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Majlis Podcast: Peeking Behind Turkmenistan's Facade


Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in 2018

Turkmenistan is in the news as rumors swirl about the health of the country’s president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.

Amid reports that Berdymukhammedov is seriously ill or has even died, the citizens of Turkmenistan have bigger worries than the well-being of the leader of one of the world's most repressive regimes.

Berdymukhammedov’s government has badly mismanaged the economic crisis Turkmenistan has been going through for four years.

Far from taking steps to counter the falling standard of living in the country, the government has continually portrayed life in the country as a paradise and continued to spend lavishly on projects that serve little, if any, purpose for the people of the country.

The London-based Foreign Policy Center (FPC) released a report – Spotlight On Turkmenistan – that was presented at the British Parliament on July 15. The report looked at the false hopes, policy blunders, and failures in Turkmenistan under Berdymukhammedov’s government that have led to the current economic crisis.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion on the what is behind the facade the Turkmen government tries to show the world.

From London, Adam Hug, the FPC's director and the coordinator of the series of reports, takes part in the discussion.

From Europe, Ruslan Myatiev, editor and founder of Turkmen News, also participates.

And I wrote one of those reports for the FPC, so I also have something to say.

Majlis Podcast: Behind Turkmenistan's Facade
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About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Bruce Pannier
Bruce Pannier

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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