A Blackburn woman is locked in a child custody battle with her estranged husband in Turkey. Anisa Khansia, 29, was visiting 22-month-old son Amani’s grandparents when a bitter fight over the child broke out.
Friends and relatives of Miss Khansia in Blackburn claim husband Mehmet Baki Sakaraglu tried to snatch the child.
But Mr Sakaraglu, who has appeared on Britain’s Got Talent under the stage name of Ali Baba, has spoken out over the battle to Turkish newspapers, giving a different version of events.
The reports claim he feels the Turkish authorities should review custody as Ms Khansia is not a fit parent and that he has seen ‘inappropriate’ pictures of her on the Internet Friends of Miss Khansia said Turkish authorities had prevented her from leaving the country until the matter is settled in court.
The Foreign Office has been notified of the dispute. A spokesman said the matter was ‘contentious’ and that a police investigation was ongoing.
The partner of Ms Khansia’s cousin, Jeannine Astley, said the family had been offering support over the phone and some had travelled to be with her.
She said: “We don’t know how long this is going to drag on for. “This was just supposed to be a holiday where Amani could see his relatives.
“She did the same thing last year and everything was fine. This time all hell has broken loose”.
Miss Astley said the couple married three years ago after meeting on holiday a year before. Miss Khansia visited him in Turkey regularly before the couple wed in 2008.
Mr Sakaraglu came to Britain after the wedding, but her family said their relationship was under strain from early on.
They are said to have separated soon after Amani’s birth. Miss Khansia is the daughter of a man labelled Blackburn’s ‘Mr Big’ for his drug dealing.
In 2005, she was ordered to pay back £45,000 of ill-gotten gains as she owned a house in Tintern Crescent, Blackburn, which had been bought with laundered drugs money.
She was jailed for six months for the offence. Miss Astley said the prison sentence had ‘scared’ her and encouraged her to turn her life around.
She said: “Anisa got a job as a receptionist and settled down. She wanted to be married. She wanted to build a good life for her child after everything she had been through.”