A holiday for Turkmen healthcare practitioners

A holiday for Turkmen healthcare practitioners As usual in Turkmenistan, yet another newly-built construction project had to be commissioned in the run-up to a holiday. Because the holiday which was celebrated on 21 July is the Day of Healthcare Practitioners and Medical…

Protection of fundamental rights in Central Asia: Update on developments in April-June 2014

Protection of fundamental rights in Central Asia: Update on developments in April-June 2014 A new monitoring report, which has been prepared in the framework of a joint project implemented by three Central Asian NGOs and one Brussels-based NGO, provides an overview of developments affecting the protection of fundamental rights…

Concerts or mockery over believers

Concerts or mockery over believers Endless festive events which continue even during the holy month of Ramadan are referred to by Turkmen residents as nothing else as mockery over believers. Many Ashgabat inhabitants fast according to long-standing customs and traditions. It…

The population of Turkmenistan slightly exceeds 2 million people?

It is not customary for Turkmen media outlets to provide concrete statistics on economic performance. All accomplishments of the Turkmen economy are measured in percents. For instance, during the recent Cabinet Session the deputy chairperson Annamukhamed…

Privatization of housing postponed for an indefinite period

Privatization of housing postponed for an indefinite period The implementation of the law on privatization of housing has been postponed again for an indefinite period of time. It was scheduled to come into effect on 1 January 2014. However, when many residents seeking to…

The Turkmen government on holiday: forced march

The Turkmen government on holiday: forced march “I allow the heads of ministries and agencies as well as other executives to go on holiday from 8 to 20 July”, – the President of Turkmenistan announced at the government session held last week. However,…

Address by Turkmen artists

Address by Turkmen artists Dear President of Turkmenistan, Many members of Turkmenistan’s Union of Artists are questioning the competence of that organization. For the past two decades the Union of Artists has completely discredited itself as an artistic association which…

Gazprom, a new competitor to Turkmenistan in China?

Gazprom, a new competitor to Turkmenistan in China? History was made on the 21st May over the gas deal between Russia and China, and not simply because of the amount of money written into the contract: 400 Bn dollars, to deliver 38 bcm/y over…

Red lines become redder

Red lines become redder Régis Genté For Turkmenistan, the Ukrainian crisis won’t change fundamentally its relations with Russia. But Ashgabat will probably be even more careful to not anger the Russian bear Turkmenistan is not at the center of Russian…

What will 2014 be like for Turkmenistan? Four experts’ view on regional geopolitics

What will 2014 be like for Turkmenistan? Four experts’ view on regional geopolitics Régis Genté In an effort to bring new voices to give their opinion and expertise, we have asked four specialists of Central Asia to tell us what 2014could be like for Turkmenistan. Here is some verbatim.…

Is Russia Abandoning Turkmenistan?

Is Russia Abandoning Turkmenistan? We asked four well known Russian specialists on Central Asia to answer the following question: Is Russia abandoning Turkmenistan? Many observers of the region (including diplomats, experts, businessmen…) have the impression that Russia indeed will no…

Turkmenistan on the (rail) way to global integration

Turkmenistan on the (rail) way to global integration Two railways projects are under construction in Turkmenistan. They could contribute to integrate the country regionally and worldwide… if the government opens to the world The third decade of independence of the Central Asia Republics could…

TAPI, a pipe dream but…

TAPI, a pipe dream but… Régis Genté Never say never. This is what energy experts usually advise when it comes to pipeline projects. This is especially true when it comes to the former Soviet Union. Everyone remembers how for example the…

Generation “Ch”

Generation “Ch” Letter four. From the series “Letters which are unlikely to be read but need to be written” What generation is being raised in the epoch of power and happiness? What problems are the authorities creating for…

Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan to agree on route of regional railway

The final decision on the route of the Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan (TAT) regional railway will be made after signing a trilateral agreement in late July in Dushanbe, Tajik media reported on July 18 citing Tajikistan’s Minister of Transport…

Will Turkmenistan’s “Door to Hell” Open a Door for Science?

The Darvaza Crater, an infernal pit burning in Turkmenistan’s forbidding Karakum Desert, has long piqued the curiosity of the few tourists who make it into the totalitarian country. Now it turns out that the famous furnace…

Turkmenistan cultivates private sector

“In 2013, private firms comprised 67% of all registered legal entities, 7.4 points more than in 2012. The private sector’s share of the GDP, 55% now, seems likely to reach 70% by 2020,” said Rovshen Shaveliyev,…

Turkmenistan Looks to Europe

For both energy producers and consumers, diversity of sources and markets is increasingly important as insurance against the vagaries of geopolitical tectonic plate shifts. An increasingly popular phrase uttered by European Union and U.S. politicians is…

World Bank, Turkmenistan discuss cooperation program

Turkmenistan’s foreign ministry hosted a meeting with the World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia Saroj Kumar Jha, the message from the Turkmen government said. The parties reviewed the implementation of cooperation programs and identified priorities…

China welcomes Turkmenistan on its Silk Road

The Silk Road initiative envisages a common path for China and Turkmenistan in order to forge closer regional cooperation and transport connectivity, according to Turkmen officials. During a meeting with visiting Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in…

Turkmenistan‘s gas will flow to Europe via Turkey

In a bid to reduce dependency on Russia, Turkmenistan’s gas will reach Europe via Turkey, based on an energy cooperation agreement. Turkish President Abdullah Gul met with his Turkmen counterpart Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in Ankara last month.…