Turkmenistan. At the March parliamentary elections, the presidential party and its support groups received 103 out of 125 seats. The Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Party (TSTP) was given eleven seats, as was the Turkmenistan Farmers’ Party (TAP) which was also given eleven seats. Only three (and faithful) parties were allowed to stand in the election. Since all decisions are made by the president and the government, the distribution of seats is irrelevant. Shortly after the election, President Gurbanguli Berdimuchammedov appointed his 36-year-old son Serdar as Deputy Foreign Minister. With 91.4% of the electorate voting at the last parliamentary election, where he took office in 2016, his son Serdar is seen as a clear possible successor to his father Gurbanguli.
- According to Abbreviationfinder: TKM is an three letter acronym for Turkmenistan.
According to Countryaah.com, Ashgabat is the capital city of Turkmenistan, a country located in Central Asia. The Reporters Without Borders organization placed Turkmenistan in 178th place among 180 countries in the organization’s latest press freedom index. It also fits well with President Berdimuchammedov’s new law, which calls on the TV channels to show a more positive image of Turkmenistan. The law also prohibits the country’s TV channels from showing material with “sexually erotic” content or something that encourages “bad habits”.
History. – Since the end of the 1920s, the Turkmenistan had undergone, like all Soviet republics in Central Asia, a process of Russification which was accompanied by a campaign for the eradication of the Islamic religion. The problems of cultural identity and those of the backwardness of a predominantly agricultural economy totally dependent on the more developed areas of the Soviet Union represented the basis of a growing widespread dissatisfaction, especially among the intellectual classes, despite the relative isolation of the republic from developments politicians that characterized Moscow and the less peripheral areas of the country in the late 1980s. The lack of any unitary national tradition and the scarce rooting of a democratic movement, however, hindered the formation of a political opposition, and in the 1989 elections for the Congress of the People’s Deputies of the Union the domination of the Communist Party of the Turkmenistan (PCT) was substantially unchallenged. The cautious opening of a democratization process that allowed the formation of an independent political movement, the Popular Front (Agzybirlik), born around the problems of the local language and culture as well as the environmental ones linked to the intensive culture of cotton, had a short duration; the movement was outlawed in January 1990 and only the PCT and its side organizations stood in the elections for the Supreme Soviet, which took place on January 7, 1990. The PCT obviously secured a large majority and the new Supreme Soviet elected S. Niyazov, first secretary of the PCT since 1985, as president. It was therefore in a context of substantial continuity with the past and absolute control of the Communist Party over political and administrative structures that, in May 1990, Turkmen was recognized as a language official of the republic instead of the Russian and that, on 22 August.
These initiatives, rather than representing concessions to a weak opposition, seemed to configure the attempt by the traditional ruling class to arouse a national sentiment on which to broaden its base of consensus in the presence of a reduced capacity for support and legitimation on the part of the central government. In the October 27 elections for the new office of Turkmenistan executive chairman, Niyazov was the only candidate and garnered 98.3% of the votes. Parallel to the policy of maintaining ties with Moscow, as evidenced by the support for the referendum for the maintenance of the Union in March 1991 and subsequently the support for the constitution of the CIS, an increasingly accentuated attempt to underline the autonomy of the country, finding direct interlocutors both to within the CIS and at the international level, in order to consolidate the uncertain national identity and to broaden the commercial outlets and the economic base. In this evolution of the political framework of the Turkmenistan are framed: the declaration of independence approved by a popular referendum with 94.1% of the votes, on 26 October 1991; the change of the name of the republic to the Republic of Turkmenistan; the abolition of Russian as a language of inter-ethnic communication, foreseen by the new constitution of 1992; the signing of economic agreements with Turkey and with Iran; the development of direct relations with the other four Central Asian republics; the resistance to closer economic integration in the CIS, and the refusal to send troops to Tajikistan during the civil war.
Niyazov’s presidency was characterized by a growing trend towards centralization of power and the cult of personality with heavy restrictions on the freedom of the press and association and on the rights of ethnic minorities in the country. The president, who with the introduction of the new constitution in May 1992 also assumed the office of prime minister, was re-elected in June with a plebiscitary consensus of 99.5% of the votes (in January 1994 a referendum extended the duration of his presidential term until 2002). This autocratic style of government marked by nationalistic tones, however, managed to keep the country in a position of substantial secularism, which, without deteriorating relations with the CIS republics and neighboring Muslim states, avoided, in the first years.
Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan; 1 million residents (2012). Ashgabat is located at the foot of Kopet-Dag in an area irrigated by the oasis of Achal Teke and the Karakum Canal, which is associated with the city in 1962. Ashgabat has a workshop, textile, glass and food industry. The city, which has universities and several colleges, is the seat of the country’s Academy of Science and has its only desert research institute. Furthermore, the film industry is significant in Ashgabat.
The resort, founded in 1881 as a Russian fort, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1948.