Turkmenistan 2006

Turkmenistan 2006

Yearbook 2006

Turkmenistan. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Turkmenistan include Independence Day (September 27) and New Year (January 1). Russia’s and Ukraine’s gas conflict at the beginning of the year opened up opportunities for Turkmenistan to increase its gas exports to Ukraine. However, analysts questioned whether Turkmenistan has as large gas reserves as the regime claimed. President Saparmurat Nijazov made one of his few visits to Moscow in January, where he discussed gas deals with his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin. Turkmenistan already supplies a lot of gas to Russia but has demanded higher prices, a reflection of the Russian demands on neighboring countries.

In April, Nijazov continued his unusual trip to Beijing, where he signed an agreement on a pipeline to supply the energy-consuming Chinese economy with gas from Turkmenistan.

Following a prolonged price dispute, Turkmenistan signed a new agreement with Russian Gazprom in September, which agreed to an increase from $ 65 to $ 100 for 1,000 m 3 of gas. Turkmenistan had threatened to suspend deliveries unless Gazprom agreed to the increase.

During the year there were purges in the power apparatus, where former loyal employees of Nijazov were dismissed. corruption.

During the summer, a number of human rights activists were arrested under various pretexts. Among the arrested were also radio journalist Ogulsapar Muradova, who, after a few minutes of trial, was sentenced to five years in prison accused of illegal possession of ammunition. In September, she died in prison. Her child stated that she had marks on her neck and a large wound in her head. However, according to official data, Muradova died of “natural causes”. Her radio station Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is US-funded with the stated mission of promoting democracy in i.e. former Soviet Union. The authoritarian one-party state of Turkmenistan does not allow independent media. According to Reporters Without Borders, the country has the world’s second worst press freedom after North Korea.

In the autumn, the European Parliament refused to approve a trade agreement between the EU and Turkmenistan, citing the oppression of human rights in the country. Turkmenistan was urged to release political prisoners and give freedom for independent organizations to operate.

In December, President Saparmurat Nijazov died in a heart attack. Nijazov was one of the world’s most intrinsic one-world rulers, but immediately after his departure there was no sign of political change in Turkmenistan. Acting President became Gurbanguly Berdimuchammedov. Parliament decided that Nijazov’s regular successor should be elected in the February 2007 presidential elections.

Turkmenistan Map with Surrounding Countries

Turkmenistan Overview

Turkmenistan in Central Asia is an important center of the ancient Silk Road. The long history of Turkmenistan shows Persian, Arab and Soviet influences. The population of Turkmenistan is made up of several ethnic groups and the country speaks several languages, although Turkmen is the official language. The country is bordered by Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The most important places to visit in Turkmenistan include the capital Ashgabat, the ruined city of Merv and the heart of the ancient Parthian kingdom of Nisa. Saparmurat Niyazov, the former leader of the country and the “father of the Turkmen,” has also left his mark on the country’s history. In his time, he was known for, among other things, his special laws and the architecture and art that reflected his personal cult. Today, Turkmenistan is especially known for its handicrafts such as carpets and natural resources.

Area: 488 100 km2

Population: 5,528,627 (estimate 7/2020)

Capital: Ashgabat

Population density
9.4 persons per square kilometer

Population: Turkmen 72%, Russians 12%, Uzbeks 9% and others 7%

Official language: Turkmen

Main product: Cotton, oil and natural gas

Form of government: President

Religion: Muslims 89%, Orthodox Christians 9%, others 2%

Twenty years after the Soviet dissolution, the countries bordering the Caspian Sea (Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran and Kazakhstan) have not managed to reach a compromise on the legal status to be attributed to the basin. Regulated in the past by the treaties signed between the Soviet Union and Iran in 1921 and 1940, the status of the Caspian and, therefore, the ownership of its offshore resources, became the subject of dispute in the aftermath of 1991. The consequent subdivision of its waters among the coastal countries escapes the codification of international maritime law, according to which the Caspian does not seem to fall fully into the category of ‘sea’, nor in that of ‘lake’. In the latter case, customary international law would apply to the determination of maritime borders, leaving room for agreement between states. Conversely, the connotation of ‘sea’ would imply the application of the principle of the ‘median line’, according to which the border would be constituted by the line that unites all the points equidistant from the coasts. In the impossibility of having recourse to international law, the only way to fix the division of the Caspian bed and surface between the coastal countries is an agreement, made difficult by the different positions of the actors involved. Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan favor subdivision according to the ‘midline’ principle – which would guarantee them a larger portion of the sea. Turkmenistan, while accepting the principle of the need to divide the Caspian, disagrees with Azerbaijan on the ownership of the fields, which would end up under Azerbaijani sovereignty on the basis of a rigid application of the principle of the middle line. On the other side of the negotiating spectrum remains Iran, to which the application of the principle of the median line would leave the smallest and poorest portion of the Caspian resources. Tehran, contrary to establishing areas of exclusive national competence, it consequently favors the so-called solution of the ‘condominium’, according to which the resources of the basin would be shared among the coastal countries which would thus also divide the proceeds. The only alternative would be, for Iran, a subdivision in equal parts of the bed and the surface of the sea. In the absence of a shared solution – in 2014 the fourth summit called between the riparian countries to draft a ‘Caspian convention’ failed – Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan concluded three bilateral treaties to define their respective borders, establish the rights of which each state enjoys and the duties to which it would be subject towards others. Although Turkmenistan and Iran, reiterating the need for a shared solution, consider the agreements null and void,