Doctors From Germany Pay Mystery Visit to Turkmenistan

On August 27, a Turkmen government plane brought five doctors from Munich to the port city of Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnovodsk). The Bombardier Challenger 870 (registration number EZ-B024) had flown to Germany empty with a short stopover in Istanbul, although this type of aircraft is capable of flying direct from Turkmenistan to Germany.

Munich airport, August 27, 2020. More images below

The identity of the doctors and purpose of the trip to Turkmenistan have not been reported. It’s not known either whether they are representing the World Health Organization. Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, has not said anything on his Twitter account about a second visit to Turkmenistan.

Since the closure of the air borders, all flights from abroad have landed in Turkmenabat in the eastern Lebap region, which since January 31 has been a quarantine zone.

According to a source at Turkmenbashi airport, the doctors brought several boxes from Germany bearing the logo of American corporation Promega, which produces technology for the study and identification of viruses, including COVID-19. Their luggage also included some 10 boxes of sterile medical material.

Doctors boarding a Turkmen plane at Munich. Swipe right for more images
Doctors boarding a Turkmen plane at Munich. Swipe right for more images
Doctors boarding a Turkmen plane at Munich

The doctors will return to Germany on August 31 in the morning, but from Ashgabat airport and on a different plane – an ordinary Boeing-737.

A source in Germany said that on August 27 the VipWing service, which specializes in serving VIP passengers at Munich airport, accompanied the doctors to the steps of the plane.

Turkmen media reported that the regular, Friday meeting of the cabinet of ministers took place on Thursday, August 27; individual cabinet ministers held meetings on Friday on President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s instructions, but without him being present. 

Turkmenistan’s media have not reported anything about the visit of the doctors, whoever they may be.