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First results of raids in Istanbul. Turkmens returning to their homeland are in shock

 First results of raids in Istanbul. Turkmens returning to their homeland are in shock

On October 17, we reported that the Turkish authorities notified the population of the need to declare the address registration of foreigners. As a result of the raids, hundreds of residential premises were checked for legal residence of foreigners.

Thus, according to some reports, in the Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul, about 500 houses were inspected, some owners were fined for renting out residential premises to non-resident foreigners, hundreds of foreigners were detained and sent to deportation centers in the middle of the night. Local residents talk about this on social networks.

Also, as a result of such raids, dozens of Turkmen migrants were deported to their homeland, where they faced rude attitudes from the authorities; they are being checked for contacts with foreign activists, our sources report.

After the first euphoria from meeting relatives, they experienced shock. “In Turkmenistan there is no such availability of employment opportunities as abroad, everything is focused on nepotism and bribes, there is almost no Internet connection,” - complains guest worker B., who worked in a Turkish restaurant in Ankara for 5 years.

Residents of other provinces are restricted in their freedom of movement. For example, to visit the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, they need to have a special permit.

Even the purchase of ordinary food products causes dissatisfaction: in many stores there is a “goods in load” rule. When buying food, a person must also pay for poor-selling goods. For example, for expired cookies in bulk, which are already dangerous to eat.

A resident of Mary province, now living in the Asian part of Istanbul (he asked not to publish his name and city), said: “My relative is an ordinary migrant worker, but his passport has expired. At the consulate, where we went together, they always refused to renew his passport. Because of this, he could not renew his Turkish residence permit. So he was detained during the raid and deported.

Now he is in Turkmenistan and, as they told me, he fell into depression because of what he encountered. It turns out that fellow villagers live in difficult conditions. When he called his relatives from Turkey, so as not to upset him, they always answered that everything was fine with them. In fact, they have to survive due to poverty and unemployment.

He found friends, paid them for the service and renewed his passport to leave the country. At the Ashgabat airport, he was not allowed on the flight without explanation. When asked how long the ban was in effect, he was told “for life!” He did not send a request to the migration service.”

Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

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