On August 16, 2022, Turkmen activists, with the support of lawyers and two Turkish human rights activists, tried to deliver an open letter to President Serdar Berdimuhamedov. To do so, they came to the consulate of Turkmenistan in Istanbul and announced the purpose of their visit on video in front of the building.
When lawyer Gulden Sonmez and the activists asked the security guard to call one of the employees to hand over the letter, they were let into the courtyard of the consulate. When trying to hand over the document to officials, six employees left the consulate and began to insult, swear and beat the activists. Among them, a well-known consulate employee, Merdan Mustakov, was noticed.
Representatives of the diplomatic corps beat two women and three men. An eyewitness reports: “One of them was thrown to the ground, even the lawyer was attacked.” Atamurad Saparov received serious head injuries from a heavy object, the doctors gave him first aid.
The police, called by the consulate, detained two activists and one Turkish human rights activist. At the moment, activists Dursoltan Taganova and injured Atamurad Saparov (38 years old) are in the police station.
Numerous eyewitnesses say that the lawyer politely asked to accept the document, while the activists silently stood by. However, the consular staff cursed and insulted people. Phones were confiscated from some Turkmens.
All the activists standing in line were dispersed.