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Turkmen President Fires Culture Minister

Gurbanbibi Atajonova, Turkmenistan's recently sacked prosecutor-general (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, April 28, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has fired his culture and broadcasting minister, citing "serious shortcomings in her work."

But in separate televised comments, Niyazov criticized Maral Bashimova for allegedly having two husbands, including one with purported links to the country's recently sacked prosecutor-general, Gurbanbibi Atajanova.

Atajanova, who had been chief prosecutor for more than a decade, was fired earlier this week after publicly confessing to stealing state property and taking bribes.

Turkmenistan's new culture and broadcasting minister is Enebai Atayeva, a former head of the country's Trade Unions Center. A presidential decree says Atayeva has a probation period of six months and that she will not be offered a new job if she fails to perform her official duties.

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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