Books on Turkmenistan
Update No: 298 - (27/10/05)
Turkmenistan must read 'My Dear'
Turkmenistan's president for life, Saparmurat Niyazov, fancies himself as a
multifaceted fellow. Plato, who had no time for democracy, which had killed his
great mentor, Socrates, would have been proud of him as a latter-day
philosopher-king. He has just published another book of his poems and stories,
called "Mahribanlarym" ("My dear people") "My
Dear," which will become mandatory reading for all his country's citizens,
state-owned media reported in mid-October.
The publication of new work by the president is no small event in Turkmenistan.
Niyazov's new offering was introduced at a presentation in the Turkmen
parliament. The presentation ceremony, initiated by the capital's intelligentsia
and public organizations, was attended by the members of the Cabinet of
Ministers, leaders and members of the parliament, heads and representatives of
the ministries, other state organizations, mass media and renowned scientists
and cultural workers, rectors, teachers and students of the capital's higher
The new oeuvre by Niyazov, who is also called Turkmenbashi, or Father of All
Turkmen, are about love for the motherland, history and philosophical thoughts
on human kindness and the beauty of the surrounding environment. The succession
of generations and never-ending connection of times is the main idea of the
book, a collection of poetry and prose.
In his poems, the head of Turkmenistan reflects on the native land and its
history, people's kindness and beauty of nature, honour and courage, happiness
and love in the broad sense of this word.
The book's prose is composed of a series of short tales as a peculiar response
by Saparmurat Niyazov to the requests of his compatriots to share his memories
of the childhood and youth, first lessons and impressions of life. The author
wrote some poems and prose in bright memory of his untimely deceased parents.
The very first pages of the book present the head of state as a subtle lyric
poet, a talented prose writer, a philosopher and a man who endured hardships and
ordeals, who can understand problems of other people and, at the same time,
remain a patriot and a citizen of Turkmenistan.
Niyazov's earlier books and poems also have become obligatory reading, notably
the Ruhmana, a religious tome in several volumes, which in his view rivals the
Bible and the Koran for profundity and insight. It is required reading in the
schools, eclipsing even study of the sciences.
"Mahribanlarym" was published by the Turkmen state print house in
100,000 copies. Apart from the two-volume book "Ruhnama", this is the
fifth book by Saparmurat Niyazov.
Parker waxes lyrical about Turkmenbashi
The Turkmen president has his admirers abroad. Disraeli, the British prime
minister in the late nineteenth century, laid down the dictum that in dealing
with royalty one should ladle out flattery with a trowel. He had Queen Victoria
eating out of the palm of his hand as a consequence. Sycophancy to the fore, he
told her on one occasion after she had just published a memoir of her dead
husband, whom she mourned for ardently, "Your majesty stands at the very
head of the literary profession."
Robert Parker, chairman of the American company Parker Drilling, met with
President Niyazov on October 17th. In addition to discussing further drilling
plans for Turkmenistan, Parker spared no effort in praising the president and
the people of Turkmenistan. "I like your president. He is a very inspiring
person," Parker began.
Explaining that he was drilling for the country and for the president, Parker
said, "There are good prospects and we talked about that. The meeting was
good. We are happy that we are here and we are drilling wells successfully for
your country and for the president. And, he has been very, very helpful, along
with Chalyk, to accomplish new technology and new education and more benefits in
oil and gas for the people here. It is exciting to see improvements since I was
Talking about all the improvements that he happened to observe in Turkmenistan,
Parker said, "Improvements in everything inspire me." After
inspiration, Parker talked about admiration. "I told the president, I
admire him for making that happen for the country."
After praising lavishly the land, the country, the people and everything else,
Parker said, "It is just tremendous what this president is doing for this
country." To make doubly sure, Parker underlined, "We drill all over
the world; our company does. And, I told the president I have seen more
improvements and progress here than in any other country."
About the Turkmen workers, Parker said, "They are the best workers I have
Parker, in tandem with Chalyk Energy of Turkey, is drilling in Turkmenistan for
the last three years. It is a triangular partnership between Parker, Chalyk and
the Turkmen government. Parker drills the holes and provides its rig; Chalyk
supervises speed and quality of work on behalf of Turkmenistan and ensures
timely payments to Parker. The entire liaison with the Turkmen government is
routed through Chalyk.
Parker and Boeing are two major American companies that were in financial
trouble not long ago, but managed to pull back after they bagged contracts in
US and Turkmenistan to ensure regional security
An American of a very different character came to town in late August. The
chief of the US central command, General John Abizaid, during his visit to
Ashgabat on August 23-24th, discussed with Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov
a wide range of issues related to the aspects of further interaction between
Turkmenistan and the United States in ensuring stability and security in the
region, Turkmenistan.ru reported.
Abizaid also had meetings in Turkmen Ministry of Defence and State Border
Service. After the meeting with Niyazov, Abizaid told the
Turkmendowletkhabarlary agency he appreciated Niyazov's views on the current
situation in the central Asian region. Touching in this regard on the situation
in neighbouring Afghanistan, Abizaid noted the role of Turkmenistan in the
process of peaceful development of this country.
Currently Turkmenistan ensures uninterrupted is sending supplies of electricity
and hydrocarbon resources to Afghanistan.
According to Abizaid, it is the policy of cooperation and good neighbourliness
pursued by the Turkmen government that actively influence the process of
recreation of normal life Afghanistan. He said that a plan on the construction
of a Trans-Afghan gas pipeline initiated by Niyazov is a promising project of
development of the regional partnership. However, this project mooted now for
years, is evaluated as High Risk by international finance - unsurprising,
considering that it would need to be routed through troubled Afghanistan.
Abizaid stated Washington highly assesses cooperation with Ashgabat and predicts
great potential in collaboration in the spheres of joint security, including
combating terrorism, border protection and drug trafficking.
He called for further discussion, the sides also voiced support for the
development of efficient cooperation, including in trade and economic, military
technical and humanitarian spheres. Meanwhile, a new Boeing-717 aircraft with a
capacity of 120 people arrived in Ashgabat's international airport on August
29th. This aircraft was built this year in the US at Turkmenistan's request, and
the fifteenth Boeing.
Currently, the air fleet of Turkmenistan has four types of aircrafts by this
world leading producer of aircrafts, including the wide-body long-range Boeing
767-300 liner. The programme of the development of the aviation sector till 2020
envisages purchasing another 20 Boeing aircrafts, which will expand the
geography of international flights.
Turkmenistan inks contract for oil, gas pipes
Turkmenistan has signed a contract to receive 12,240 tonnes of steel casing and
compressor pipes worth a total of US$18.079 million, to speed up geological
exploration work and the construction of exploration and production wells, the
government's press service said.
Turkmen President, Saparmurad Niyazov, signed a resolution, permitting the state
company Turkmengaz to sign this contract with Pipe Metallurgy Company of
Kazakstan, a subsidiary of Russia's Pipe Metallurgy Company (TMK), according to
the press service.
The pipes, which will be supplied from November this year to February 2006,
should be distributed between Turkmengaz and Turkmenneft, and also the state
The president directed the state fund for the development of the oil and gas
industry and mineral resources in Turkmenistan to pay for the contract using
Turkmengaz and Turkmenneft funds.
TMK is the second largest producer of steel pipes in the world and is also a
world leader in the production of seamless pipes for the fuel and energy sector.
Total pipe production in 2004 will amount to 2.5 million tonnes, of which
780,000 tonnes were exported. TMK products are currently exported to over 60
countries. TMK includes Volzhsky, Seversk and Sinara pipe mills and Taganrog
Turkmenistan offers oil and gas projects to Japanese Itochu
During a meeting on September 26th with the delegation of the Japanese firm
Itochu, President Saparmurat Niyazov, of Turkmenistan offered a wide range of
options for mutual cooperation in the oil and gas sector. The Japanese
delegation was headed by Minoru Murofushi, former head of Itochu, and current
chair of the Japan-Turkmenistan Council on Economic Cooperation, a voluntary
body that looks after the economic interests of Japan in Turkmenistan. Niyazov
invited Itochu to participate in modernisation and renovation of Seyidi
refinery, a composite project that could cost more than US$1 billion. He also
asked them to consider working on the hydrocarbon deposits in the Caspian sector
of Turkmenistan. The Japanese delegation showed serious interest in both the
offers, New Europe reported.
The visitor said that because of huge economic potential, flexible investment
and tax policy and internal political stability, many Japanese companies in the
public and private sector were keen to partner with Turkmenistan.
Itochu is a traditional business partner of Turkmenistan. It has participated in
the rebuilding of Turkmenbashy refinery, the most-modern refining facility in
the entire CIS region. It is part of the consortium that provided, and is
upgrading, the polypropylene plant in the Turkmenbashy refinery. Itochu also
supplied the desalination plant in the same refinery. In the CIS region, Itochu
maintains offices in Azerbaijan, Kazakstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and
Germany-Turkmenistan relations improve
The German Ambassador at Ashgabat, Hans Mondorf, on the occasion of German Unity
Day, on October 3rd, announced that relations between Turkmenistan and Germany
have improved extensively, Turkmenistan.ru reported, citing the state news
service of Turkmenistan (TDH).
Mondorf stressed the dynamics of bilateral trade-economic and cultural
relations, adding that "a series of joint projects have been implemented
over the years of our cooperation, the importance of which can be hardly
overestimated as each of the projects was interesting and significant in itself.
All of them, however, have one thing in common - they all serve the expansion
and strengthening of friendly relations between our countries and peoples on the
basis of equality and mutually beneficial partnership." Among the
successfully implemented projects, Mondorf cited the joint work of lawyers in
drawing up a civil code of Turkmenistan, a recently commissioned diesel fuel
refining unit at the Turkmenbashi complex of oil refineries as well as a
compressor station at Korpeje field built with the help of German Technip and
MAN Ferrostaal companies. Besides, 2,100 Turkmen students have been granted
German scholarships within the framework of education programmes since 1995.
Young Turkmen diplomats have also participated in the educational programmes on
a regular basis. Mondorf concluded that such tasks contribute to strengthening
the interstate relations between Turkmenistan and Germany.