On March 27, the THF received a message: “Help, I can’t find a way out of the situation. I have been sleeping at airports for several days now, no country accepts me. I came from Turkey to Ukraine for two days and got stuck here at Lviv airport…”
O.Ch., a citizen of Turkmenistan (21 years old), in order to extend the documents for temporary residence in Turkey, decided to leave for Ukraine for two days, then return to Turkey. But when the plane from Lviv landed in Istanbul, the girl was again deported to Lviv. As we know, in 2018 O.Ch. arrived to Istanbul on a work visa. In 2020, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis, the girl was treated by Turkish doctors and after 8 months, according to medical research, she recovered.
Her work visa was due to expire in March 2020, so O.Ch. I decided to leave Istanbul and then return again, since a visa for Turkey is not required for Turkmens. On March 22, with a single-entry Ukrainian visa, O.Ch. flew to Lviv, then on March 25 flew back to Istanbul. But the Turkish authorities did not let O.Ch. across the border and, after spending a whole day at the airport in Istanbul, they returned her to Lviv. O.Ch. found out with difficulty the reason for her deportation: “the threat associated with health problems”. Despite the fact that O.Ch. showed them the results of treatment, all medical documents, but the border guards were adamant. As it turned out, as soon as the girl fell ill with tuberculosis, local medical services put her on the list of people who are prohibited from entering Turkey.
In turn, the Ukrainian authorities also refuse her entry, referring to the fact that she had the right to only a single entry. At the Lviv airport they keep her in a small room, they don’t provide any assistance and they intend to send her, as the airport employees said, “most likely to Minsk.” It should be noted that flights to Turkmenistan have been canceled since last year.
Currently for O.Ch. they are looking for a Turkish lawyer to remove the girl's name from the list of persons who are prohibited from entering Turkey through the relevant medical services. Our compatriot reports that she is still at the Lviv airport: “For the fourth day I have been kept in a small room without water, food, medical care, fresh air. I was not provided with a lawyer and an interpreter. There is no way to sleep or wash like a human.“
Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights