21 december 2014

Central Asia news: Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan: Strict high security universities

Turkmenistan: Strict high security universities

14.12.2012 09:50 msk Turkmenistan

Turkmen students have everything that adults have, i.e. they unquestioningly obey their leadership, they cannot express their opinion if they differ from those of their leaders, be it a teacher, dean, vice chancellor or the chancellor himself. In a word, if they are told “it must be” then it must be. The chancellor himself (just like the president) admonishes them for smallest wrongdoings and marks the wrongdoing in the individual’s case file. Two such digressions lead to expulsion from university. The faults vary: using a mobile phone during a lecture, being late for class or returning to residence halls after 8 PM. Curfews are imposed in all the universities, with no exception, and on 5 December, when the meeting of the CIS heads of state was taking place in Ashkhabad, the halls’ doors were shut at 6 PM. Just in case something happened to the important guests… students who were late, as you might guess, got a strict telling off.

Turkmen magnificence: Expensive and shortlived

Turkmen magnificence: Expensive and shortlived

05.09.2012 14:21 msk Turkmenistan

The Park of Independence is undergoing reconstruction in Ashkhabad (Turkemistan). Fountains, paths, and young trees planted to replace of the previous old ones, all look beautiful only in their first year. Gradually, but relentlessly, time takes its destructive toll and the ostentatious luxury of the facades, does not hide the physical and social decay of the town. Finishings fall off, weeds growth through cracks in the tiles, rats and night visitors become the town’s guardians, leaving behind them vile piles of rubbish. Social activist and Ashkhabad resident Natalia Shabuntz told Fergana’s editorial team about how her disintegrating town.

IWPR: Daring to Strike in Turkmenistan

29.08.2012 20:28 msk Human Rights Turkmenistan

Industrial action is extremely rare in Turkmenistan, because of the fear of retribution in this police state. But several localised strikes and protests in recent months suggest the government is prepared to make concessions on pay in order to keep the peace. In the latest dispute, the human rights website Chronicles of Turkmenistan reported that workers building a major road bridge over the river Amu Darya in eastern Turkmenistan staged a strike in mid-August because they had not been paid for three months. The report said managers tried a mixture of threats and persuasion to try to get the builders back to work. The strike continued, however, and by the end of a week they were paid their back wages in full. Another protest over pay took place in April, when local employees of a Turkish construction company involved in building a five-star hotel at the Avaza resort, a flagship development on the Caspian coast.

Subsidies Subside in Turkmenistan

02.08.2012 10:47 msk Human Rights Turkmenistan

The Turkmen government has made major cuts to the subsidies it has traditionally provided its population. In July, it removed a subsidy system for flour which had been in place for the last 15 years. Each household used to get coupons which they could exchange for flour at a special low price.

IWPR: Show Trials in Turkmenistan

IWPR: Show Trials in Turkmenistan

29.06.2012 17:43 msk Human Rights Turkmenistan

The Soviet-era practice of holding show trials for individuals accused of relatively minor economic crimes is alive and well in Turkmenistan, and local observers say that once in the system, defendants have no chance of a fair hearing. For the state, it is a demonstration of power, and for the security agencies, an opportunity to show they are fighting crime. The latest took place in the northern town of Dashoguz, and involved nine workers at a printing house, including the deputy director, who were convicted and imprisoned for stealing paper and using it to do private print jobs.

Dog genocide in Turkmenistan

Dog genocide in Turkmenistan

13.05.2012 00:44 msk Turkmenistan

Stray dogs in Turkmenistan get poisoned with pieces of sausage stuffed with deadly substances or broken glass scattered around junk yards. Poisoned dogs convulse in agony for hours, barking and howling in a high-pitched voice, saliva and blood dripping from mouth. If you have a dog in Ashgabat, the country capital, your pet may find poison placed by exterminators at your doorstep. Turkmen president is believed to be a dog-hater who gets crazy if he catches a sight of a dog in the city streets. A human right activist from Ashgabat, Natalia Shabunts, a woman of unbelievable courage, sent this article about the dogs’ lot in Turkmenistan.

Turkmenbashi is dead! Long live Turkmenbashi?

Turkmenbashi is dead! Long live Turkmenbashi?

28.05.2010 15:52 msk Turkmenistan

A recently published book about President Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan confirms that the cult of personality is alive and well in the republic. After 15 years of independence Maria Yanovskaya could be forgiven for being surprised at the book’s excessively rapturous tone… but she is not.

Second Advent or what is expected in Turkmenistan under Ruhnama?

Second Advent or what is expected in Turkmenistan under Ruhnama?

30.12.2009 10:23 msk Analytics Turkmenistan

The second advent of Ruhnama in the socio-cultural area of Turkmenistan makes us think not only about circling politicians, but also what is expected in the country in the future and how the neighbors view such development. New Turkmen national culture policy is the Niyazov-initiated surgery of lively and diverse Turkmen culture of various groups of Turkmen and other ethnicities to some varnished imitation, substituting genuine culture. Those, who are not aware of Turkmen realities, need to understand the following: titular ethnic group consists of complex tribal structure. The scientist still cannot explain the emergence of many groups. Each group – clan or tribe – has many unique independent features.

Andrei Zatoka's Long and Winding Road to Russia?

Andrei Zatoka's Long and Winding Road to Russia?

11.11.2009 14:29 msk Politics Turkmenistan

His harrying experience in Turkmenistan over, Russian environmentalist Andrei Zatoka is back in Moscow. A trial in Dashoguz the other day had sentenced him to five years imprisonment. The verdict sparked an international campaign in the environmentalist's defense. Human rights activists, environmentalists, and finally the Russian authorities raised their voice. Another hasty trial voided the previous verdict and sentenced Zatoka to a fine. Following that, this citizen of Russia was essentially expelled from Turkmenistan. Here is the first interview with Zatoka and his wife Yevgenia on their return to Moscow.

Turkmen thaw ended in scorching summer temperatures

Turkmen thaw ended in scorching summer temperatures

17.10.2009 00:06 msk Analytics Turkmenistan

Natalia Anurova-Shabunts, a citizen of both Turkmenistan and Russia, wrote an article for Ferghana.Ru that gives an account of life in Turkmenistan. How its citizens are denied permission to travel abroad, how students and instructors are compelled to wear uniforms, how state officials bully people into renouncing Russian double citizenship. And how officials of the Russian Embassy in Ashkhabad arrogantly refuse to take care of citizens of the Russian Federation. Living in Turkmenistan, the author refuses to adopt a nom-de-plume and speaks up on behalf of the "happy Turkmen people" under her own name which is what makes the situation unique.

Turkmenistan, lost in the desert - routine life for centuries

Turkmenistan, lost in the desert - routine life for centuries

10.08.2009 21:55 msk Turkmenistan

Today, it is still hard for journalist or independent researcher to visit Turkmenistan. However, Elena Larina and Olga Naumov, two delicate women, Moscow-based ethnologists and PhD in History, were lucky. Last autumn they experienced extreme travel to Turkmenistan – they managed to live in remote and arduous regions of the country, Kara Ku, hosted by "sand Turkmen" and mountainous villages of "nohur". They shared the experience and unique pictures with Ferghana.Ru.

Turkmenistan and Russia will make new gas agreements

Turkmenistan and Russia will make new gas agreements

25.03.2009 21:00 msk Business Turkmenistan

Russia and Turkmenistan will revise gas agreements and speed up construction of the Caspian Gas Pipeline in accordance with the decision of presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Gurbankuly Berdymuhammedov. Contrary to the expectations pinned on Berdymuhammedov's state visit, visa regime for the Russians intent on visiting Turkmenistan was never abolished. Neither was the subject of the Russians in Turkmenistan dwelt on despite human rights community's demands.

Turkmenistan: Unknown struggle with dope

Turkmenistan: Unknown struggle with dope

22.01.2009 17:44 msk Turkmenistan

President Gurbankuly Berdymuhammedov congratulated the State Drug Enforcement Service on its first anniversary on January 18. "The work you've done provided peace in the country and serenity of the population. It reinforced unity and solidarity, it strengthened foundations of healthy society," his message stated. Drugs are openly sold in Turkmen cities and villages. Their ready availability is recognized as a threat to the gene pool. Hence establishment of the State Drug Enforcement Service a year ago, a structure coordinating efforts of the national systems of health care and education, general public, local authorities, law enforcement agencies, and the army to eradicate this evil.

Turkmenistan: Facts and Rumors about Shooting in Ashgabat

15.09.2008 13:56 msk Analytics Turkmenistan

Turkmen police officials say they neutralized a drug gang on Saturday, however, local analysts suspect much stronger forces were involved in skirmishes with security services. Criminal gang involved in drug trafficking was neutralized in capital Ashgabat on September 13, official news agency of Turkmenistan said. It did not specify whether the members of the group were killed or detained. Earlier reports by the oppositional Gundogar agency said that a fighting broke out between religious militant group and police in the district of Ashgabat known as Khitrovka, killing 20 policemen.

Turkmen President Tightens Grip on Power with New Constitution

Turkmen President Tightens Grip on Power with New Constitution

12.09.2008 16:59 msk Politics Turkmenistan

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov’s administration has been building the image of a liberalizing state after the death of his totalitarian predecessor for two years. The forthcoming new Constitution, already proclaimed as a stronghold of the Turkmen renaissance, promises to eliminate redundant elements in the state apparatus, but does not promote a full-fledged democracy, analysts say.

Other news

Media headlines

Al Jazeera The Girls of the Taliban, 21.12.2014

OpenDemocracy The cost of digital silence in Turkey: 40 million euros, 20.12.2014

Cihan What next for Turkey?, 20.12.2014

The Diplomat Central Asia’s Hydropower Spat, 20.12.2014

Press TV Turkish people gather in Istanbul to protest media crackdown, 19.12.2014

CNN ISIS: From beheading to hacking, 19.12.2014

Today's Zaman Citizens across country protest media oppression and detention of journalists, 18.12.2014

Hindustan Times Kabul should not slip away, 18.12.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan Gears Up to Vote for Rubberstamp Parliament, 18.12.2014

Threat Matrix The Peshawar attack: sickening, but no surprise, 17.12.2014

Long War Journal Pakistani Taliban assault military high school in Peshawar, 16.12.2014

Reuters Turkish soccer fans go on trial accused of coup attempt, 16.12.2014

Today's Zaman Thousands gather across Turkey to protest police raids against media, 15.12.2014

Long War Journal Taliban attacks in Afghanistan surge as Coalition ends combat mission, 14.12.2014

Today's Zaman Turkish police raid Zaman building, attempt to detain editor, 14.12.2014

Worldbulletin Four more dissident Uzbeks are on assasination list -report, 14.12.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan Turning To Russia For New Weaponry, 13.12.2014

Today's Zaman Human Rights Watch: Turkey’s security bill undermines rights, 11.12.2014

BBC What is jihadism?, 11.12.2014

Foreign Affairs Anand Gopal on Afghanistan and Iraq, 10.12.2014

AVFN TeliaSonera Won't Sue Former CEO Nyberg Over Uzbekistan Acquisition, 10.12.2014

Long War Journal Al Qaeda commander reported killed in drone strike in Pakistan, 09.12.2014

Eurasianet Bleak Climate Report Bad News for Central Asia and Its Dams, 09.12.2014

Reuters Telenor's CEO resigns from Vimpelcom's board amid probe, 08.12.2014

The Nation (Pakistan) Who will control Afghanistan?, 07.12.2014

TNS Is IS an imminent and real threat to Pakistan?, 07.12.2014

Rolling Stone Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State, 05.12.2014

Diplomat in Spain Uzbekistan, key for the future political scene in Asia, 05.12.2014

Hurriyet Western Turkish coal plant’s privatization completed for $1 billion despite workers' opposition, 02.12.2014

Washington Post Fred Hiatt: Uzbekistan - The tyranny you haven’t heard of, 01.12.2014

WDAM Islamic State group attacks Kobani from Turkey, 30.11.2014

Eurasianet Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Threaten Media for Terrorism Reporting, 26.11.2014

Today's Zaman Navi Pillay urges President Erdoğan to respect democracy, 25.11.2014

OpenDemocracy Iran: a 'bloody stain' on the nation, 25.11.2014

Fair Observer Central Asia Is Leaning East Toward an Energy-Thirsty China, 24.11.2014

RFE/RL 'Complex Factors' Pushing Kazakh Men, Women To Join IS, 21.11.2014

Haaretz.com Israeli high-tech companies helping Central Asian regimes spy on citizens, report says, 20.11.2014

Eurasianet U.S. Congress Takes On Central Asia Water Conflicts, 20.11.2014

Guardian Fears for Uzbekistan political prisoners as rights group gets rare access, 19.11.2014

The Long War Journal US military continues to claim al Qaeda is 'restricted' to 'isolated areas of northeastern Afghanistan', 19.11.2014

BBC Happier days in the Karimov family album, 19.11.2014

The News The ghosts and gains of North Waziristan, 18.11.2014

IWPR Enclave Issues Challenge Uzbek, Kyrgyz Leaders, 18.11.2014

Jarayon Mutabar Tadjibayeva: We can stop political repressions in Uzbekistan, 16.11.2014

Natural Gas Europe Could There Be a “Central Asian Nabucco”?, 10.11.2014

New Yorker What Kobani Means for Turkey’s Kurds, 09.11.2014

Eurasianet Central Asia's Desirable Militants, 09.11.2014

Forum18 KYRGYZSTAN: Religious freedom survey, November 2014, 07.11.2014

Today's Zaman Pro-Kurdish party faces threat of ban, says politician, 05.11.2014

Eurasianet Kyrgyzstan’s Islamic State Hysteria Feeds on Conjecture, 04.11.2014

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