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My trip to Turkmenistan. Part 2

My trip to Turkmenistan. Part 2

Having got rid of one concern, I could safely visit my relatives. Why lie, life in the countryside is very hard, I had friends who did not have bread at home. People have enough worries, everyone is busy with their daily activities, how to feed the children ... I know there was almost no work before, the situation has become even more difficult. With this in mind, I did not dare to visit the guests, as I did not want to bother them too much. I gave alms, I would like to give more, but I was also limited. I wanted to make the children as happy as possible.

Then I went to visit another region for a few days. A couple of days later, the head of our village called me. He said that I was being summoned to the governorate of the district, and when I asked why, he replied that he did not know. When I asked for the caller's phone number, he said it was not allowed. Another shock, why are they calling? But I was in no hurry, hoping that they would call back if needed. A couple more days passed, this time the secretary of the archivist called me and said that they were waiting for me at the city hall. I got angry, answered rudely, “whoever needs it, let him call me.” An hour later the clerk called again and gave me the phone number of a man named Myrat. I called, introduced myself and asked him why he was looking for me. “I’m calling from the district migration service (every fool knows that there is no such organisation in the district) I need to talk to you,” he replied. When I asked about the purpose, he said: "Bring all your documents, we will make it easier for you to get a passport." This surprised me even more, I had already submitted all the documents!

I got worried and immediately called my friend. He replied that such a call could only come from National Security Committee. A few days later, I went to the regional migration service, went up to the second floor. There were 5-6 people in the office, I sat down in front of one named Sapar. They didn't even seem to know why they invited me. First they took copies of the documents I had. Then they started asking stupid questions, as if they were writing my biography. I replied threateningly that I really did not understand why I was invited. Finally, Sapar announced a special procedure for registering children born in Turkey. I was angry and surprised. When leaving, I asked them to call me directly in case of need, and not to disturb the village council.

Two weeks have passed and thank God I received my son's passport. Our next task was to obtain a visa for him to Turkey, since Turkey had already made a decision on the visa regime for citizens of Turkmenistan. After I fully and correctly submitted the documents, we began to wait for an answer. In 3 days they said that the visa is ready. Everything was ready, it was time to get on the plane, but I was faced with a more terrible situation. Again, a $405 ticket will cost $1,000. Turkmen airlines respond that there are no flights in the next 2 months. But for $ 1,000 you can buy a ticket for any day, even the next. Then I bothered my friend again, and safely returned to Turkey, having bought tickets for 1000 US dollars for myself and my son.

Briefly, the high level of corruption is a separate story. But the situation of the people is very sad. Employees of state institutions do not bear any responsibility, they are waiting for a bribe at the door of each office and are not interested in the problems of the people. There are cases when the villagers do not eat meat for 6 months, the cost of food is beyond the reach of people with an average salary of 1,200 manats. Children remember the days when they saw fruits, and it is very important for children to eat vitamins.

The annual income from cotton and wheat barely matches the volume of production. In cities and villages it is impossible to meet happy and resting people on the streets. The capital is a very beautiful city made of white marble, but empty. People complain about poverty...

So, my trip to Turkmenistan cost an average of 7,000 US dollars, I stayed there for 1 month, but more than a financial loss, I was saddened by the life of people in my homeland.

Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

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