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Turkmen Officials Sacked Over Low Cotton Production

7 October 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has sacked two governors and 11 district heads for failing to meet projected cotton targets.

"Hemraguleyev Kemal, governor of Koitendag [district], you are an aged person," Niyazov said. "Why is there nothing in Koitendag? Why can't you meet cotton production demands? And you are involved in corruption -- you are dismissed. Governor of Farab Geldymyrat [district], you are also sacked. You are also corrupt. Instead of producing cotton, you plant rice. You kept yourself busy with your own businesses. You are governor, you should not plant rice for yourself. Because of these shortcomings, I am sacking you. Do you have any questions?"

Niyazov dismissed the officials on 7 October, saying the current tonnage of cotton gathered this year will satisfy Turkmenistan's domestic needs, but that there should be more for the country's export market.

ITAR-TASS reports that Turkmenistan has only harvested 25 percent of it target cotton production this year. The Central Asian country has already passed the peak of the harvesting season.

(RFE/RL Turkmen Service/ITAR-TASS)

See also:

Turkmenistan: Trouble At The Top?

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