Turkmenistan: Excesses of the regime’s extended family funded by nation’s dwindling wealth

Turkmenistan sits by dint of pure kismet atop vast seams of hydrocarbon wealth, much of which has been squandered by the two dictators its citizens' have had the misfortune to be ruled by since seceding from the Soviet Union nearly three decades ago. Today, its people might as well be living in impoverished Yemen, a…

Turkmenistan: Berdymukhamedow to celebrate independence – from which few have benefited more than he

All appearances would suggest that Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow continues to refuse to allow trifling humanitarian issues within the former Soviet republic of Central Asia to distract his focus from the real issues at hand. Kismet has decreed that Turkmenistan sits atop untold Hydrocarbon wealth which many of its 'stan' neighbours can only dream. And…

Turkmenistan: A hollow facade of neutrality in a country at odds with its own people

It is unclear if Armenian president Armen Sarkissian is completely ignorant of the ruinous cul-de-sac down which President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow is taking Turkmenistan, or if the content of a recent letter to his despotic counterpart to mark the annual Day of Neutrality was intended to be so ironic that it veered towards black comedy. Intending…

Turkmenistan and North Korea: Autocratic regimes rely on opacity and agendas to oppress citizens and bamboozle those on the outside

Once again we visit Turkmenistan, the land of irony, where truth and fiction become entwined to a point where there can be little to differentiate these polar opposites. Every bad guy needs a patsy, someone who will take the rap when merely following orders - usually on the pain of death, imprisonment or some other…

Turkmenistan: Why are German companies all too eager to overlook the Human Rights abuses committed by the Berdymukhamedow regime?

Call it a love affair, an obsession with, or a shameless dash for cash while there is still some at the country's disposal, Germany's interest in Turkmenistan, a country in the iron grip of a dictator seemingly hell-bent on emulating the Kim dynasty's template for running North Korea, shows little sign of waning. At first…

Turkmenistan: When seeing is not believing in a land of (totalitarian) pretence

The continued bizarre, contrary modus operandi of Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow again highlights the former dentist's despotic hold over the former Soviet republic. Self-styled as a deity predestined to shepherd the nation to greatness through his many initiatives that often amount to little more than yet another Potemkin-esque, white elephant construction project, Berdymukhamedow's absolute grip…