Turkmenistan: President Berdymukhamedow’s new-found realpolitik born out of political expediency

For someone of such a narcissistic persuasion it is indeed unusual to witness what appears to be an exercise in pragmatic genuflection towards Russia by Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow. Operating perhaps the most closed, repressive regime outside of North Korea, Berdymukhamedow is not in the habit of dishing out public expressions of admiration or sympathy…

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Will Turkmenistan’s proposed desert city be just a mirage?

Turkmenistan's Ashgabat-City project, provisionally sited to the north of the country's capital city will, if it ever comes to fruition, be in effect a 'Greater Ashgabat' initially designed to be autonomous from the most marbled metropolis on earth. But in light of conjecture surrounding the actual population of the former Soviet republic, just who will…

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…

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…

The UK: Bilateral trade and economic cooperation placed ahead of Turkmenistan’s many Human Rights violations

A meeting held in Ashgabat between Turkmenistan's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rashid Meredov, and the UK Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Department of Digital, Media, Culture, and Sport, Lord Ashton of Hyde, amount to a tacit endorsement by London of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow's totalitarian regime, one squarely accused of countless human…