Friday, May 8, 2009

Interview with Vincent Shaw – Part 6

Vincent Shaw To sum up the interview so far: Vincent Shaw, an American living in Turkey, was offered a partnership in a Turkish firm. Due to some shady practices by his Turkish partner, he was fined for working illegally. Additionally his living permission was revoked and he was ordered to leave the country for a year. We resume his story where the police picked him up at his home.

I suppose you mentioned the legal review to the police that picked you up?

Eh. Yeah. He didn't think much about it. It was a Saturday. I didn't have much money on me. He drove me to a police station on the other side of town. Luckily I had managed to call my good Turkish friend and he was trying to get a handle on things as much as possible. When I got to the police station, there wasn't anybody else there. I asked to have a translator there but the police officer said it wasn't necessary. I was able to call the US embassy in Ankara. The woman there said she would call around and see what she could find out.

That's it? Weren't you frightened? Like, Midnight Express.

Yeah, well, it was not Midnight Express. But I was shell-shocked, that's for sure. I mean, the funny thing was, I was trying to work in the country legally. I thought that the lawyer had done everything correctly. He had told me I was legitimate. I mean, I suppose I could understand it if I had knowingly tried to get away with breaking the law. Anyway, after the guy interviewed me, he told me that they would be deporting me that evening on the first boat to Greece. After that, they took me downstairs and put me in a holding area with about a dozen other guys.

You mean in a jail cell? No. It was more like an army barracks. There were all kinds of refugees there. A guy from Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

I can imagine you were the only American there. Of course. But I have to say, the other guys there were not unfriendly. The worst reaction was indifference. Most of them were kind of amazed to see an American in the jail with them. Turkey and America were supposed to be friends. When I told them how I got there, they couldn't believe it. Maybe they thought I was a spy or CIA or something. Later my friend came to the jail and they let me talk to him. We talked to the director or whatever he was and asked him if there was some way I could delay being deported until I could get some money and some clothes. He agreed, but said I would have to stay overnight in jail and be deported the next day.

The conclusion of this interview next week. The complete interview can be found in Nomadic View Magazine No. 1 and No.2. Click on the sidebar icon to view.

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