There are 30 deportation centers for detained migrants in Turkey. THF receives information that many hundreds of Turkmen citizens are being held there for long months. Most of them are Turkmens, whom Turkish police detain during raids due to lack of or expired documents.
According to our information at the moment: about 100 Turkmens are being held in the Chankyry deportation center near Ankara; in the deport center of the city of Van - 139 Turkmen, in the deportation center of Erzurum - about 200 Turkmen.
Appeals from citizens and NGOs to the Turkmen authorities, discussion of problems on social networks, and their coverage in the media have still not yielded results. The Turkmen consulate continues to ignore the plight in which their compatriots find themselves.
At the beginning of April, we learned that the Turkish authorities continue to deport those Turkmen citizens who have valid passports. But in many cases, detainees cannot be deported due to lack of passports. For example, 139 Turkmens held in the deport center in the city of Van do not have any documents. Their citizenship must be confirmed by the Turkmen consulate. They have been waiting for a response from the consulate for 4-6 months.
The Turkish authorities are trying to speed up the resolution of the issue. According to the insider, in November 2022, 23 Turkmen from the deportation center of the city of Tuzla were taken by bus to the Turkmenistan consulate in Istanbul. The bus stopped near the consulate, the gendarmes handed over to the consulate employees a list of names to be deported so they could process documents for return. However, in the end, only one Turkmen’s passport was renewed. The rest, who did not have passports, were not given any documents by consulate officials. After this, all the Turkmens were taken to the Chankyry deport center.
According to information received by THF, some detainees themselves ask to be returned to their homeland because they cannot stand the long months of waiting, clashes and fights, despair, depression, and there are cases of suicide. At the same time, there are those who do not want to return to Turkmenistan.
On March 31, 2023, at the Chankyry deportation center, a clash occurred between Turkmen and Pakistani migrants, which escalated into a stabbing. There are victims, including among the Turkmens. A guy named Rustam was stabbed 7 times, Alisher’s head and finger were injured, and in total, eight Turkmens had their wounds stitched up in a hospital in the city of Chankyry. After the incident, about a hundred Turkmen were transferred to another location.
The relatives of these Turkmen turned to the consulate with a request to issue documents for the detainees to return to their homeland. In response, they were told: «We didn’t invite them here. Let them get to Turkmenistan themselves as they wish».
Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights