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On June 20, 2023, Turkish and Turkmen human rights activists held a meeting at which they spoke about the problems faced by Turkmens in Turkey

On June 20, 2023, Turkish and Turkmen human rights activists held a meeting at which they spoke about the problems faced by Turkmens in Turkey

The organizer of the event is the public human rights organization “Mazlumder”, deputy chairman of “Mazlumder” Ali Oner, head of the human rights organization “Ozgurder” Ridvan Kaya, head of the association “Hak Hukuga Dayanch” Dursoltan Taganova, head of the human rights organization Turkmen Helsinki Foundation Tajigul Begmedova, lawyer Mustafa Yaman, civil activists of the Democratic Movement "Adalat" Zarina Akhtyamova, Alisher Sakhatov and others. Participants drew attention to the global refugee problem, celebrated on June 20th. The main purpose of the meeting was the violation of rights in Turkmenistan and the problems faced by Turkmens in Turkey.

Ridvan Kaya, deputy head of the "Ozgurder" Human Rights Organization, was the first to speak. He spoke in detail about the growth in the number of migrants in the world in recent years and the violation in most cases of their rights. In particular, he put forward the idea that it is necessary to find a solution to the problems that Turkmen people face abroad. Ridvan Kaya noted that the work on the legalization of citizens of Turkmenistan in Turkey has recently been associated with great trials and difficulties.

Then the floor was given to the deputy head of the Turkish NGO for the protection of human rights "Malzumder" Ali Oner:

- For 30 years, Turkmenistan has been one of the countries in the world known for its closeness and pressure on the people. In the event that someone rebels within the country, they are subject to persecution, oppression by government officials and may be arrested on trumped-up criminal cases. In order to hide its deeds, the state keeps the Internet under its control, moreover the systems and means of communications that are unacceptable to the Turkmen government are blocked.

Lawyer Mustafa Yaman noted:

- Of course, it is surprising that in a country with a population of 5 million today about 2 million people are abroad. If the government of Turkmenistan, which ranks fourth in the world in terms of gas reserves, took care of people, then people would not endure the hardships of life, facing problems abroad. Today, the Turkmen people have only one desire - to be heard.

Blogger Alisher Sakhatov, in turn, shared his opinion:

- The main issue that I would like to draw your attention to is that the citizens of Turkmenistan, being in Turkey without passports, face great difficulties. Our Turkmen compatriots abroad do not want to return to their homeland due to the complication of the right to free movement in recent years, as well as in connection with other problems. Despite the fact that the government of Turkmenistan, as well as the governments of other countries, is directly obliged to provide its compatriots abroad with a complete list of important documents, it does not provide this service to fellow citizens. Since Turkmen citizens do not have passports, they fall into an illegal situation and face difficulties. As I mentioned above, the government of Turkmenistan is obliged to issue passports to its compatriots abroad. Despite this, the government of Turkmenistan did not comply with its issued and adopted laws for years. The result is a suffering people who are greatly oppressed and unhappy. In the 21st century, in the age of highly developed technology, seeing the suffering of millions of people is something terrible in itself. The people have been tormented for years by the government, which consciously contributes to the fact that the people are in an illegal position. Belonging to the number of bearers of the name "I am a Turk", staying illegally in Turkey, in our fraternal homeland, is very painful.

In turn, activist Zarina Akhtyamova said that she had been living in Turkey for 17 years, 5 years - in a religious marriage with a Turkish citizen. “I lost my biometric passport in 2010. In accordance with the rules and requirements, I repeatedly applied to the Consulate General of Turkmenistan in Istanbul. “Why did you marry a Turk? Did you give birth to children for me?” - the consular staff told me. I was told that in order to obtain a passport I must go to Turkmenistan, and they gave me only a letter proving my identity for leaving. I could not go to Turkmenistan because this letter was issued only for me. "My children would have to stay in Turkey. I cannot leave my children and my family and leave. It is quite obvious that as soon as I arrive in my homeland, I will be subject to a long-term ban on leaving the country. At the consulate of Turkmenistan, we are faced with insults and physical violence. Today I am alone in front of you, but I am the voice of women, mothers and children of Turkmenistan, hundreds of thousands of victims. Hear our voice."

The head of the organization "Hak Hukuga Dayanch" Dursoltan Taganova said:

- Our main problem is that the passports of the citizens of Turkmenistan are not renewed. Because of this, thousands of people cannot receive medical care. They cannot go to hospitals. Children cannot get an education. Many people are forced to work illegally. Today, 4,320 children deprived of the right to education. Our request to the Turkish government is to hear the voice of the Turkmen people. Refugees from Turkmenistan want their voice to be heard.

The head of the Turkmen Helsinki Foundation, Tajigul Begmedova, spoke about serious problems in respecting the rights of Turkmen citizens:

- I express my deep gratitude to everyone who does not want to keep silent about the problems of Turkmen migrants. One of the most important tasks today is that we tell the world more about the problems we face because of the irresponsibility of the government of Turkmenistan. The problem of Turkmens in Turkey is connected with the fact that the government of Turkmenistan does not take responsibility. Unfortunately, the lack of care for its citizens at home and abroad on the part of the government of Turkmenistan has been taking place for years. Although such issues are easily solved, the Turkmen government does not solve them for years and over time they grow into big problems. Citizens of Turkmenistan are deprived of their, for example, medical, social and, in general, constitutional rights due to the fact that their issues related to paperwork are not resolved in a timely manner by the state. This situation pushes people to crime, thereby aggravating it even more, - T. Begmedova noted.

In addition, we encourage local NGOs to consider several more important issues and solve them together. I would like to express my gratitude to all the organizers of this meeting.

Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

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