FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Free Ibrahim supporter, 2005.

Who is Ibrahim Parlak?

Ibrahim Parlak is a Kurd from Turkey who was granted asylum in the U.S. based on a well-founded fear of persecution in his homeland. He is also a business owner, father and well-respected member of the southwest MI community where he has lived since 1994.

Is Ibrahim Parlak affiliated with a terrorist organization?

No. His alleged ties to the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) have never been substantiated. His advocacy on behalf of the Kurdish people was for cultural expression and political representation. Ibrahim Parlak does not, nor has he ever, endorsed the use of violence for political ends. Due to a well-documented history of human rights abuses and oppression of ethnic minorities, Turkey has been denied membership in the European Union.

Was Ibrahim convicted of murder or any crime of violence in Turkey?

No. Ibrahim was convicted by the Turkish Security Court of seeking to separate a portion of the land under sovereign control of the Republic of Turkey.

With which groups was Ibrahim Parlak affiliated?

Ibrahim was a member of ERNK, an organization which promoted Kurdish rights through nonviolence.

What did Mr. Parlak do as a member of the ERNK?

Ibrahim was working — in Turkey and abroad — for Kurdish human rights and political representation in Turkey. He wrote articles about the Kurds, helped Kurdish immigrants in Europe find work and housing, and worked to keep alive the Kurdish heritage, language and culture in the Kurdish emigre community of Europe.

Has Mr. Parlak committed any crimes against the U.S. government or U.S. interests abroad?

No.  Never.

Has Mr. Parlak committed any crimes against anyone while in the United States?

No. Ibrahim Parlak “has lived an exemplary life in the United States… He has been a model immigrant vigorously asserting his right to remain in the United States. He is not a threat to anyone, nor a risk of flight.”  Judge Avern Cohn

What would happen should Ibrahim be deported to Turkey?

Given the current political climate, if Ibrahim were to return to Turkey his life would be at risk. If our government were to order Mr. Parlak’s return to Turkey at this time, such a move would constitute a violation of the international Convention Against Torture, which prohibits any
member-state to return a person to a country where they could be subjected to torture.