NSM officers try to track Turkmen migrant workers in Turkey

The authorities of Turkmenistan are deeply concerned about an increasing number of Turkmenistan's residents including students, migrant workers and entrepreneurs, who depart for Turkey. Despite serious political changes which have taken place in recent years, Turkey remains a country with a free press. Migrants from Turkmenistan start using the Internet, have unhampered access to independent Turkmen websites, join various groups in social media and thus pose a certain threat for the authorities.

Turkmenistan's National Security Ministry tries to control the lives of its residents not only domestically, but also outside the country. With this end in view the NSM officers recruit informants among Turkmen nationals residing in Turkey. Among them are quite a number of those who violated the visa regime, failed to find a good job, hold expired passports or committed other violations. Assistance or a pledge to provide support to resolve these issues serves as an incentive for a migrant worker to be hired as an informant.

Recruitment of informants was the major reason behind a tenday working trip of the NSM officials to Turkey. They stayed in Antalya from 1 to 6 of July. We have failed to find out what they had been engaged in throughout this period. It appears that they held meetings with their colleagues or with Turkey's law enforcement officials.

On 7 and 8 July they met with informants in Istanbul. One meeting was held in the afternoon of 7 July in the Asian part of the city in Atasehir district in an apartment located on the third floor of an apartment block in the residential neghbourhood Weliler, where two females from Tejen (born in 1979) and Ashgabat (born in 1980) reside. According to correspondents of Chronicles of Turkmenistan, with support of the NSM and assistance rendered by Turkmenistan's Consulate they do business in the UAE, India, USA, UK where, apart from business meetings, they meet with representatives of the Turkmen community on a regular basis. After their trips detailed reports summarizing the outcomes of the meetings and sentiments of their fellow citizens are forwarded to the Consulate of Turkmenistan in Istanbul.

In the evening of 8 July a meeting with females heading groups of informants was held in a restaurant located on the seacoast of AtakAly in the district of A�esilkAly near Turkmenistan's Consulate. One of them was born in 1982 in the district of Kaka, the other was born in 1983 in KAlytendag. Unlike the first meeting, during the second gathering the females introduced potential informants among Turkmen migrants to the NSM officers. After familiarizing themselves with the bios of wouldbe informants, the law enforcement officers promised to help resolve their problems related to documents and visas and facilitate their unhampered arrival to their home country and return to Turkey.

In the night of 9 July the NSM officers departed back to Ashgabat. Formally they were escorting 15 Turkmenistan nationals deported from Turkey.

An Ashgabatbased source of Chronicles of Turkmenistan confirmed that official overseas business trips of the NSM officers are documented as a trip to accompany deported citizens to Turkmenistan. According to him, representatives of the armed forces, law enforcement authorities and the special services are prohibited from travelling abroad.

A correspondent of Chronicles of Turkmenistan found out that there had been attempts to recruit a lot of Turkmen migrants, entrepreneurs and students in Istanbul. They say that a network of Turkeybased informants is headed by a female native of Mary (born in 1973), who goes under the name of Carnation (photo on the right).

These people not only collect information but also slander individuals disloyal to the incumbent Turkmenistan authorities, harass and threaten them.

Let us recall that in early April it became known that the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Ankara recruit informants among students. Potential informants have been charged with the following tasks: collect information on their fellow countrymen, fund out what they do in their free time, what topics they discuss with friends, whether they are interested in politics, what websites they visit and what groups and social networks they are registered in.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan