Constantin Reliu is a dead man walking.
Back in December, the 63-year-old was deported back to Romania after working two decades as a cook in Turkey. When he arrived in his home country, however, border officials informed Reliu that he had been legally declared dead in 2016 and would have to pass several tests to prove his identity.
The Associated Press reports that the man was subjected to hours of questioning and also had his body measurements taken to see if his proportions corresponded to his old passport photo.
They also took his fingerprints, and reportedly concluded that Reliu was exactly who he claimed to be.
“They decided that it was me!” he told the AP from northeastern Romania. But that wasn’t the end of his problems.
After border officials released him, Reliu attempted to sort everything out in court and sought to have his wrongful death certificate appealed. Authorities in Barlad, however, rejected his request because he took too long to appeal it. So, as of today, the man is still legally registered as deceased. He said he would like to file a lawsuit, but he does not have money to do so.
“I am officially dead, although I’m alive,” he said. “I have no income and because I am listed as dead, I can’t do anything. I think I am going to cry.”
According to the AP, Reliu had left Romania in 1992 to take a job in Turkey. When he returned to Romania in 1995, he had discovered that his wife had been unfaithful to him, so he cut ties with his family and decided to go back to Turkey for good.
After years of no communication, Reliu's wife acquired a death certificate for her husband in 2016. The woman now lives in Italy, but Reliu knows nothing about her new life.
“I am not sure whether I am divorced or not,” he said. “I am not sure whether she is married to someone else or not. Nobody will tell me.”
Reliu said it would be ideal if he could just return to Turkey, but due to his expired papers, he isn't allowed in. The man said he has considering contacting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to appeal the decision.