Saturday 2 February 2008
January 26, 2008
Lions And Tigers And Mozart
Turkmenistan's new president continues to undo some of the more radical and eccentric policies of his predecessor. Now he has lifted a seven-year ban on opera, as well as on ballet, circuses, and cinemas. Could this signal an end to the Central Asian country's isolation?
January 13, 2008
Left Out In The Cold
Heavy snow. Deadly avalanches. Impassable roads. And temperatures below -20 Celsius. Tajikistan is suffering through a fierce winter, made even worse by crippling energy shortages and high prices for food and fuel. The dire situation is leaving already beleaguered Tajiks feeling less-than-warm thoughts about the authorities.
January 03, 2008
'Gas-Rich' Residents Shiver In The Cold
The authorities have boasted for years about the country's vast natural-gas reserves. But a cut-off in gas supplies to Iran has highlighted Turkmenistan's export commitments -- and reminded the citizenry that despite official promises of free gas for all, many have been left in the cold.
December 11, 2007
UN Opens Regional Diplomacy Center In Turkmenistan
Central Asia is rich in history, oil, and gas -- and troubled by security risks, organized crime, narcotics trafficking, and extremism. In response to those threats, the United Nations this week launched a center for diplomacy in Ashgabat intended to help the region tackle its challenges before they spiral out of control.
December 08, 2007
Turkmen Voter Menu Leaves No Room For Change
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has promised changes for Turkmenistan, but those changes have so far been barely felt by the people. Elections to Turkmenistan's Halk Maslahaty, or People's Council, the country's highest legislative body, will be held on December 9 and many people are hoping the elections are the start of something new.
November 27, 2007
Political Prisoners Next Test For New President
Ashgabat's abysmal image has improved a bit under President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. But will he continue with a reform agenda? How he handles the fifth anniversary of the start of one of his predecessor's worst crackdowns might provide a clue.
November 22, 2007
Turkmenistan Returns To The Stage In Hosting CIS Summit
November 22, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The CIS is coming to Turkmenistan, but is Turkmenistan coming back to the CIS? That is one of the big questions as the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, hosts a meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States for the first time in nearly 15 years.