The decision by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has shocked the family who have written to the Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond in protest.
Dr Philip Clark, an assistant professor of pharmacy at an Istanbul university and Jilda, his Turkish wife of 22 years, and two children want to move to Scotland so he can be closer to his frail, elderly parents in Ayr.
Dr Clark, 54, who is based at the Yeditepe University Faculty of Pharmacy, wanted to return to working in the field in his home country where his wife planned to teach English to migrant children.
The family applied to have Mrs Clark cleared for entry to the UK under immigration rules that allow for "family life as a partner". But after the refusal they are likely to spend six months apart as the appeal takes place.
The UKBA made the decision after its visas and immigration section would not accept her BA and MA in English language teaching gained at the universities of Bosphorus and Istanbul and said she needed to pass an English language test at an approved centre.
The test was brought in two years ago as immigration procedures were tightened. The test must be taken by anyone applying for long-term residency to ensure they have a basic grasp of spoken English.
Mrs Clark, 48, who has taught English as a second language in Turkey for nine years, said: "This is a total shock and an extremely painful experience for all of us, especially for the kids. The reason I was refused was I did not provide a basic English language test that would prove I speak and understand survival English."
"I have provided all my diplomas with their transcripts which show that I have BA and MA in English language teaching and English Literature (in Turkey).
"I also provided paperwork showing that for nine years I have been working as a headteacher in an international school and teaching English as a second language to internationals whose first language is not English. It seems like none of this information was satisfactory."
Mrs Clark has now applied to take an English language test recognised by the agency later this month.
Her brother-in-law, Gordon McGinn, of Troon, said the situation was farcical and has written to the Scottish and UK political leaders asking them to reverse the "gross injustice". He described, in the letter to Mr Cameron how the agency was "acting contrary the best interests of the people of this country, an anathema to democracy".
He added: "I hope that you can understand the tremendous heartache and suffering that this decision has caused. Please do not remain indifferent to it and please redress this disgrace with alacrity."
Mr Clark and children Brendan, 17, and Eilidh, 12, have moved to Scotland leaving Mrs Clark behind for the appeal.
Mrs Clark said: "Now that our kids are staying in Scotland they have started a completely new life without their parents. We want to spend time with our extended family in Scotland.
Irene Clark suffers from spinal arthritis and the family have become anxious about her health.
The UKBA had said the couple provided no evidence of accommodation in the UK and so could not be satisfied that there would be adequate accommodation without recourse to public funds.
The family did not understand why children's grandparents home was overlooked, but they have also begun renting accommodation in Glasgow.
The UKBA was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Leader comment: Page 14