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Turkmen President Criticizes State Media

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov (file photo) ( September 1, 2006 -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov today said state radio and television are still "not equal" to their responsibilities, despite having been reprimanded several times in the past.

In comments made at a cabinet session and carried by the official TDH news agency, Niyasov said state radio and television programs "are not reflecting the scope of the changes that are taking place in Turkmenistan."

He urged state broadcasters to pay attention to his admonitions and "remedy the situation" ahead of the 15th anniversary of Turkmenistan's independence on October 27.

Niyazov's public speeches are traditionally broadcast in their entirety on state radio and television.

Turkmenistan ranks 165th on the world press freedom index compiled by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders media watchdog. Only North Korea and Eritrea have worse records.