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: Pride without a fall, with Covid-19 no match for the president

On December 23rd 1995 the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution that recognized Turkmenistan as a permanently neutral state. This process into obscurity and ultimate hermitude had in effect begun three years previously, when a newly independent Turkmenistan outlined the strands of its foreign policy at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in…

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: 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…

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…