Thursday, August 20, 2009
Update on the Turkmen Student Situation
The Turkmen government is still preventing about 130 students from leaving Turkmenistan to continue their education here at AUCA. Around 20 Turkmen students have gotten here. Most of them got here by coming before the Turkmen government started denying exit visas to AUCA students. Others got here by lying to the Turkmen authorities. But, it is unclear how many of them will be staying. The Turkmen government obviously will not renew passports of students to enable them to continue to study here. Even more ominously one student told me that he was returning to Turkmenistan because the government was threatening his father with arrest. Just to make sure the student knew they were serious they had already had the man fired from his job. It looks like the current batch of Turkmen seniors here may be the last Turkmen students to graduate from AUCA and even then there may be very few of them.