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EDITIONS
Monday, 16 December, 2002, 14:49 GMT
Mother worries for 'mixed-up' runaway
Rachael Lloyd arrives at Manchester Airport
Rachael Lloyd said she wants to be with her boyfriend
The mother of a 14-year-old girl who fled to Turkey to marry a man she met on holiday has described her as "mixed-up".

Karen Thomas said the family would work closely with social services to help Rachael Lloyd who was brought home to Wrexham on Sunday by her father Bob and sister, Beckie, 16.

Rachael Lloyd's mother Karen Thomas
Karen Thomas said her daughter was 'mixed-up'

Their family's flight from Istanbul to Manchester was met by a media scrum and Rachael was whisked away by representatives of a national newspaper.

Rachael's boyfriend, Mehmet Ocak, 24, who had been arrested, was released without charge after Mr Lloyd decided not to press charges.

Ms Thomas told a news conference that the family would accept social services help to settle Rachael - who still declares her love for Mr Ocak and a desire to have his baby - back into life in Wales.

She said: "We're talking to social services to try and get some help for her because she's so mixed up."

Her comments echo those of Rachael's father, Bob Lloyd.

He said his Rachael was "strong-headed" but has refused to blame her for sparking the manhunt by travelling to Turkey two weeks ago to be with Mr Ocak.

"We're all to blame - we've got to work with Rachael now to get on with our lives," he said.

Rachael Lloyd and Mehmet Ocak
Ocak had "no idea" Rachael was only 14

When reporters in Turkey on Saturday asked Rachael if she was glad to be returning home, she tearfully shook her head and answered: "No".

"I want to be with Steve (her nickname for Mr Ocak) because I love him," she said.

Turkish police traced the couple to Mr Ocak's flat in the south-eastern city of Gaziantep.

He was detained while she was taken into the care of Turkish social services.

Mr Ocak was reported as saying he had no idea Rachael was only 14.

I want to be with Steve because I love him

Rachael Lloyd

"I thought Rachael was 24," a Turkish news agency quoted him as saying.

"Her family knew we were together here."

In Wrexham, social services and the education department have said they will meet to discuss the teenager's care needs.

Chief Social Services Officer Andrew Figiel said:" We are very pleased that Rachael is back in Britain.

"We will be meeting with her and her family as soon as possible to try and reach agreement with them about her future care.

"We will of course be seeking the best solution for Rachael and working as far as possible in partnership with her family."

Rachael, who usually lives with her grandmother Carol, met Mr Ocak in the Mediterranean resort of Marmaris, while on holiday in May.

She later returned to Turkey and became engaged to Mr Ocak in the presence of her grandmother and her older sister, according to the Turkish authorities.

Passport

At the airport returning home, Rachael refused to board the plane and took a taxi back to Marmaris. A day later the British Consulate sent her home.

She returned to Turkey by herself on 1 December.

Her parents had previously confiscated her passport, but it is thought she may have forged her father's signature to obtain a new one.

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 ON THIS STORY
Karen Thomas, Rachel Lloyd's mother
"We're talking to social services to try and get some help for her because she's so mixed up."

More from north east Wales
See also:

11 Dec 02 | Country profiles
13 Dec 02 | Wales
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