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Turkmen Report: August 25, 2004

25 August 2004
College To Add To Great Turkmenbashi Military Institute
A college will be built in the grounds of the Great Turkmenbashi Military Institute, ITAR-TASS reported on 24 August.

A Turkish firm will construct the educational center, where officers for the National Security Ministry and the Border Service will be trained.

Construction of the facility will begin in November and is to be opened in February 2006 by President Saparmurat Niyazov's birthday. (ITAR-TASS)

Readings Of Second Volume Of 'Rukhnama' In Turkmen Parliament
Collective readings of the second volume of President Saparmurat Niyazov's "Rukhnama" were held in the Turkmen parliament, Interfax reported on 24 August.

Parliament members; figures from education, science, and culture; high-ranking journalists; and social activists took part in the readings.

The official "Neitralnyi Turkmenistan" newspaper reported on 24 August that "the audience listened carefully to every word of the book that gives a broad picture of the vast spiritual world of the Turkmen, their moral values, and wise traditions." The second volume of the book will be published in September, which in Turkmenistan is named after the book.

Members of the Turkmen parliament will be the first to read the book. "Rukhnama's" second volume will be presented to the people on 26 October, during a session of the Turkmen's Halk Maslihat, or People's Council, the country's top legislative structure.

In 1998, Niyazov suggested creating a program for spiritual development of the Turkmen nation. The book, which he proposed to name "Rukhnama," was to become "a chart of human behavior, a list of laws and standards of the Turkmen society."

Niyazov has said that the book's main purpose is to "direct the spiritual development, restore forgotten traditions, which in turn will help to restore the spirit of the people," the book's main subject is "the Motherland, the development of the country, and Turkmens' fate."

In the last three years, "Rukhnama" has been published in Russian, English, French, Japanese, Arabic, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Belarusian, Chinese, Kazakh, Turkish, and other languages. Over 1 million copies of the book have been published. (Interfax)

Turkmenistan, Iran Open High-Voltage Power Line
A new high-voltage power line between Turkmenistan and Iran will supply Turkmen electricity to Northeast Iran, ITAR-TASS reported on 22 August. The pipeline has a voltage of 220 kilovolts and capacity of 100 megawatts/hour.

The power line was put in operation on 22 August morning, a source in the Turkmen Energy Ministry said. Annual exports from the Mary hydropower plant of 375 kilowatt/hours worth $7.5 million are planned.

The power line is the third big project between Turkmenistan and Iran. The two countries have also opened a railroad line between Tejen, Serakhs, and Meshkhed, and the Dostuluk dike. The new project was implemented under an intergovernmental memorandum on energy cooperation signed in 2003.

Another power line of 400 kilovolts will soon be built in the Mary-Meshkhed direction. That project will increase Turkmen electricity deliveries to Iran to nearly 2.4 billion kilowatt/hours per year. Turkmenistan also supplies electricity to Turkey and Afghanistan, which receives 325 million kilowatt/hours a year at a preferential price. (ITAR-TASS)

New Turkmen Satellite Channel To Broadcast In Seven Languages
Turkmenistan is ready to launch a fourth TV channel, which will broadcast news in Turkmen and six foreign languages -- English, Russian, French, Chinese, Arabic, and Persian, reported on 21 August.

President Niyazov singed a decree on 20 August providing for the start of 24-hour broadcasting by the new station on 12 September.

The document emphasizes that the new station is set up "with the aim of informing the international community about Turkmenistan's achievements and historic changes made in the country in all aspects of state and public life and in the interest of further improving the information systems."

At present Turkmenistan has three satellite TV stations: Altyn Asyr: (Golden Age) Turkmenistan), Miras (Heritage), and Yashlyk (Youth). (

9,000 Turkmen Citizens And Foreigners To Be Amnestied
Some 9,000 Turkmen citizens and foreigners currently serving sentences for minor offenses in the country's prisons will be amnestied on the night of 9-10 November, President Niyazov said in a televised address, Interfax reported on 19 August.

The amnesty will reduce the country's inmate population to 6,500, Niyazov said.

A final decision on the amnesty issue will be made at a People's Council session in October, the president said, adding this amnesty will not apply to "traitors, enemies of the people, murderers, criminals who caused major damage to the state, and repeat offenders."

The planned amnesty campaign will follow a law passed on 29 December 1999 that allows the country's authorities to amnesty or pardon people convicted of minor offenses every year ahead of the end of Ramadan.

Those amnestied have to swear on the Koran, bread, and the president's book "Rukhnama" that they will never commit crimes in the future in a ceremony which is frequently broadcast by the country's television. According to the local authorities, this measure helps reduce the number of repeat offenders. (Interfax)

Turkmen President Announces Culture Competition
A competition of figures of culture and gifted children for the presidential prize "Golden Age of Turkmens" was announced on 17 August, ITAR-TASS reported the same day.

Winners will get an equivalent of $3,000 for the best poem, story, television or radio program, painting, theater production, song, and sculpture.

President Niyazov's decree said the "spiritual code of the Turkmens, Holy 'Rukhnama,' has inspired the whole people, including figures of literature, culture and art, for great deeds, opening up room for really free creation."

"Holy 'Rukhnama' has inspired the creation of really golden works of the golden age of all creators of our independent neutral state," he said. (ITAR-TASS)