In the run-up to celebrating Novruz the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Ankara hosted a meeting with nationals from Turkmenistan who are studying in Turkey's educational establishments. Some 45 students � 30 male and 15 female from various universities had been invited to the meeting. However, instead of a festive event the Embassy staff held a meeting devoted to monitoring the behavior of Turkmen students.
The Consul of Turkmenistan Myrat Akmammedov and an Embassy employee named Guvanch called on the attendees to observe the behavior of Turkmen students, especially those who are paying tuition fees out of their own pocket. Potential informants were charged with the task of collecting information on fellow citizens, what they do in their free time, what topics they discuss with friends, whether they are interested in politics and what groups in social networks they are members of. Special attention was to be paid to those who criticize the prosperity of Turkmenistan and the policy pursued by the respected president.
Monetary bonuses of $100, as well as recognition certificates from Turkmenistan's Education Ministry, were promised to informants as an incentive.
Guvanch also emphasized that the number of informants among students needs to be increased to 300 people. He promised a bonus of $80-100 to the stipend to those who manage to recruit other people.
Many young men doing a course of studies in Turkey are convinced that with the help of such informants the association of Turkmen students headed by Omruzak Omarkuliev was exposed in early 2018.
Let us recall that on 14 February 2018, as a result of a joint operation conducted by Turkmenistan's National Security Ministry and Turkish diplomats, Omruzak was invited to his home country to work as an observer at the Parliamentary elections. However, in March he was prevented from exiting Turkmenistan without any explanation and later was sentenced to a 20 year imprisonment term.
Turkmenistan ranks third after Azerbaijan and Syria for the number of study-abroad students in Turkey. According to Turkey's Migration Office, in the 2016-2017 academic year some 10.642 Turkmenistan nationals were enrolled in Turkish educational establishments.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan