“You can’t leave to stay”: why ethnic Uzbeks are in a hurry to leave Turkmenistan forever

In Turkmenistan, from Dashoguz and Lebap velayats, which are considered regions for comfortable residence of ethnic Uzbeks, more and more families are leaving for their homeland for permanent residence. The primary culprit for this is the deterioration of socio-economic conditions in Turkmenistan, as well as repressive policies and constant violations of even basic human rights. Radio Azatlyk reported this.

According to an anonymous source, the majority of Turkmen citizens applying for certificates to the khyakimliks, civil registration departments and migration services are planning to leave the country forever. And this is not surprising, because along with the ongoing “Turkmenization” policy, which restricts the rights of national minorities living in Turkmenistan, people began to be prohibited from singing songs in the Uzbek language. Nobody cares whether it’s a birthday or a wedding. In addition, representatives of national minorities in Turkmenistan are not appointed to responsible government positions. Why is it worth the fact that during the years of independence, Uzbek schools were closed in Turkmenistan, and accordingly, ethnic Uzbek children lost the opportunity to receive education in their native language.

Meanwhile, at international forums devoted to the rights of ethnic minorities, representatives of the Turkmenistan government declare a “policy of mutual understanding between peoples” and assure that there is no discrimination based on ethnicity. And the very topic of national minorities is avoided.

Let us recall that in December 2022, a population census was conducted in the country. But the Turkmen authorities do not publish statistical data on those living on the territory of Turkmenistan. But according to data from the Statistics Agency of Uzbekistan, published at the end of October, in the period from January to September of this year alone, about 2,700 citizens of Turkmenistan moved to Uzbekistan for permanent residence. At the same time, over 9 months, more than 181 thousand Uzbeks emigrated from the country.

According to Radio Azatlyk, citizens of Turkmenistan moving to Uzbekistan mainly choose the Khorezm and Bukhara velayats of the neighboring country as their permanent residence. The wave of emigration does not stop.