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 Kurdish immigrant Ibrahim Parlak loses round to stay in US

 Source : AP | Agencies 
  Kurd Net does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news information on this page

 


Kurdish immigrant Ibrahim Parlak loses round to stay in US  25.8.2009 

 






Appeals court upholds deportation of Kurdish immigrant; attorneys say man was tortured

August 25, 2009


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  — A Kurdish immigrant from Turkey who the U.S. government claims failed to disclose ties to a group labeled a terrorist organization lost another round Monday in his fight to remain in the United States.

In a split decision, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled to uphold the federal government's deportation effort against Ibrahim Parlak.

Parlak, 47, immigrated to the United States in 1991 after being convicted in Turkey nearly three years earlier on charges related to his support of the Kurdish separatist movement. He settled in Harbert, a quiet Lake Michigan resort town about 15 miles south-southwest of St. Joseph. There, he opened the Kurdish restaurant Cafe Gulistan in 1994.

His attorneys have argued that Parlak was tortured in a Turkish prison, where he was held for 17 months, and that is how officials obtained a confession regarding Parlak's presence at a fire fight in which two Turkish soldiers were killed.
 

In this June 3, 2005 file photo, Ibrahim Parlak, a Kurdish immigrant from Turkey, center, toasts his family, friends and supporters as they celebrate Parlak's release from jail, at his restaurant in Harbert, Mich. Parlack, who the U.S. government claims failed to disclose ties to a group labeled a terrorist organization lost another round Monday Aug. 24, 2009 in his fight to remain in the United States. In a split decision, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled to uphold the federal government's deportation effort against Parlak.
A Kurdish rights group that Parlak supported in the 1980s — PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party — was designated a terrorist organization in 1999 by the United States. Parlak was detained by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in 2004 for alleged immigration fraud.

Prosecutors said Parlak failed to disclose his link to the group in his original application for political asylum in the U.S. and didn't mention the Turkish conviction when he applied for a green card in 1993 and to become a citizen in 1999.

But he also has attracted a number of supporters, including two Michigan congressmen who pushed bills to give him permanent U.S. residency. U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., have backed Parlak, saying he is not a security risk and should be allowed to stay in the United States.

In December 2004, an immigration judge in Detroit ordered Parlak deported. Almost a year later, he lost an appeal of his deportation order with the U.S. Department of Justice's Board of Immigration Appeals.

His lawyers appealed that decision to 6th Circuit Judges Boyce Martin, Jeffrey Sutton and Julia Smith Gibbons in October 2007. The defense said the board erred when it determined that Parlak could be deported for lying on his applications,
www.ekurd.net could not claim refugee status because he helped to persecute others and could not prove that he likely would be tortured if deported to Turkey.

Gibbons wrote in her decision, and Sutton concurred, that the BIA ruled correctly on those points.

In his dissenting opinion, Martin wrote, among other things, that "the immigration judge improperly relied on evidence likely induced through torture by Turkish Security Courts."

Martin also said the government was using its power "to railroad a man out of our country."

Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Detroit issued a written statement after the ruling, saying Parlak "fully exercised his right to due process through the immigration courts and now through the 6th Circuit Court, which denied his latest appeal."

Telephone messages seeking comment were left at the Chicago office of defense attorney David Foster and Parlak family spokesman Martin Dzuris.

Thousands of Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas have been killed since 1984 when the Turkey's Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) took up arms for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey (Turkey-Kurdistan). A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels. Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority.

The PKK demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds' identity in its constitution and of their language as a native language along with Turkish in the country's Kurdish areas,
www.ekurd.net the party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms.

The PKK is considered a 'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

Copyright, respective author or news agency, AP | Agencies

** Kurds are not recognized as an official minority in Turkey and are denied rights granted to other minority groups. Under EU pressure, Turkey recently granted Kurds limited rights for broadcasts and education in the Kurdish language, but critics say the measures do not go far enough.

The use of the term "Kurdistan" is vigorously rejected due to its alleged political implications by the Republic of Turkey, which does not recognize the existence of a "Turkish Kurdistan" Southeast Turkey.

Others estimate over 40 million Kurds live in Big Kurdistan (Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Armenia), which covers an area as big as France, about half of all Kurds which estimate to 25 million live in Turkey. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK for a Kurdish homeland in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish language, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media. The Kurdish alphabet is still not recognized in Turkey, and use of the Kurdish letters X, W, Q which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet has led to judicial persecution in 2000 and 2003

The Kurdish flag flown officially in Iraqi Kurdistan but unofficially flown by Kurds in Armenia. The flag is banned in Iran, Syria, and Turkey where flying it is a criminal offence" 

Southeastern Turkey: North Kurdistan ( Kurdistan-Turkey) wikipedia    

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