15:00 / 01.06.2024

Turkish authorities deport Uzbek blogger Beknazar Rakhmatov: Consulate's efforts fail

Concerns are rising as citizens of Uzbekistan face increased deportations from Turkey.

Photo: Telegram / turkiyadagi_uzbeklar

Beknazar Rakhmatov, the author of the Telegram channel “Uzbeks in Turkey,” was denied entry to Turkey. He announced this on his channel.

On May 28, the blogger was detained by special services at Istanbul Airport and reported being deported despite legally living and working in Turkey for four years:

“I am being deported. Despite warning many people against such deportations, I am now facing the same problem myself.

Even though I have been living in Turkey for four years with a work permit, on May 28, upon arriving from Tashkent to Istanbul, I was stopped at the airport right after landing. Four security officers called me out of a crowd of 200 people by name, ‘Beknazar Rakhmatov?’

My fellow passengers, surprised by the attention, asked, 'How do they know you? Why are they waiting for you?' Despite all my documents being in place, they are sending me back for no reason,” he wrote.

The reasons why Rakhmatov was denied entry and deported are unknown. Another citizen of Uzbekistan living in Turkey, Fayzullakhon Otakhonov, who contacted him, posted on Facebook that Rakhmatov was detained in a room at the airport:

“He is currently being held in a room at the airport. I called and talked to him, and he explained the situation. The police took his passport and put him in the room you see in the picture. A bit later, they stamped the deportation order, saying there was a code against him entering Turkey, and quickly bought a ticket for the evening flight. Beknazar is surprised at how quickly they are deporting him.

Beknazar is a very good guy, who has done a lot for both Turkey and Uzbekistan. He wrote articles and reported news that brought the two nations closer. ‘Uzbeks in Turkey’ know Beknazar well, follow his useful articles and the information he provides. I have witnessed him helping many people in need.

In short, I don’t know why they are deporting Beknazar, but they are making a big mistake. Recently, Turkey’s treatment of Uzbeks has changed. Over the past 2-3 months, the number of deported compatriots has significantly increased. It’s understandable for those without documents, but even people like Beknazar with all their documents in order are being sent back.

Such actions will weaken the relations between the two countries. Mistakes must be corrected to prevent deeper problems,” he wrote.

According to "Migrant.uz," even the Istanbul Consulate General could not help Beknazar Rakhmatov.

“Interestingly, out of the entire plane, only Beknazar Rakhmatov caught the attention of Turkish border guards. Although the Istanbul Consulate General of Uzbekistan tried to help as much as possible, in the end, despite all his documents being in order, he was sent back without any reason,” the source wrote.

It was reported that the blogger expressed his dissatisfaction with the actions of the Turkish border guards and said he would use his right to appeal within two months.

“Several publications dedicated to migration issues reported that since March of this year, some young Uzbeks aged 20-35 arriving in Istanbul have been sent back to Uzbekistan.

Beknazar Rakhmatov had also been reporting on these incidents on his Telegram channel.

These reports have caused concern among Uzbeks living in Turkey. At the beginning of May, during a visit to Tashkent, Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yılmaz was asked by Uzbek journalists to comment on the cases of Uzbeks being denied entry to Turkey,” the report said. 

The site’s correspondent in Turkey, Sohiba Hayot, reported that Beknazar Rakhmatov was deported for five years. It was not possible to contact the blogger at this time. His Telegram channel, which has more than 22 thousand subscribers, is still active.

The Consulate General in Istanbul and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have not yet commented on the denial of entry to Uzbeks.

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