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Turkmen students might not come to AUCA

just-say-no-to-studySeveral Turkmen friends told me that students from Turkmenistan coming to attend 2009/2010 academic year at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) are being stopped at the airport of Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan.

Its mostly first year students*, who are going to AUCA for the fist time, and those who have not served in the army yet (military service is required in Turkmenistan). Border officials at the airport customs are asking students to collect “all required documents to leave the country for studying.”

As my Turkmen friends say, ACCELS promised Turkmen students to provide with necessary documents to cross the border and come to Bishkek to continue their studies at AUCA.

The American University of Central Asia educates many students from Turkmenistan. Most, if not all, of them are sponsored by Open Society Institute and ACCELS.

Why Turkmen officials would stop students coming to study at the American university in Kyrgyz capital? Two answers come to my mind straight off:

1 – Students are powerful mass, and Turkmen officials know it. I guess that the latter do not want the “future of country”, the way Central Asian leaders like to refer to youth, to be “brainwashed” by imperialists and capitalists, who teach at the American University of Central Asia.

2- It might be that Turkmen government does not want youth from Turkmenistan to witness and/or experience a freedom of assembly. Political opposition of Kyrgyzstan is promising to start open-ended demonstrations throughout the country on July 29, 2009. History shows how successful demonstrations can be in Kyrgyzstan – it was mass demonstrations that made ex-president Askar Akaev give up presidency and flee the country in March 2005 during so-called Tulip revolution. And students played a great role in it. It is possible that Turkmen authorities fear the color revolution to be exported to Turkmenistan.

Anyway, the real reasons of Turkmen authorities to stop students are unknown. These are ideas that came to me straight off when I heard the news. Give your possible reasons in comments section.

* Literally, they are not freshmen. Since Turkmenistan decreased the school education (secondary education) from 11 to 10 years, all Turkmen students coming to study at AUCA are required to study11th year of high school in Kyrgyz schools to meet the Kyrgyz Education Ministry’s requirements.

Cross-posted from my personal blog

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  • Student says:

    Not only freshmen cannot come to Kyrgyzstan.. and not only to Kyrgyzstan; turkmen students cannot go to Russia,Ukrain, and other countries..
    They are supposed to collect several documents in order to study abroad, however there is no guarantee that they will be able to live Kyrgyzstan..Those who study in State universities do not have any prblems, while those who study in private universities have many problems with getting those documents. This is the reason why turmen students cannot study in AUCA.
    There are many thoughts about what could be the reasons why trkmen government does it, but anyway Aravnski was right writing that the real reasons are unknown..

    Hope eveything will be alright and every turkmen student will be able to study for the future of Turkmenistan!!!


    amina Reply:

    good point about what you’ve said “…to study for the future of Turkmenistan!!!” but i guess not many people do care about this…yea…let’s hope for the best…


  • Student says:

    Sorry, in the first sentence of the second paragraph I wanted to write TO LEAVE TURKMENISTAN, but not TO LIVE KYRGYZSTAN.. was very tired;)


  • Justice Seeker says:

    ok, they didnt let em out to AUCA but after that Accels and us embassy worked on sending the student to AUBG, in NY on the UN assembly Hillary Clinton HERSELF talked with turkmen president about those students and he said that they can freely go to AUBG! BUT 2 days ago when the student were ready to go to bulgaria, they stopped them again!!! this all is bullshit, please somebody help us, this is violation of the human rights somebody gotta stop this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • [...] is at its most vibrant, following the contested election. (Tolkun Umaraliev writes up this view atNewEurasia). Despite official constraints, Kyrgyz civil society is large and active, as documented [...]

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