Uganda Seeks Release of Detained Citizens in Turkey; Urges Compliance with Immigration Laws

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The Ugandan government is actively working to secure the release of 87 Ugandans who are currently detained in six different detention centers in Turkey. These individuals have been held due to overstaying their visas, which is a breach of Turkey’s immigration regulations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Uganda is engaging with Turkish authorities to find a resolution to this matter, as stated in an official announcement.

Uganda’s embassy in Ankara, Turkey, has undertaken consular visits to all the detention centers, offering essential consular and legal assistance to the detainees. The centers include Harmandali, Silvre, Tuzla, Erzurum 1, Erzurum 2, and Edirne. The foreign affairs permanent secretary, Vincent Bagiire, emphasized the government’s commitment to collaborating with Turkish authorities to address the issue in a mutually agreeable manner. Affected families will be kept updated on developments.

Bagiire also urged Ugandan citizens residing globally to adhere to the immigration regulations of their host countries to avoid similar situations. Overstaying in Turkey is governed by Turkish Passport law 5682, which carries severe consequences, including immediate deportation, a penalty fee, and a five-year ban on reentry.

Those found in violation of the “90-in-180” rule, exceeding the permitted duration on their passports or failing to renew their residence permit in time, can face charges. Exceptions exist for individuals in categories like education, work, and investment, allowing them to extend their stay, while tourists and visitors are not permitted to extend their stay beyond 90 days.

The Ugandan Ambassador to Turkey, Nusura Tiperu, highlighted that the majority of the detainees are women. She also noted that Turkish authorities have been conducting operations targeting illegal migrants for the past two months.

This incident serves as a reminder for individuals to respect the immigration laws of the countries they are in to avoid legal complications and ensure a smooth and lawful stay. The Ugandan government’s efforts to secure the release of its detained citizens reflect its commitment to safeguarding its citizens’ rights and well-being abroad.

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