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Turkmen President Fires National Security Minister Weeks After Rebuke

Yaylym Berdiev (right) had been given a severe rebuke with a final warning.
Yaylym Berdiev (right) had been given a severe rebuke with a final warning.

ASHGABAT -- Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has dismissed National Security Minister Yaylym Berdiev less than a month after he publicly rebuked him for perceived shortcomings in his performance.

State-run media outlets in the energy-rich Central Asian country reported on February 13 that Colonel Gurbanmyrat Annaev was appointed as the new national security minister.

On January 22, Berdymukhammedov handed down "a severe rebuke with a final warning" to Berdiev for, according to media reports, "improperly carrying out his service duties," and demoted Berdiev to the rank of major general from colonel general.

Berdymukhammedov also removed Berdiev from the post of secretary of the State Security Council at the time.

Berdiev was also publicly reprimanded by Berdymukhammedov for "mistakes" in November 2019 in the wake of an international outcry around a gay Turkmen doctor, who along with his family members, faced pressure following an interview with RFE/RL in which he detailed his tormented life as a homosexual in a conservative society.

Berdymukhammedov has ruled the former Soviet republic with an iron fist since the death of his autocratic predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, in December 2006.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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