On August 16, 2022, Turkmen activists, accompanied by Turkish lawyers and a human rights activist, tried to deliver a letter to President S. Berdimuhamedov through the consulate of Turkmenistan in Istanbul. They were severely beaten (a story about this in the video). We also bring to your attention the commentary of the Turkish lawyer, Mrs. Gulden Sonmez, who found herself in the center of events.
“On August 16, 2022, when my clients, Turkmen citizens, went to the Turkmen consulate to deliver a letter intended for Serdar Berdimuhamedov, they were physically abused by consular officials.
Consular officers of Turkmenistan and their hired employees attacked compatriots, members of official Turkish organizations, journalists, as well as us lawyers. They cursed, humiliating our dignity, behaved like street robbers. As a result of the actions of merciless bandits, even two little Turkmen girls suffered.
In this regard, we filed a complaint against the consular staff with the local police department and the prosecutor's office. Of course, the complaint was accepted.
After the citizens of Turkmenistan and Turkey, who suffered due to the actions of the consulate, underwent a forensic medical examination, a conclusion was issued on the injuries received.
We have handed over to the Istanbul Prosecutor General's Office the names and photographs of some of the participants in the attack, both consular officers and hired employees. Based on the incident, four separate cases were initiated at the Istanbul Prosecutor General's Office. One of them, with the intention of justifying themselves, was initiated on the basis of a complaint against us by the consulate of Turkmenistan. As it can be seen in the video, due to the innocence of the participants in the incident, the complaint of the consular staff was considered unsubstantiated and the application was rejected. Three more cases are under investigation. That is, the investigation against consular employees and persons acting on their behalf continues. Those who cursed and attacked their compatriots and Turkish citizens and even beat women and children on the streets of Istanbul, right in front of the police, the consular officers and their hired employees will be prosecuted.
Despite the fact that a year has passed since the incident, the investigation is still ongoing. Of course, the President of Turkmenistan will also be informed at the state level. I would especially like to draw your attention to the fact that, as we mentioned above, the intention of the people who came to the consulate that day was nothing more than to hand the letter to the President. Each state achieves high status by protecting the legal rights of its citizens and fighting for justice. State officials officially recognized at the international level are required to act in accordance with international law. Likewise, consular officers do not have the right to derogate from international diplomatic law. What happened to me and my clients is not subject to our interstate agreements. This is an unprecedented incident in the historical and cultural relations between the two countries.
Leaders, government officials are responsible for protecting their citizens, wherever they are. In the letter, my clients stated the minimum requirements, I hope they will be met. These are minimum legal requirements.
There is no need to sacrifice your citizens who are in a difficult situation. They have valuable talents, knowledge and skills, and as a lawyer I expect that instead of being humiliated, they will be treated with due respect. In today's world, people in any geographic location, especially young people, including Asian Turks, who are tired of oppression, are calling for minimum human rights standards. I hope that all Turkmen living in both Turkey and Turkmenistan will live freely and happily under the protection of the Law.”
Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights