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.

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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Celebrities for Hire

by Noah Tucker
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[This is a guest post from another excellent new Central Asian author from the Kyrgyz Republic, Aijan Sharshenova. We're happy to host more talented young authors from the region and welcome more new submissions!] By Aijan Sharshenova Central Asian republics care about their international image. The level of caring varies from country to country, but [...]

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Media Freedom in Central Asia: A Retrospective Overview of Major Developments and Prospects for the Future.

by Eric Freedman

By ERIC FREEDMAN By nature I’m an optimist, but also a realist. And as all journalists should be, I’m a skeptic. Looking back at media freedom developments in Central Asia, I see glimmers of reason for optimism, at least in Kyrgyzstan. But realism rooted in history shows a dim future. And skepticism teaches me to [...]

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Why does Central Asia Still Matter? Because It Matters to China.

by Noah Tucker
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This is a guest post by Kendrick Kuo, a grad student at Johns Hopkins and China specialist with a wealth of field experience in China and the Middle East. You can check out more of his work at his own blog, http://asiancrescent.com. Chinese foreign policy toward Central Asia and the Muslim world at large remains [...]

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All the King’s Horses, All the King’s Men

by Myles G. Smith

Was this really Esteemed President Gurbanguly Myalikgulievich Berdymukhamedov going telpek-over-teakettle from a beloved national treasure-horse at a staged horse race in Ashgabat last week? EurasiaNet‘s scoop footage and on-scene reportage states as fact that Berdy himself was, as announced, riding the Mighty Berkarar when the horse hit a soft spot in the dirt, buckling at [...]

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Central Asia Security Workshop, March 25-26 at George Washington University

by Noah Tucker
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If you’re in the DC area, please join me and a bunch of other Registan contributors at this fantastic workshop put together by Marlene Laruelle and the Central Asia Program at GW. From the website: “NATO members are exiting from

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Post-2014 Terrorist Threat in Central Asia: Keeping it Real

by Guest
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Contributed by Nathan Barrick Is there a terrorist threat to Central Asia after the ISAF drawdown in Afghanistan in 2014? In recent publications, the warnings range from an imminent FATA-like region of militant-dominated, ungoverned space in the Ferghana Valley to the “these are not the terrorists you’re looking for” Jedi mind trick “2014 Central Asia [...]

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Central Asia in 2013: What Not to Look For

by Myles G. Smith

Change seems to come slowly to Central Asia. January is the time of year that people like us brashly predict the developments that will reshape country X and fundamentally alter the course of world events. If we worked at Stratfor, we’d even be paid to have the brass to do so. I think we’ve gotten [...]

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