Fear of Returning to Turkey: A Guide to the Asylum Process

Turkey’s current political climate and civil unrest, particularly the attempted coup d’état in July 2016, has incited fear among Turkish nationals. As a result, many who have been in the United States for many years have feared returning home, and for those who were in Turkey at the time, have fled to the United States to claim Asylum. Our office has been successful in obtaining Asylum for many Turkish nationals who are afraid to return home.

Eligibility for Asylum is based on past persecution, or fear of future persecution, on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This fear must be particular to the applicant. It is not enough to show that Turkey is generally unsafe. The applicant must be able to explain why they are particularly unsafe, and why they would be targeted.

An application for Asylum is a request to be protected by the United States from the applicant’s home country. Therefore, all of the information contained within an Asylum application, and during an Asylum interview, is kept confidential and shared only with the U.S. government. As such, applicants should feel comfortable sharing their story and providing as many details as possible to strengthen the case.

In recent years, our office has assisted Turkish nationals with ties to the Gülen movement, whose names have been placed on KHK lists, and those who have been purged from public service. Some of our clients have applied for Asylum claiming a fear of future persecution, fearing that if they were to return, the government would arrest and possibly kill them. Others, who have been arrested and tortured, have applied for Asylum based upon their past persecution as well as their fear of future persecution.

Currently, from the time that the application is filed, it takes approximately two months to get an interview with an Asylum Officer, and shortly after the interview a decision will be made on the case. One year after a grant of Asylum, applicants are eligible are to apply for Lawful Permanent Residence, or green card. Many of our Turkish clients who have been granted Asylum are currently undergoing this process on the road to obtaining their United States Citizenship. The Asylum process provides hope for many Turkish nationals who fear returning home and who are looking to begin a new life in the United States.

To schedule a consultation an Immigration and Nationality Lawyer at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, please feel free to call the Firm at 201-670-0006 x (107). Our main office is in Ridgewood, New Jersey. We also have offices located in Raritan, New Jersey and New York City, as well as affiliated offices in India and Canada. For more information about our Firm’s immigration and nationality law practice, please feel free to visit our website at https://www.visaserve.com or to send us an e-mail at info@visaserve.com.