Greek Turkish Toddler In Bizarre Custody Tug Of War

A custody battle between a Turkish mother and Greek father took a bizarre twist when the Turkish court awarded custody to the man and the Greek court awarded custody to the mother.

The woman, Dilek Gunes, from Izmir province in Turkey married Georgios Tsakiridis from Thessaloniki in 2014 after the couple met in Turkey and began a life there.

A year later they had a daughter, and the arguments started when they could not agree on a suitable name.

The Turkish mother Dilek Tsakiridis with her baby daughter fighting over the custody with her Greek husband

The mother wanted to give her the Turkish name Melis while the father insisted on the Greek name Aekaterina. That was only settled when they finally agreed on both names, and the couple then moved to live in Thessaloniki in the hope that their relationship would improve.

However, they eventually separated when the Greek dad wanted to have the baby baptised, prompting the mum to return to Turkey in June 2016.

The father then filed a legal case at an Athens court demanding custody, and claiming that his daughter had been kidnapped.

The court rejected the application, saying it was clear he had voluntarily allowed her to leave the country, and ruling that a baby needs its mother at such a young age.

Meanwhile, in Turkey Dilek Tsakiridis also went to court, filing for divorce through her lawyer Mehmet Emin Keles, which eventually sided with the father and gave him custody, ignoring expert reports that the baby should be left with the mother.

The Turkish woman and the Greek man at their wedding

Several appeals later and the ultimate court decision remains with the father.

The dad turned up several times with police officers to obtain custody which would allow him to take the child back to Greece.

Ironically, in Greece the mother would then be able to do the same thing and reclaim the child as under Greek law she is the legal custodian.


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Story By: Sibel Abdiu, Sub-EditorMichael Leidig,  Agency: Central European News

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