On Turkmenistan nationals residing in Northern Cyprus held another act of protest against the current Turkmen policy.
There were about 40 participants of the demonstration who talked about corruption, economic constraints, unemployment, lack of rights and arbitrariness of officials. One of the key problems as viewed by protestors is that people are unable to return to their home country as they are then barred from travelling back to Northern Cyprus and are coerced into paying bribes up to 5 thousand dollars.
Let us recall that the Foreign Minister of Northern Cyprus Kudret Özersay raised this problem in September 2019. According to him, attempts to resolve this issue through diplomatic channels failed.
According to sources of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan”, a temporary travel ban to enter Northern Cyprus was introduced for Turkmenistan’s nationals. The decision was related to the fact that Turkmenistan and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus had not agreed upon the status of old and new Turkmen passports. Old Turkmen passports did not have an expiry date but photos taken at the age of 16, 25 and 45 needed to be added. New biometric passports were introduced in Turkmenistan in 2008. However, in Northern Cyprus old passports are still considered to be valid.
After voicing all their concerns, the participants requested that they be provided with an opportunity to travel to Turkmenistan to visit their family members. They also called on President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to step down.
Let us recall that on 11 May, 2020 Turkmenistan nationals held a demonstration in Northern Cyprus requesting that assistance be rendered to residents of Lebap and Mary velayat, affected by the hurricane.
On 15 May, 2020 over twenty Turkmen nationals held an act of protest in front of Turkmenistan’s Consulate in Turkey.