A Turkish chef has been astounded by support from the local community after being told that his UK visa will not be renewed and he must leave the UK.
Faruk Yavuzel is in Britain on a business visa and opened Oz Urfa restaurant in Cardiff with his brother Feredun. Feredun, his wife and daughter have British citizenship, but Faruk’s visa was only valid for four years and the Home Office has now refused to renew it, even though the business is successful.
With the threat of deportation hanging over Faruk, the brothers had decided to close the business but have been persuaded to keep it open after a show of support organised by the group Hope Not Hate. It booked out the restaurant to rally around Faruk and his efforts to remain in the UK.
He said: “We are so happy for the community supporting us. When we decided to close the restaurant we didn’t expect this reception from the community.
“I want to give my thanks to the people of Cardiff - for us it is only Wales and Turkey. Nowhere else.”
Faruk has spoken to his local MP, Jo Stevens, and is now appealing against the Home Office’s decision. The brothers have decided to keep the restaurant open while they await the result of the appeal.
The Home Office said it did not comment on individual cases and the reason for its refusal to renew Faruk’s business visa is not clear.
However, a spokesman said: “All applications are considered on their individual merits, including any exceptional or compassionate circumstances, and in accordance with the immigration rules.
“All applications for leave to remain in the UK need to show evidence that supports any applicant being able to maintain and accommodate themselves and their dependents, if applicable.”