“I have to fulfil my duty to look after my mother in her 70s, and my 12-year-old son, so I have no choice but to fight for my partner to come to the UK. In the meantime I go out to see him as often as I can - nearly 20 times in 5 years!"
Janice is a British citizen and has been in a relationship with her partner, Erdogan, who happens to be Turkish, since 2007.
In February 2008, Erdogan was removed from his place of work without any prior warning by Norfolk Immigration, who admitted their letters to Erdogan had not been received.
Erdogan came to England on a marriage visa in December 2005. Nineteen months later, his wife walked out on him, leaving him to run the business (a kebab and pizza shop) they had started together. On several occasions Erdogan tried to contact her to discuss terms of the divorce, including issues relating to the shop they jointly owned. She however avoided engaging in such discussions.
Erdogan finally contacted a solicitor to begin proceedings, but the appointment was delayed because the solicitor fell ill, with the next appointment being for two days after Erdogan was suddenly and forcibly removed from the UK.
Janice spoke with the officer who arrested Erdogan at around 7.30 pm to ask why Erdogan had been treated in this way, without any warning? The officer advised that Erdogan had not responded to letters from UKBA advising him that his visa had been revoked, but the officer finally admitted that she was aware he hadn’t received the letters as they had been returned to them, unopened. The officer said that their understanding was that the UKBA was not able to locate Erdogan to send letters to him; however, Erdogan worked in the same shop every day and, indeed, the UKBA were able to locate him when it came to arresting him!
Erdogan was removed cruelly, losing money on the marital home he had been paying the mortgage on, and on the business he had worked long and hard hours for. He wasn’t even allowed to go to his house, his home, to get his clothes. He wasn’t allowed to sort out his finances. He was just spirited away.
Erdogan was even denied legal representation.
Janice met Erdogan before he was deported; the well-groomed and well presented man she knew looked like he had been living on the streets all his life. He was a broken man, having lost everything he had worked for, his business, his pride and his respect within the Turkish community, along with the possibility of losing the people he loved and who loved him.
Since his removal nearly five years ago, Janice and Erdogan have been trying to get his divorce finalised, so that they can marry and start a life together as a family. Unfortunately, Erdogan’s estranged wife was determined to make things difficult, but finally, in 2010, the Decree Absolute came through.
Janice considered moving to Turkey, but with kids here herself, including a 12-year-old who she won’t be able to take overseas, and a mother in her 70s that Janice looks after, it’s not possible if Janice wants to fulfil her other roles of mother and daughter. So they have no choice but to fight for Erdogan to come here.
In the meantime, Janice goes out to Turkey as often as she can; in the last five years, she has gone there to be with Erdogan nearly 20 times.