Turkmen nationals were repatriated to their home country in the night of 14 May in a Boeing-777 operated by Turkmenistan Airlines departed from Istanbul.
The passengers included in the lists of Turkmenistan’s Consulate had been informed by text message that the plane would arrive in Turkmenabat. However, according to correspondents of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan”, it landed in Turkmenbashi.
On arrival the passengers had their passports taken away and were transported to a quarantine facility where they will have to stay for 14 days. People are very unhappy with the living conditions. They point out that upon arrival at the quarantine camp a long crowd formed in front of the women’s toilets where a Turkmen diplomat accompanying the repatriation flight warned about new regulations regarding women’s appearance and recommended they refrain from heavy make-up and revealing or tight-fitting clothes. In the toilets women who had been wearing trousers or jeans and T-shirts changed into national or long dresses, and removed their make-up.
Another problem at the quarantine facility is that people are not provided with food. However, it is possible to order food delivery from private enterprises. There are no restrictions in terms of food and any type of food or drinks, including alcoholic beverages, is allowed.
Tap water in the quarantine facility is very chlorinated and is fit only for household use, i.e. laundry. Drinking water also needs to be ordered.
In an attempt to cut down on expenses, some arrange with medical staff working in the facility to purchase and bring groceries.
Those in the quarantine facility have been informed that they can only return home from Turkmenbashi by plane and because there is no other transport available between the provinces.
Control over the appearance of women and their image was unofficially tightened in Turkmenistan in April. Women were barred from having botox injections, dying eyebrows or having nail extensions, as well as occupying the front seat next to the driver in taxis and privately-owned vehicles.