Turkmenistan: Germany remains despotic regime’s tacit apologist of choice

It is a link that refuses to go away, with neither party seemingly in a hurry to deny a tacit tie up between the two nations, but why does Germany persist with cosying up to Turkmenistan when such an alliance does little for the image of Europe's powerhouse nation? Unsubstantiated but persistent rumours place $23…

Turkmenistan: Why some keep friends in low places

In a world connected by data, rolling news, and instant messaging there can be little excuse for ignorance. Drilling down into almost any conceivable issue within modern society and those redolent of another age is as easy today as can be imagined, but the devils of fake news, hearsay, and online maliciousness remain very much…

Turkmenistan: Is Afghanistan aid programme an exercise in financial expediency by President Berdymukhamedow?

Not known as a man whose conscience unduly troubles him when it comes to the plight of his fellow Turkmen, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow has instead turned his attention to neighbouring Afghanistan in what appears to be an unprecedented act by the former dentist of humanitarian assistance to an outside nation. Turkmenistan has firmly established itself…

Turkmenistan: What is behind Germany’s continual dance with the devil?

As one of more than 130 countries participating in the Frankfurt Heimtextil international textile expo Turkmenistan cannot be singled out for favouritism by the host nation Germany, but nevertheless the link between President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow's closed, authoritarian state and Angela Merkel's Teutonic powerhouse remains strong, but all the while disconcertingly baffling. The Azerbaijan-based AzerNews portal…

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: President Berdymukhamedow’s flights of fancy receive foreign assistance

With a little help from their friends Turkmenistan Airlines are once more airborne, undoubtedly to the delight of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow's family. In an era of meticulous attention to safety detail it is indeed rare for an airline's jets to be hooked from European airspace, but February's barring of the Turkmen flag carrier from operating…

Turkmenistan: International Community needs to spare more than a cotton-picking minute for the country’s citizens

In the absence of meaningful, transparent action boycotts and embargoes carry little weight amounting to nothing more than lip service and being seen to say the right thing. Tapping into this blatant hypocrisy often peddled by those from so-called developed, civilized nations the world's despots and autocrats continue to operate almost entirely unmolested in a…

Ignorance is no defence for celebrities taking money from oppressive regimes

I have said it before: what was Jack Nicklaus thinking? History is littered with autocratic regimes seeking legitimacy through celebrity endorsements, often exploiting the ignorance of those who have pitched up in good faith but only later find a wave of condemnation highlighting at best a hitherto unawareness of the firestorm such appearances create; at…