Turkish citizens in Arkansas face uncertain futures


Date posted: October 4, 2016

Elisabeth Armstrong

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — Relations between the US and Turkey remain fragile, leaving thousands of Turkish citizens in the US in limbo–unsure of what their futures hold. This man is living on a visa in Arkansas with his wife. “My father doesn’t want to speak with me in almost two months.”

They both have family members in Turkey–arrested due to ties with educational organizations… This caused many of their of their other family members to completely cut off communications.

“You can’t do phone calls? You can’t do Skype calls?” “No, no,” replies this man.

A Wikileaks’ dump of documents shows that Turkey is essentially operating as a surveillance state: Neighbors informing on neighbors and family reporting family to the government for any alleged ties to the Gulenist movement.

Director of the Peace Keeping and Human Rights Program at Columbia University David Phillips says surveillance is possibly going on here in the US, even in Arkansas.

“There are widespread reports that Turkey’s national intelligence agency is recruiting informants in order to identify so-called Gulenists or opponents of the regime.”

Problems for Turkish Nationals in the United States

This man is not a US citizen. He is here on a visa, and is concerned about what will happen when it expires.

Phillips says this is warranted: “If these persons return to Turkey, and they are on a list, they are likely to be arrested, tortured while in detention, or simply disappeared.”

While Turkey can’t revoke work or educational visas they can cancel passports. And the Turkish government has already issued a decree rescinding the scholarships of hundreds of students studying in the US…

Unless they can find some way to pay for school, or the US government intervenes, they’ll be required to return to Turkey.

“We’re going to have to carefully weigh the principal position of helping Turks who are at risk with the relationship that the US has with Turkey,” explains Phillips.

What Next?

Channel 7 reached out to the State Department via e-mail and phone to find if they will grant political asylum to people like the man in this piece.

After five e-mails and a phone call, they directed us to the Department of Homeland Security and US Immigration Services.

We receive responses from both DHS and Immigration. They explained the process for political asylum, but said that when it comes to extending student and work visas, that will be up to the State Department.

After ten more e-mails and another phone call with the State Department, Channel 7 received no clear answers.

So for these people here in Arkansas, it’s a waiting game.

Source: KATV , September 27, 2016


Related News

A women – Author, Reporter And Lawyer – Faces 15 Years In Jail For Her Tweets

An author, lawyer and journalist who made a career and a name for herself from years of working as a court reporter who chased high-profile legal cases has become a victim of Turkish government’s massive crackdown on freedom of press in Turkey.

Turkey’s fight against Gülen in the South Caucasus

The Turkish authorities’ fight against real and imagined enemies in the Gülen movement has now reached Azerbaijan and Georgia.

UN praises Kimse Yok Mu for aid efforts in Somalia

Director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) John Ging said in an interview on Thursday that Kimse Yok Mu and other Turkish NGOs’ aid efforts in Somalia should be praised.

Chicago organization welcomes new scrutiny amid fallout of failed Turkish military coup

“The Hizmet movement has nothing to hide,” Alexander said. “We’re hoping people can learn more about it. Since Gulen is being accused of this, there will be greater scrutiny of the Hizmet movement, and we invite that scrutiny.”

Gov’t discriminates against Hizmet-affiliated private schools

Some private schools affiliated with the Hizmet movement, a faith-based social movement inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, have been prevented from accessing government incentives. According to an official list published by the Education Ministry on Monday, many high-achieving private schools did not make the cut to be eligible for financial aid from the government.

Defamation campaign against Hizmet condemned by CSOs from across country

A large-scale dark propaganda war is being conducted by some circles close to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government against the Hizmet movement and Gülen, particularly since a corruption scandal erupted in December of 2013 in which three Cabinet ministers’ sons, many state bureaucrats and renowned businessmen accused of giving bribes in exchange for favors were implicated.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Pak-Turk schools won’t close, says Education Minister

PM Barzani and Turkish MPs attend the opening of Ishik University in Erbil

Editorial: Expulsion of Turk Teachers from Pakistan

Islamophobia Network Targets Top Performing American Schools

Why on earth does a Hizmet follower flee Turkey?

Prep school owners write to Constitutional Court

Turkey bans math textbooks due to questions including Gülen’s initials

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News