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Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

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Did the Turkish authorities react to the indignation of Turkmen migrants or “the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing”?

Did the Turkish authorities react to the indignation of Turkmen migrants or “the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing”?

These days, Turkmen migrant workers, students and families living in Turkey are experiencing conflicting feelings due to problems and misunderstandings regarding the issue of renewing passports and the need to legalize residence in this country.

As we reported, on March 29 , Turkish migration services began to refuse to accept documents for the extension of temporary residence permits (Kimlik) to citizens of Turkmenistan whose biometric passports have expired, but have a consulate stamp confirming its extension until December 2024. Several migrants encountered this in various migration services. The news was picked up by many media outlets, and heated discussions began on social networks.

Less than a week later, Turkish blogger Murat Ershahin reported on his YouTube page that Turkish migration is starting to accept passports with an extended validity period.

On March 5, according to our source in the central migration department of Istanbul, dozens of Turkmens contacted the migration services to clarify whether this was actually the case. The guards calmed those who came and, after checking their passports, began to let the Turkmens into the building to process documents.

A migrant whose documents were not accepted on March 30 in the Fatih district of Istanbul shared good news with THF: the same Turkish official who refused him then gave permission today to process the package of documents.

Another migrant, an elderly Turkmen woman standing among the crowd waiting in line, said in tears: “I came last year to have my son undergo brain surgery. I have two children. Doctors still do not allow my son, who underwent surgery, to fly, and my 15-year-old daughter has an extended passport, but her residence permit expires in a few days. Having learned that Turkey had stopped accepting documents for renewal, I fell into a panic: my daughter would have to go home to get a new passport, but I couldn’t fly with my son. Even if she leaves without me (if I can arrange guardianship for someone), she will not be released from Turkmenistan until she turns 18. What should I do? Then it was her turn and she entered the room.

A young guy of about 30 years old was previously refused to accept documents at Esenyurt. “Yesterday I went there again and they told me to go to the central office. And so, today they accepted my documents,” he shared with our activist.

Some observers believe that in Turkmenistan “the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.” In fact, the Turkmen authorities continue to shift their lack of professionalism and lack of respect for the constitutional rights of their compatriots onto the shoulders of foreign countries. And, as in this case, the Turkish authorities and the Turkmens themselves are cleaning things up.

Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

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