Earlier this month, a week after they were married here in New York City, Turkish clients of ours were granted asylum. In December the Refugee Translation Project provided an interpreter for their asylum interview. At the interview they presented 17 documents, which we translated for them free of charge. The interview went well, and a month later the US government issued the couple asylum status and work permits.
The couple both had to leave Turkey for political reasons. The groom’s father, a retired military officer and civil servant, was arrested following the 2016 coup attempt and spent eight months in prison. The father’s much longer sentence was later commuted to supervised release due to health reasons, but his five children were blacklisted. They cannot find employment and are in danger of being arrested.
Despite having a degree in a marketable field, the groom was unable to find work. His lawyer said it was too risky to stay in Turkey and advised him to leave. Luckily, he was able to come to New York last year on a student visa.
The bride first came to the US six years ago to learn English and attend college. Up until the coup attempt, she would travel back and forth between the US and Turkey. After the coup attempt, her family was banned from foreign travel and the places her parents worked were shut down. It is no longer safe for our client to return home.
Support from our donors helped fund the couple’s asylum application and the money we raised in our last campaign ($12,555!!!) will help many more people. Through the campaign we received a catalyzing donation of $8000 to help us develop the project. More than 25 people donated to the campaign, and their donations were matched by funds donated by a very generous donor.
Thank you so much everyone for your support. Our new campaign is here. We look forward to being in touch with more great news.