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 [...]
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.
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