A FAMILY in the middle of a legal battle to get the bodies of two children buried in Hampshire made an emotional appeal the Turkish President visiting Gosport this morning.

The cousin of Yaanis and Mira Mellersh, who were gassed to death by their mother, pleaded with President Abdullah Gul to release the children's bodies to their father, rather than distant relatives of their mother's.

Natasha Mellersh, 25, from Minstead, held up photographs of Yaanis, eight and Mira, six, as the presidential motorcade drove past.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the youngster's bodies were found in a farmhouse, alongside their German mother, Elke, who had abducted them from their Hampshire dad Justin, almost two years ago.

Justin, from Minstead, where his parents still live, was given full custody of the children by the German courts.

The President was in Gosport visiting 26 historic graves of Turkish sailors who died in the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar in 1850.

Natasha said: “I wanted him to recognise the gravity of the situation, and to understand the devastation caused to the family by the recent events in Turkey, which have been influenced at a high political level rather than following due process and adhering to the most fundamental principles of justice.”

The family are now continuing to urge the British Government to intervene to ensure the children's bodies are flown home so they can be buried in Minstead.