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16.05.2006 General News

Ghanaians suffering in Turkey

By The Chronicle

Ghana's Honorary Consular to Turkey, Ali H. Ustay, says majority of the close to 350 Ghanaians living in that country are without gainful employment.

Speaking on behalf of Mr. Ustay, his deputy, Professor Orhan Kural, said this was due to the inability of the Ghanaian immigrants to secure the necessary documentation to cover their stay and make them employable in that country.

According to him, since most of them do not have the needed documents to enable them move about freely without any harassment from security officials, “most of them are unable to work in established institutions that could fetch them money as they want.”

As a result of this, he indicated that they engage in meaner jobs as construction site labourers, shop assistants and the like, which he says, are nothing worth writing home about. He said very often these are done on temporary or part time basis.

As a result, he noted, some of them have found themselves involved in drug peddling, which is a serious crime in that country.

He mentioned that occasionally the consul received reports that some Ghanaians have been arrested by the security agencies over drug related offences, with some of them serving jail term in Turkey.

Ustay could not admit that security agencies in that country discriminate against people of black origin, as compared to those with lighter skin colours.

Though a Turk himself, he said he believed the Turkish police officials harass blacks, and for that matter Ghanaians, in that country.

But he said Ghanaians in Turkey are generally of good behaviour and do not often get into trouble, except in some few instances.

Professor Kural said the Consul is doing everything possible to safeguard the interest of Ghana and her citizens in Turkey through constant interaction with the Ghanaian community there.

He said he believed that stronger bilateral relations could end most of these tortuous ordeals that some Ghanaians are going through in Turkey. He is hopeful that the two governments would draw closer in a concerted effort to champion their sovereign interests.