What happened next? Kurdish girl wins asylum

Robert Verkaik
Sunday 22 June 2008 00:00 BST

A 14-year-old Kurdish refugee has won her claim for asylum in the UK after the Government agreed to end attempts to deport her family to Turkey.

Meltem Avcil and her mother Cennet spent three months in a detention centre after being taken from their Doncaster home during a dawn raid by Home Office officials last year.

Her case has been supported by The Independent on Sunday, human rights campaigners and a host of celebrities, including the actress Juliet Stevenson who starred in a dramatisation of Meltem's treatment in the UK.

Before their detention the Avcils spent six years in Doncaster, where Meltem learnt to speak fluent English and became a high-achieving student at her school.

But despite a petition and protests, the Home Office ruled that mother and daughter must be returned to Germany, where their asylum claim was first refused in 2001. From there they would have been forcibly taken back to Turkey.

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