Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Turkmenistan: Dystopia or Not?

The dictionary definition of dystopia is as follows: an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.

Based on what we have learned about the leader, Niyazov, living conditions, and typical daily life in Turkmenistan, we have concluded that is indeed, a dystopia

  • The previous leader, Niyazov was a strong totalitarian leader. He forced his rules and decrees on his people, while they suffered. I don't know any other leader who would spend $12 million on a golden statue, while his people suffered in poverty.
  • Nothing in Turkmenistans seems to have anything positive for it, except for their huge amounts of oil. Schools, jobs, and homes are all run down and poorly kept for, because of the finical situation of the country. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Video on Life in Turkmenistan

The New Leader of Turkmenistan: Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov

Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov was sworn in as president of Turkmenistan on February 14th, 2007. When he first became president he to follow the ways of his predecessor but correspondents have suggested that some of his early reforms and proposals appeared to contradict Niyazov's decrees. Accomplishments he has made as president include:

  • In March 2007, President Berdymukhamedov reversed one of his predecessor's most unpopular decisions by restoring pensions to more than 100,000 elderly citizens
  • In May 2007 he signed a landmark deal with Russia, ensuring that most of Turkmenistan's gas supplies would flow through Russia, which went US and EU proposals for a pipe to be built under the Caspian Sea, avoiding Russian control.
  • He has also overseen attempts to attract greater numbers of tourists to Turkmenistan which include the building of a multi-billion dollar tourist resort on the Caspian Sea.

Saparmurat Niyazov continued.

While in office, Niyazov decided to change things in Turkmenistan including:

  • He wrote an autobiography called Ruhnama, that was to help guide his people with his ideas and promote native culture.
  •  He renamed the town of Krasnovodsk after himself along with schools, airports and a meteorite.
  • He introduced a new Turkmen alphabet based on the Latin alphabet
  • He changed the names of all of the months:

  • He banned lip-synching, car radios, beards and playing recorded music at weddings
  • He closed down all libraries outside of the capital because he thought the only books important to a Turkman are the Koran and his Ruhnama
  • In 2005 he decided to close down all of the hospitals outside of the capital, because the sick should go to the capital for treatment.
  • Citizens with gold teeth had to get them extracted.

The One and Only: Saparmurat Niyazov

  • Niyazov was born 19 February 1940. He died in 21 December 2006.
  • He was First Secretary of the Turkmen Communist Party from 1985 until 1991 and continued to lead Turkmenistan for 15 years after independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • He was referred to by "His Excellency" and Türkmenbaşy, Leader of the Turkmens.
  • In 1994, Niyazov's term was extended to 2002 so he could oversee a 10-year development plan. The official results showed that 99.9% of voters approved this proposal. 
  • On December 28, 1999, Parliament declared Niyazov President for Life. 

Current and Significant Past Events

Currents Events in Turkmenistan:
Past Events in Turkmenistan:

Propaganda in Turkmenistan

Niyazov made sure that his book, Ruhnama was seen and read by everyone.

One example is here inwhich the citizens hold marches in which they are very proud of their leader

In this example, the leaders face is imprinted upon beer bottles, reminding citizens that where ever they go, the leader is there for them. This action also promotes the leader.

Today, this propaganda prizes mainly the achievements of the new president, Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedow, or quotes what he's said. "Döwlet adam üçindir!" (on the left side of the photo) is a famous citation of Berdymuhamedow meaning "The state is there for the people".