Attention Wedding Planners: The NY Times advises you to discourage unwelcome friends from attending your wedding by telling them you plan to host the ceremony in Ashgabat. Clearly the Social Q's author has not considered the advantages of a destination wedding at the Iceberg Cafe.
The Turkmen government is allowing some university students to study abroad after a 6 month delay. Students attending university in Bulgaria have been allowed to leave, while those studying at American University of Central Asia have not yet been allowed to return to Kyrgyzstan.
However, some students will be encouraged to study overseas. The Ministry of Culture and Broadcasting of Turkmenistan has announced a photography and video contest called "Moments." The winner of the contest will earn awards including cash and the opportunity to study abroad.
University students in Ashgabat are also in the news. The Turkmen-Turkish University team came in 4th at the Commonwealth of Independent States international cup for club teams. While the team earned its berth in the quarter finals with a tournament record of one win and two defeats gave "rise to talks about their 'excessive' luck," the team beat Uzbekistan's champion Bunyodkorto advance to the semi-finals. Sadly, the streak ended with Russia's Rubin fielded a youthful squad which beat the intrepid students 4-0. Despite the disparity of the score, Turkmenistan.ru reports that Rubin striker Igor Portnyagin conceded, "To prevent any fortuitousness in the game, it was necessary for us to act with maximum dedication, which we did."
While Turkey is helping Turkmenistan win football games, China is helping Turkmenistan pull natural gas out of Yolatan. The Economist asks the all-important question, what does China expect in return?
After the summit between the Turkmen and Belarussian premiers, Belarus had its own cooperative projects in Turkmenistan to announce. Their contribution will be a 250 km stretch of railroad and a glass making facility.
Finally, the director of Russian energy giant Gazprom wrote an editorial extolling the virtues of the company's time-honored partnership with the Central Asian states, notably Turkmenistan.