My name is Mahmut and I am a political asylum seeker in the UK. I need your help to practise my profession and contribute to society with it.
When I was doing bachelor’s degree, I heard a sentence from one of my professors which is that "the state can be the biggest and only mafia which holds the right to use force against people if the principle of the rule of law does not exist." I started to observe the life around me with this perspective. I have realised that when the organisation that should facilitate the life of people live in turns into an arena in which ideologies fight, it deviates from the aim of its existence, and how much it can make people's lives worse. I have experienced how that could be. My university shut down because of political reasons and students were sent to different universities. So, I decided to study law.
I prepared for the university entrance exam at the same time I was a final year student. To study at Istanbul University School of Law, which is one of the best law schools in Turkey, is very competitive and you must be in the 0,5% per cent among the students taking the exam. I did it and started to study law at Istanbul University. Also, I applied for a Master of Law (LLM) degree at Marmara University which is also one of the best law schools and started to study a master’s degree in public law.
As English politician Lord Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The government in Turkey that won the election for the third time became increasingly authoritarian. While the government was shaken and politically squeezed by corruption investigations, the coup attempt, which contains many suspicions, took place. After the coup attempt in 2016, the state of emergency was declared, and a witch hunt began. Tens of thousands civil servants were fired. Opponent people began to be arrested day by day. My family members and friends were also arrested. Police would knock my door and arrest me anytime. Under these circumstances and fear of arrest, I tried to concentrate on my studies. I graduated from law school with an honour’s degree, but I could not complete my LLM dissertation.
According to the data released by the interior ministry, 511.000 people were arrested between the coup attempt and March 2019. Considering the information, I received from my friends who were arrested, I realized that it was my turn. I had to flee. I came to the UK in October 2019 and applied for political asylum. Sometime after leaving my country, police went to my home to arrest me.
After all these experiences, I noticed that law is as vital as water and air for people and the only way to live together in this world.
I am aware that I must be patient and endeavour. But I am still excited about that I can practise law. I applied for the online Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) program and received an unconditional offer from the University of Law.
My Situation in the UK
I came to the UK on 15 October 2019. I am still waiting for the interview which Home Office will review my case and make a decision whether I am granted for refugee status or not.
I am staying in temporary accommodation in Bristol now. Home Office will send me dispersal accommodation in an unspecified time. I am told by the Home Office that accommodation is allocated on a no-choice basis.
Asylum seekers are neither eligible for student loans nor allowed to work. I thought to wait until I get my residency so that I would be eligible for student loans. I have contacted to student finance, but I am told that I am not eligible for loans to study law as a bachelor's degree because I have already had one. They also said that student loan does not cover the GDL programme. I have no option but asking for your help.
What I need and When I need
I will use the donation to pay my tuition fee. I cannot afford to pay the deposit. For this reason, I have not even enrolled in the programme yet. The programme is going to start next January. I need to pay the tuition fee next January.
With endless gratitude and my warmest wishes,
Thank you in advance,
- Christine Stewart
- alp in
- Mesut Ltd
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