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 Case for Why Gulen Would Never Support a Coup

In his interview with the prominent French newspaper Le Monde, Gulen has called the July 15 events in Turkey a “terror coup.” As a man who has always condemned terrorism and violence in any shape or form, to which his life’s work is evidence, it is hard to believe that Gulen could have had the slightest connection to the coup.

Stop doing Erdogan’s dirty work, Freedom centre tells Malaysia

Stockholm Centre of Freedom (SCF) has called on the Malaysian government to halt its dirty bidding on behalf of the growingly repressive Turkish government led by President Recep Erdogan, following the arrest and deportation of three Turkish nationals from Kuala Lumpur.

Gülen rejects labeling of Hizmet as ‘gang,’ calls it ‘traitorous’

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has rejected the labeling of the Hizmet movement as a “gang,” saying those who uttered this word committed “traitorous” behavior. The term gang, “örgüt” in Turkish, has become a famous euphemism in Turkey to denote the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and has a negative connotation.

Acclaimed Russian academic praises Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen

Russian academic and intellectual Rostislav Ribakov praises Turkey’s prominent Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet Movement as ‘peace builders.’

‘Mr. Gülen is to me simultaneously both incredibly modest and a visionary’

I’m inspired by the Hizmet Movement. I didn’t realize that until I came in contact with the Movement, but all of my life, education and service and dialog have been transformative to me. … This is the work that all of our hearts should be doing. So it remains a source of inspiration for me in my work.

Brazil’s top court denies extradition of [Gulen-linked] Erdogan opponent

Brazil’s chief prosecutor’s office argued before the court against the extradition of Sipahi, who has lived in Brazil for 12 years, saying it had no evidence of terrorist acts committed by Hizmet.

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

Journalists and Writers Foundation’s statement [on arrest warrant issued for Mr. Gulen]

Kosovo Extradition of Wanted Turkish ‘Gulenist’ Suspended

Self-criticism by the Hizmet movement

TUSKON chairman to Erdoğan: To make fortune, join business world

A Peace Conference to be held at UN in Geneva

Turkish Community Donates $40,000 To Sandy Damaged Gerritsen Library, Elementary School

We could not have imagined so many insults

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News