The Lawyer Who Helped Many Turkish Nationals After 9/11

Image Iskender (Alex) Cemaletin, Esq., is one of the few Turkish-American lawyers who was raised in New York. He immigrated with his family from Turkey to New York in 1963.  He graduated from Hofstra University, School of Law with a Juris Doctorate Degree in 1987. He has practiced immigration law for over 26 years and has maintained his main office in the same building, located in downtown New York City at 401 Broadway, New York, NY 10013.
Prior to going to law school, he graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984. While studying at New York University, he double majored in Economics and International Political Science.

When he heard from us that there are approximately 200 Turkish-American  lawyers in the United States at the present time, he replied with a smile, “That is unbelievable and great compared to the very few Turkish-American lawyers that were practicing when I started in this profession.”

While he has been practicing and helping the Turkish-American community for over 26 years, notably he helped many Turkish nationals after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.  At that time the FBI, US immigration officers and other law enforcement agencies were detaining many individuals because of their immigration status. He represented over 30 Turkish nationals before the immigration courts in the months immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

When we asked him what was the most memorable case in that time period concerning Turkish nationals, he recalled that there was a lot of fear, bias, discrimination, profiling, etc., against immigrants. He said, “I remember one case in particular  where a neighbor contacted the law enforcement authorities  and complained that individuals were welding in their apartment. When the law enforcement authorities came to the apartment they found three Turkish students who were watching T.V. in their apartment. The colored lights from the T.V. in their apartment were mistaken by the neighbors as indicating that the individuals were welding.”

When we asked him if he would recommend others to study law and become lawyers, he said, “Yes. Once a person becomes a lawyer they do not necessarily have to practice law. If you look at the educational background of distinguished individuals in the United States, such as the Presidents of the United States, US Congressmen/ Congresswomen, Senators, Executives of Corporations, members of  the Board of  Directors of Corporations, etc., you will find that many of them are lawyers.”
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07