Ex-pat accused of murdering his wife in Turkey
A MAN is awaiting trial in Turkey after being accused of murdering his wife.
Chris Collier was arrested following the death of his Russian wife Julia at their home in Kusadasi, on the Aegean coast.
The 40-year-old, who lived in Rownall, near Wetley Rocks, before emigrating in the late 1990s, had settled permanently in the Turkish resort town.
According to local newspaper reports, Mrs Collier was knocked unconscious with a hard object before being smothered, on November 27.
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Collier, right, a former employee at Caudwell Communications, was arrested the following morning.
He appeared in court and was remanded to prison, pending trial and further police inquiries.
An acquaintance of the Colliers, who did not wish to be named, said the couple had been married for a number of years, but had no children.
She said: "Chris went out to Turkey to make a new start over 10 years ago.
"Julia was just the nicest girl you could ever meet.
"She was a singer, and she used to perform at the Korumar Hotel in Kusadasi. That is where they met.
"I found out what had happened from a mutual friend in Turkey. I was really shocked when I heard."
Altkinkum Voices, an English-language newspaper in Turkey, reported that Collier had run an estate agency in Kusadasi.
His 35-year-old wife, below left, was a pianist, giving private lessons as well as performing at hotels.
Turkish police informed the British Consulate and Russian Embassy following Collier's arrest.
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We can confirm that a British male has been arrested in Turkey. Consular staff and in contact with the male and his next of kin, and they are providing consular assistance.
"We will not speculate about the circumstances surrounding the arrest. The Turkish authorities are continuing to investigate the matter."
John Caudwell confirmed that Collier had worked for him 18 years ago, although he had not kept in touch with him after he left Caudwell Communications.
He said: "Chris was one of my first salesman when I was starting out, so I remember him well. He was a good salesman and became a sales manager.
"It is shocking to hear he has been arrested for murder. It's shocking to hear about any murder."
Kusadasi, in Aydin Province, is one of Turkey's most popular tourist resorts, with a small British ex-pat community.
A number of Britons living in the town have left tributes to Mrs Collier on an internet forum dedicated to Kusadasi.
One poster, Princess007, wrote: "Some may know Julia for her singing at the Korumar hotel a few years ago.
"She was a happy kind girl at heart and I am truly shaken and shocked.
"To say it has been distressing is an understatement."
Mr Collier's family declined to comment about his arrest.