Friday, May 1, 2009

Interview with Vincent Shaw- Part 5

Vincent Shaw2 Now last time, you told us that a local tax official came to your office and fined you for working illegally. Despite the fact that you actually owned a percentage of the company.

Correct. Then the foreigner's office called me and ordered me to report to the police station at nine on a Friday morning.

I imagine you were pretty shaken up. Did you have any idea what they wanted?

I had a very bad feeling. But I kept saying to myself. Maybe it is a formality or something. I kept thinking that if it was really bad news, wouldn't they come to the office and take me there?

So you went there.

When I got there, they asked for my passport and my ikhamet izin. That is a little blue book they give you to show you are in the country legally. The woman told me that, since I had been found to be working illegally, I had broken the terms of my permission and that I would have to leave the country within 5 days. And I would not be able to return for a year. Actually, they were not too sure. It was possible that I would not be able to return for 5 years. They were, like, very uncompromising and that was their final answer. They didn't care about the details.

What? Did you tell them the circumstances?

It was a simple case for them. I had worked illegally. My permission to live in Turkey was being taken away.

How did you feel at that moment?

I nearly fainted. I mean, I really nearly fainted. Some of the secretaries started looking at me, like they were frightened I was about to fall in the floor. I was about to.

Five days? How long had you been living in Turkey before that?

Over ten years.

And that didn't mean anything to them?


Your next step was to...?

Well I found a new lawyer. He was recommended to me by a long time friend. I mean, that afternoon. He told me that my case was unusual. He would open a legal action in order for a judge to look over my case. But he added something else. He said that during the time that my case was awaiting a judge's review, the police could force me to leave the country. So I had to be careful and change my address immediately.

Is that legal? Can they kick you out of a country with a review pending?

According to the European Human Rights Agreements, No. The lawyer said, that it was technically illegal for them to deport me before a judge looks over the case and makes a decision. However, it happens every day in Turkey. When it comes down to it, whether it is the USA or Turkey or wherever, they can find a way to work around the international law quite easily.

I see. Go on.

So I tried to stay away. I was staying with a friend waiting for the judge's decision. But then my luck ran out one day. Some plain clothes police came up to me on the street and asked to see my passport. He was very very serious. He told me that I had to come with him, no questions. He said he had been watching my apartment for a week.

The sixth part of the interview is scheduled next week. If you wish to view the complete interview, click on the Nomadic View magazine No.1 and No.2 on the sidebar.

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