Sunday, June 26, 2011

Turkmenistan/Iran relations to improve

The always cosy ties between the neighbors are doing as well as always:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sweden Deports Son of Turkmen Activist

RFE/RL reports that Sweden has deported Keymir Berdiev.  Berdiev is the son of a Turkmen opposition figure. However, Swedish authorities found insufficient proof that he would face danger if he returned to Turkmenistan.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Smithsonian Folk Life Festival Celebrates Peace Corps

For those of you who will be in the DC area in early July, check out the Smithsonian's Folk Life Festival.  One of the themes will be the Peace Corps' 50th Anniversary.  The other two themes will be Colombia and Rhythm & Blues.

The Peace Corps section will apparently feature an exhibit by a Guatemala RPCV who built a school house in her village out of plastic drink bottles she found littered around the community.  Thus ends my long insistence that the Balkanabat Bi-Monthly Frisbee Club was the GREATEST PEACE CORPS PROJECT EVER.

US sends Ambassador to Turkmenistan... finally

Camel Spit may not be in a good position right now to chide lateness, but after 5 years the US Embassy in Ashgabat finally has a full-fledged ambassador: Robert E. Patterson, Jr.  Ambassador Patterson is a career Foreign Service Officer.

Watch the Turkmen TV coverage of Ambassador Patterson presenting his credentials to President Berdymukhamedov. The report highlights commercial and energy cooperation between Turkmenistan and the US.

Turkmens in Space

After a hiatus for finishing law school, your friendly Camel Spit Blogger is back.

What better way to get back into the swing of things than... TURKMENS IN SPACE!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Turkmenistan News

The IMF predicts a robust year of economic growth for Central Asia, particularly Turkmenistan, which could see a  12%  increase in real GDP.

Ashgabat hosted an international carpet fest the last weekend of May, apparently to the delight of the previously unknown pro-Turkmen faction at

France's human rights ambassador, Francois Zimeray, visited Ashgabat in late May and noted the progress the country has made in human rights while insisting "there is more left to do."  However, Mr. Zimeray was clear that human rights concerns would be considered separately from the two nations' economic relationship. Currently the French construction firm Bouygues has contracts worth 2 billion Euros with the Turkmen government.

A Russian businessman was sentenced to six years imprisonment by a Russian court for electronically stealing $20 million dollars from the Central Bank of Turkmenistan in 2002.

Turkmenistan deployed its first batch of Russian-made drones to border guard units, with the aim of curtailing illegal border crossing and drug smuggling.

In other border issues, the Turkmen-Iranian Commission met on May 29th to discuss consular, custom and border issues and increase trade cooperation.

Eurasianet offers some suggestions for reading the website.

President Berdimuhamedov visited India May 24 - 27 to visit culturally important monuments and shore up bilateral ties.  Some Indian travelers faced delays as New Delhi airspace was shut down for 30 minutes while
Berdimuhamedov and Indian President Partibha Patil waited to begin their voyage to see the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Moscow celebrated Turkmen Cultural Days last week, culminating in the May 25th Turkmen folk music concert at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Turkmenistan News on the 'Net

Sorry, thrill seekers - after attracting the notice of a small number of tourists and a large number of YouTube armchair adventurers, the "hells gate" gas fire has attracted the attention of Presdient Berdymukhamedov.  He has ordered the fire extinguished to facilitate the exploitation of the nearby gas fields.

Turkmenistan continues to strengthen its cross-border ties with Iran.  A high level delegation attended the April 17th summit, "Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for None" convened in Tehran by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who praised the "unbreakable ties" between the two nations. reports that the "Altyn Asyr" cellular telephone network now has 500,000 subscribers.  The semi-official news outlet also reports that the Russian MTS cellular service boasts another 1.82 million subscribers.

In a visit to a Ruhabat farm, the President Berdymukhamedov urged Turkmen parliamentarians to remember the needs of villagers.

ConocoPhillips may be coming to (or at least near) Turkmenistan.  After losing a bid with Lukoil to drill for oil in a Russian sector of the Caspian sea, the energy company teamed with Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Co. to develop Turkmenistan's seabed reserve. In other hydrocarbon news, the Turkmen government increased its estimate of the South Yolotan gas reserves.

Doctors Without Borders published a report on April 12th which is critical of the Turkmen health system. However, an online Lancet report dated April 12th indicated that Turkmenistan has made marked improvement in maternal mortality. The rate fell from 77 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1980 to 22 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2008, a decrease that puts Turkmenistan in the category of highest improvement.

Turkmenistan has yet to publicly respond to the developments in the Kyrgyz Republic.