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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 6,010 7,672 4,000 110
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,120 1,200 950 131
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Turkmenistan


Area ( 


ethnic groups 
Turkmens 77%
Uzbeks 9.2%
Russians 6.7%


Turkman Manat

Saparmurat Niyazov

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 educational establishments. 
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 last here." 
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 ever seen."
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 Turkmenistan.

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, 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 corporation Turkmengeologia.
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 Metallurgical Plant.

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 Uzbekistan.



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, 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.





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