Harbert restaurant owner from Turkey allowed to stay in U.S.

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FILE - In this June 3, 2005 file photo, Ibrahim Parlak, a Kurdish immigrant from Turkey, center, toasts his family, friends and supporters as they celebrate Parlak's release from jail, at his restaurant in Harbert, Mich. Parlack, who the U.S. government claims failed to disclose ties to a group labeled a terrorist organization lost another round Monday Aug. 24, 2009 in his fight to remain in the United States. In a split decision, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled to uphold the federal government's deportation effort against Parlak. (AP Photo/Shawano Cleary, File)

HARBERT, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan restaurant owner from Turkey who has been facing deportation for more than a decade will now be allowed to stay in the U.S.

Ibrahim Parlak learned Tuesday he was granted a deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture, an international law protecting refugees from being returned under threat of torture or death. An immigration judge ruled that Parlak’s fear for his safety upon deportation to Turkey is well-founded.

The owner of Cafe Gulistan in Harbert was granted asylum in the U.S. in 1992 after being convicted in Turkey of supporting the Kurdish separatist movement. But immigration officials began efforts to deport him in 2004, saying he failed to disclose movement ties.

Parlak told the Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph that the ruling provides “only relief.” He says it’s “a good feeling to know justice has prevailed.”

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