Turkish president approves law on rights of foreigners

Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday approved a new law on foreigners and international protection which establishes a sound legal and institutional framework for migration and asylum.

Under the law, foreigners and those who have international protection can not be sent back to places where they could be subject to torture, inhumane treatment or humiliating punishment, or where they would be threatened due to their race, religion or membership in a certain group.

The law stipulates that foreigners who are subject to comprehensive investigations while entering the country can be forced to wait for only four hours.

Another article of the law allows Turkish authorities to ban a foreigner for only five years but if that person is seen as a serious threat to public order and security, his or her ban can be increased to 10 years.

Foreigners with expired residence permits will be given only one year's ban if they appeal to a governor's office.

The law stipulates that foreigners who stay in Turkey for more than 90 days should apply for a residence permit. The residence permit will become invalid if not used for six months.

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