Latest posts by Anna Fergana
10 May 2013
In Turkmenistan, pop musicians tread a difficult path between carving out a distinctive image for themselves and ensuring they don't fall foul of the state.
5 March 2013
People in Turkmenistan and Turkmen dissidents in exile are unhappy about the fact that criticisms of the country's political regime come from various 'foreign experts,' while Western policymakers and politicians inside the country remain mute.
16 February 2013
When it comes to statistics, the Turkmen government remains committed to the time-honored Soviet principles of book-cooking, data fudging and avoiding the uncomfortable truth at all costs. 'Good' statistics, such as the rising grain harvests, are triumphantly covered by state-run media, while bad news are never reported.
24 January 2013
In Turkmenistan, which ranks among the world's "worst of the worst" human rights abusers, the very existence of such rights is seen as 'fiction'. Some netizens blame Ashgabat's repressive regime on geopolitics. Yet some others say the country has a right to restrict the rights of its citizens.
29 November 2012
In November 2002, the then Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov survived an assassination attempt that was blamed on Russian-supported opposition. Ten years after the incident, in the country starved of reliable information, many people still don't trust the official version of the event.
27 October 2012
As Turkmenistan marks the 21st anniversary of its independence today, the celebrations coincide with a major Islamic holiday. Also, Turkmenistan's Independence Day this year comes at a time of an apparent improvement in the country's relations with Russia.
12 September 2012
It has been announced that the Peace Corps - a U.S. government-run volunteer program - will close its programs in Turkmenistan and leave the country by the end of 2012. Many Turkmen internet users believe that the departure of the volunteers will further deepen the country's isolation and limit education opportunities for its young people.
31 August 2012
August is the month of melons in Turkmenistan where expansive steppe lands yield some of the tastiest crop known to mankind. Turkmen Melon Day, celebrated since 1994, is one of the favourite public holidays in the country.
11 July 2012
One year after the explosions at an arms depot in Abadan, officials in Turkmenistan hardly mention the deadly incident. Instead of commemorating the victims of the blasts, they prefer to suppress information, hoping that the Turkmen will forget about what had happened. Netizens are silent as well after the authorities detained several bloggers and put one of them in jail for covering the explosions.
20 June 2012
Turkmenistan's president has recently pondered the creation of opposition political parties that would add an element of competition to the country's political system which is currently dominated by a single party. The Turkmen netizens remain largely skeptical about the possibility of genuine opposition parties being allowed to form and operate freely in the country.