On 19 February 2020 several overseas students held an action of protest outside Kahramanmaraş Sütçüimam University located in Kahramanmaraş, Turkey.
About 400 people, including students from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, demanded that they be transferred from the dilapidated dormitory building to safer accommodation. Police officers with water jets were summoned to the University.
After the severe earthquakes with human fatalities which hit the Turkish towns of Elazığ and Malatya in January 2020, local experts predicted that an earthquake of from 7 to 8 magnitude might hit Istanbul and Kahramanmaraş.
Professors from Sütçüimam University said that a 3.2 magnitude earthquake shock would be enough to destroy the old University buildings and the campus.
About 140 Turkmen nationals are doing a course of study in this city in line with the government program, including 30 students from this University.
The students contacted the editorial office of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” to draw the attention of Turkmenistan’s Embassy to the problem.
– We tried to reach the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Ankara or the Consulate in Istanbul but to no avail. Nobody responds. When the officials try to arrange an event they quickly locate us but when we need help to resolve our problem, we fail to be heard. In case an earthquake hits, our diplomats will not even bother to find out whether we are dead or alive, – one of the students complained.
For the time being the local authorities are unable to allocate a plot of land to build new University buildings and are reluctant to transfer students to other educational establishments.