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Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Turkmenistan

Reasons for the humanitarian crisis of Turkmen migrants

Reasons for the humanitarian crisis of Turkmen migrants

For two years now, Ashgabat has been in no hurry to establish regular flights between Turkmenistan and Turkey. Those rare and irregular flights that operate between the two countries can only be boarded by the “lucky ones” chosen by the consulate, or by migrants who have bought exorbitantly expensive tickets through intermediaries. Because of this, thousands and thousands of Turkmen migrants wishing to fly home are flocking to Istanbul airport. They live at the airport for days, periodically they are thrown out of the premises, they have to sleep on the ground, eat whatever they can. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled suffer the most.

The flight from Turkmenistan expected on August 11 did not arrive in Istanbul, migrants began to protest in front of the ticket office of "Türkmenhowaýollary" (Turkmen Airlines). The airport security who arrived at the scene advised the Turkmen migrants to contact the consulate. At the same time, the Turkmens organized themselves and compiled a waiting list. This list was given to the employee selling plane tickets, but the latter tore the list. At that time there were more than a thousand people in it.

The consulate once again chose to remain silent. It should be noted that this collapse has been ongoing since spring.

In fact, the problem was created during the presidency of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, and his son, the current president Serdar Berdimuhamedov, will have to solve it. Journalists, human rights activists, and Turkmen activists have repeatedly warned official Ashgabat about the current situation, but Turkmenistan is not taking effective measures to correct the problem. The heads of ministries and departments, as always, do not bear any punishment.

Criticism of the incompetent organization of work of institutions subordinate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the airline company "Türkmenhowaýollary" is perceived with hostility by official Ashgabat. Moreover, recently pro-government Internet users have started bullying dissidents.

Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

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