost. I am officially dead, although I’m alive. I have no income and because I am listed as dead, I can’t do anything. I am not sure whether I am divorced or not. I am not sure whether [my wife] is married to someone else or not. Nobody will tell me." Reliu explained that he first went to work in Turkey in 1992 and returned in 1995, he discovered that his wife had cheated on him. In 1999, he decided to return to Turkey for good and since then she tried to make his life a living hell. He was arrested in Turkey for expired papers and deported back to Romania in January, but was questioned for hours as authorities insisted he was a dead man.
Constantin Reliu has spent 2018 trying to convince officials to issue him papers so that he can officially exist again. He said he would like to file a fresh lawsuit but has no money and suffers from diabetes, which makes everything more difficult. He also said he has been banned for life from returning to Turkey but would like to write to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to appeal the decision.