Registan’s Turkmenistan News & Analysis Archive

Officially neutral, Turkmenistan is somewhat unique in Central Asia. While it is an active member of the international community, it goes to great pains to avoid being seen as closely aligned with any other government. Following independence, President Saparmurat Niyazov adopted the name Turkmenbashi, Leader of Turkmens, and created an elaborate cult of personality that included renaming some months and days of the week after himself and family members and the compulsory study of his spiritual and philosophical book, The Ruhnama. After Niyazov’s death in 2006, new president Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov rolled back many elements of Turkmenbashi’s personality cult, but he has governed the country in much the same way, keeping outsiders at arm’s length from the people of Turkmenistan.

Between them, Registan’s authors have years of experience working on issues related to Turkmenistan in academia and for corporate and government organizations. Registan puts that experience to work to offer research, analysis, and training services tailored to your individual needs. For more information on how we can help you and your organization better understand Turkmenistan and Central Asia, visit our services page.

Marching Westward

by Casey_Michel

We always knew 2014 was going to be a year of Eurasian shift. The American withdrawal from Afghanistan, pegged to 2014, coincided with Washington’s pivot to East Asia – as well as the Americans’ unceremonious eviction from the Manas Transit Center, their most noteworthy placeholder in Central Asia. And as soon as Viktor Yanukovych made [...]

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A New Eurasian Epoch, But No One Really Noticed

by Casey_Michel

Unless you’ve been watching the post-Soviet space with a keen eye, you likely missed the world’s-biggest-round-table signing last week. The meeting, held in Astana, heralded what Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed as a new “epoch” – the official founding of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), set to come into force on Jan. 1, 2015. But [...]

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Are We Witnessing The Demise of Kazakhstan’s Multi-Vectored Foreign Policy?

by Reid Standish
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Despite the slow progression and many obstacles, it appears that the Eurasian Union (Eurasian Economic Union/ EEC) is on course to come into existence. But even with general agreement among the Customs Union’s big three (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan), there are some unresolved issues that could plague the union’s future and alter the region’s political [...]

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Understanding the Implications of the Ukraine Crisis

by Nathan Barrick

I’m disturbed by the short-sightedness of media analysis of the events in Ukraine, even as they begin to explore deeper – they are trapped by their own previous reporting and I hope they feel guilty enough about it to start getting it right…not likely. I am also annoyed at the U.S. government’s public analysis and [...]

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Checking in on Eurasian Union Struggles

by Casey_Michel

In late October, while meeting with other heads involved in the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Minsk, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev turned to the topic of the forthcoming Eurasian Union. There had been hints and drops of Kazakhstani discontent with the EAU’s formulation – talk of business concerns, rumblings of ethno-based discontent. Nazarbayev decided to focus [...]

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Influence: The Bogeyman of Simplified Strategic Understanding

by Nathan Barrick

Many times I have been asked to assess whether one nation or another is “increasing influence,” usually to categorize as “good” or “bad” developing events for someone with little time or understanding of the situation. Frequently, the right answer – “It depends…” – has to be discarded due to an enforced sense of urgency that [...]

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Touring Central Asia with Xi Jinping

by Kendrick Kuo
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A new episode of the China Pivots West podcast features Alexander Cooley, Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. Cooley is a well-known Central Asia and Russia expert whose most recent book, Great Games, Local Rules, quickly became a must read for Central Asia watcher. He came on to the show to briefly discuss the [...]

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Central Asia and the Syria Crisis: Assessing the Value of Strategic Partnership with the U.S

by Nathan Barrick

With world attention justifiably focused on the potential for U.S.-led punitive strikes against Syria for President Asad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians, it is worth a momentary glance to survey Central Asia’s equities in the issue.  For many world governments, including in Central Asia, the issue is less about Syrian civilians dying by [...]

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Why Central Asia Matters

by Nathan Barrick

The “Great Game” is the term commonly used to describe the competition by the great 19th Century Empires for influence and control of Central Asia, especially Afghanistan.  There are many observers who would prefer to leave the “Great Game” in the annals of 19th Century history and interpret current events in Central Asia and Afghanistan [...]

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The Three Evils of Narco-Policy in Central Asia

by Reid Standish
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On July 3, the head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (RSKN), Viktor Ivanov announced plans to create an anti-drug operations center through the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The proposed plan to fight drug trafficking in Afghanistan and Central Asia called for the establishment of national headquarters in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan [...]

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