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Turkmen Report: October 7, 2002

7 October 2002
Kazakhstan Declines to Deport Turkmen Dissident Back to Turkmenistan

7 October 2002

Kazakhstan has turned down a request by the Turkmen government to deport a Turkmen dissident back to Turkmenistan, RFE/RL and AP reported on 7 October. Turkmen authorities were seeking the return of Gulgeldy Annaniyazov, 42, to Turkmenistan where he had already served a prison term for organizing an antigovernment demonstration in 1995.

Annaniyazov was freed under intense international pressure in 1999 and fled to Kazakhstan. He attempted to travel to Russia last month using a false passport but was caught and returned to Kazakhstan.

Kazakh officials considered deporting Annaniyazov to Turkmenistan but were stopped by a wave of protests from human rights activists who said Annaniyazov could be tortured if he went back. Kazakh authorities allowed United Nations officials to fly Annaniyazov to Norway.

(RFE/RL Turkmen Service, AP)

Niyazov Participates In Commemoration Day Ceremony

6 October 2002

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov participated in a mourning ceremony held on the occasion of the national Day of Commemoration for those killed in the Ashgabat earthquake on 6 October 1948, reported.

Every year a mourning ceremony is held in Turkmenistan on this day in tribute to the memory of those killed, state flags are lowered, and memorial dinners are organized in accordance with tradition. (

German Surgeon Pronounces Niyazov Fit

4 October 2002

President Niyazov was pronounced fit on 4 October after an examination by a German heart surgeon who had come specially to Ashgabat to examine the Turkmen leader, Interfax reported the same day. Dr. Hans Meissner of the Munich Cardiology Center told reporters that Niyazov was in very good condition and that his cardiovascular system was normal.

Since performing a heart operation on Niyazov in Munich in 1997, Meissner has been examining him several times a year. During his visits, Meissner also sees ordinary Turkmen citizens suffering from heart or vascular diseases. Niyazov had his last examination late in January this year. (Interfax)

Turkmenistan Building Up Caspian Coast Guard

3 October 2002

Ukraine has supplied Turkmenistan with three more Kalkan-M patrol boats, bringing the number received since May to seven, reported on 3 October.

According to a gas-for-goods barter agreement signed in 2001 after Niyazov's visit to Kyiv, Ukrainian shipbuilders owe Turkmenistan a total of 10 8-ton Kalkan and 10 40-ton Grif patrol boats. Since last year, Turkmenistan has been steadily increasing the fleet patrolling its Caspian waters. (

German Envoy Hopes For Further Cooperation With Turkmenistan

3 October 2002

The German ambassador to Turkmenistan, Hans Guenther Mattern, has given an interview to the Turkmendovlethabarlary state news service on the eve of German Unity Day, reported on 3 October. The German diplomat said that he was "confident that Germany and Turkmenistan had the desire and possibilities for further stepping up their mutually beneficial and fruitful partnership."

Small German businesses are familiarizing themselves with the Turkmen market only slowly, while large companies are doing business in Turkmenistan successfully, Mattern said. As an example he named the following German companies: Siemens, Bentek, DaimlerChrysler, Mannesmann, and Technip. (

Turkmenistan Publishes Demographic Data

2 October 2002

The current population of Turkmenistan is 5.799 million, with 46 percent of the population living in towns and 54 percent in rural areas, reported on 2 October, citing the National Institute of Statistics and Information. The average birthrate is 17.2 per 1,000. In Lebap Oblast, one of the country's most heavily populated and which has a large Uzbek minority, the birthrate is 18.8 per 1,000.

According to data from the Health Care and Medical Industry Ministry, there were 14,939 marriages registered during the first eight months of this year and 49,000 people were born. (

UNHCR Designates Turkmen Opposition Figure Political Refugee

1 October 2002

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has designated Turkmen oppositionist Gulgeldy Annaniyazov a political refugee, Interfax reported on 1 October, quoting the UNHCR office in Almaty. Annaniyazov was extradited last month from Moscow to Kazakhstan. He had crossed the Turkmen-Kazakh border secretly and flew from Aqtau to Moscow, where he was detained for having a false passport and sent back to detention in Kazakhstan.

Human rights organizations have appealed to the Kazakh leadership not to hand him over to the Turkmen authorities on the grounds that he could be subjected to reprisals and imprisonment.

According to international human rights organizations, Annaniyazov, 42, is organized an antigovernment demonstration in Ashgabat in July 1995. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but in January 1999, was freed under pressure from international organizations. (Interfax)

Turkmenistan, Ukraine Reach Gas Sales Agreement

1 October 2002 Turkmenistan agreed to supply 36 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Ukraine for $44 per 1,000 cubic meters, AP reported on 1 October.

President Niyazov reached the agreement during a meeting in Ashgabat with Yuriy Boyko of Ukraine's national petroleum company. Turkmenistan has already exported 34 billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine this year for $42 per 1,000 cubic meters. The countries agreed last year that Ukraine would buy 250 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan by 2006.

The agreement calls for hard currency to be used for half of the payments and the other half is to be invested in various Turkmen projects. Ukrainian companies have signed contracts for projects including the construction of a railroad bridge across the Amu Darya river and a drainage tunnel under the capital Ashgabat. (AP)

Turkmen-Chinese Trade Turnover Doubles

1 October 2002

In an interview on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the country's ambassador in Ashgabat, Gao Yushen, told Turkmendovlethabarlary on 1 October that bilateral trade between the two countries almost doubled over the past year to reach $52.9 million, reported.

He added that the two countries have signed more than 30 intergovernmental agreements and praised in particular bilateral cooperation in the oil-and-gas sector. "Chinese specialists and oil-gas equipment of China proved to be very popular among Turkmen oil-gas specialists," he said. (