Earthquake survivor denied visa to visit son in Austria


ANKARA; Dily Hurriyet reports: Zeliha Karlı’s application for a visa to visit her son, Yusuf Karlı, a doctoral student at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, has been rejected, citing concerns that she might not return due to her recent displacement caused by the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye.

Yusuf Karlı, an academic researching quantum physics in Austria since 2020, was with his family when an earthquake struck their home in Adıyaman. Although he survived the tragedy, he lost his father, sister and numerous relatives in the disaster.

Moved by the aftermath, Yusuf Karlı invited his mother and sister, Deniz Karlı, to visit him in Austria, offering them a respite from the hardships they’ve endured. However, the Austrian Consulate rejected the mother’s visa application, contending that “her financial instability resulting from the earthquake could hinder her return from the Schengen area.”

“They acted as if there was no invitation letter and I was unemployed. What offended me was that they said, ‘You are widowed, you lost your house in the earthquake, you may not come back,'” shared Yusuf Karlı, expressing his frustration with the decision.

Despite having achieved significant recognition in his academic pursuits, including being published in prestigious journals, he criticized the concerns behind the decision.

“We delivered 80 pages of documents. If extra documents were requested or waited, I would understand them. But the reason for rejection is very shameful,” he lamented.

“I worked on five-six articles in a year. My work was also respected at the university. I work at a university with a Nobel background. However, this was the treatment for the visa application.”

The academic, who successfully relocated his mother to a new residence in the capital Ankara following the earthquake, expressed his mother’s deep yearning to return to Adıyaman, her hometown.