100-200BC The Silk Road made the city of Ashgabat
rich. Spice and silk merchants stopped here on their way from China
(WSJ, 7/11/96, p.A1)
53BCE The Persians defeated the
Romans in the Battle of Carrhae. Some 20,000 Romans under Crassus
were killed by the Parthian army and 10,000 were captured. The
Parthians then used the Romans as guards on their eastern frontier
in what later became Turkmenistan.
(ATC, p.33)(HC, 9/3/04)(Econ, 12/18/04, p.59)
999 Turkish dynasties became
the rulers of Transoxania, and area that covered much of what later
became Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.
(Econ, 7/26/03, p.46-4)
1730 Makhtum Kuli, one of
Turkmenistan’s greatest poets, was born. He died in the 1880s.
1836 Seitnazar Seyidi (b.1775)
and Kurbandurdy Zelili (b.1780), Turkmenistan poets, died. Both are
considered to be successors of Makhtum Kuli.
1924 Stalin divided remnants of
Turkestan into the current Central Asian republics.
(SFC, 1/2/97, p.A10)
1940 Feb 19, Saparmurad
Niyazov, later president of Turkmenistan (1992-2006), was born.
1940 Moscow imposed the
Cyrillic alphabet over the Roman alphabet.
(SFC, 1/2/97, p.A10)
1948 Oct 6, A 7.3 earthquake
hit Ashgebat, Turkeminstan, and killed an estimated 110,000 people.
Stalinist media at the time claimed only 35,000 deaths.
1971 In Turkmenistan Soviet
geologists started drilling a borehole to prospect for gas in the
Karakum desert. The boring equipment drilled through into an
underground cavern, and a deep sinkhole formed. The equipment
tumbled through though no one was killed. Fearing that the crater
would emit poisonous gases, the scientists took the decision to set
it alight, thinking that the gas would burn out quickly and this
would cause the flames to go out. As of 2014 the pit, dubbed the
Door to Hell," continued to burn.
1974 Berdy Kerbabaev (b.1894),
a Turkmenistan poet, novelist and playwright, died. He was one of
the most noticeable Turkmen writers of the Soviet period.
1991 Dec 13, Five Central Asian
republics of the Soviet Union (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) agreed to join the new Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS) being organized by Russian President Boris
1991 Turkmenistan gained
(SSFC, 8/11/02, p.A14)
1992 In Turkmenistan Saparmurad
Niyazov (1940-2006) was elected president. He suppressed opponents,
restricted free speech and controlled all branches of government.
(SFC, 11/8/96, p.A14)
1994 Sep, Naseerullah Baber,
Pakistan’s interior minister, arranged a peace convoy to run rice,
clothing and other gifts through Afghanistan to Turkmenistan.
1994 In Turkmenistan a
referendum was passed to extend the rule of Niyazov, who had renamed
himself Turkmenbashi (Chieftain of the Turkmen), to 2002.
(SFC, 8/13/98, p.A10)
1996 May 14, Turkmenistan and
Iran opened a rail link.
(WSJ, 5/14/96, p.A-1)
1996 Jul, Pres. Saparmurad
Niyazov changed his last name to Turkmenbashy, i.e. Father of all
(WSJ, 7/11/96, p.A4)
1996 Nov, The president opened
a human rights agency. Some 17 government hotels stand empty on the
edge of the desert. The average wage was $16 per month and the
presidents son was rumored to have lost $12.5 million in one night
of gambling in Spain.
(SFC, 11/8/96, p.A14)
1996 Union Oil of California
has proposed building a 1,200 mile gas pipeline from Quetta to
Turkmenistan. The project could cost $5 billion and would be built
with Delta Oil Co., a Saudi Arabian concern with links to the
Taliban in Afghanistan.
(SFC, 1/1/97, p.C3)
1997 Mar 27, Ella Maillart
(b.1903), Swiss sportswoman and travel writer, died. She chronicled
the savage collectivisation of Karakalpak agriculture in Uzbekistan,
Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in the 1930s.
1997 Dec 29, Turkmenistan and
Iran activated a key 125 mile gas pipeline. Plans were to make it
part of a network to Europe but for now the gas was only bound to
1998 Apr 20, Pres. Saparmurat
Niyazov visited the US and planned to discuss oil and gas pipeline
(WSJ, 4/20/98, p.B7D)
1999 Mar 14, In Turkmenistan
the warring factions of Afghanistan agreed in principle to a peace
(SFC, 3/15/99, p.A8)
1999 Dec 28, The parliament
voted that President Niyazov (59) can serve for life. Niyazov urged
the legislators to double the monthly wages to $50 and to give every
citizen 2 pounds of salt.
(WSJ, 12/29/99, p.A1)
2001 Jun 15, It was reported
that Pres. Saparmurad Niyazov demanded that any foreigner wishing to
marry a local citizen would have to pay the government $50,000 to
serve as a "guarantee" for children in case of divorce.
(USAT, 6/15/01, p.11A)
2001 Turkmenistan’s Pres.
Niyazov published "Rukhnama" (Spiritual Revival, or Book of the
Soul), a book of his historical and philosophical musings. It became
required reading in schools. A 2nd volume was scheduled for 2004.
(SSFC, 8/11/02, p.A14)(Econ, 7/24/04, p.42)
2001 Boris Shikmuradov,
Turkmenistan former deputy prime minister, defected and began
calling for the overthrow of Pres. Niyazov. He returned in 2002 and
was jailed for life.
(SFC, 8/28/02, p.A12)(Econ, 7/26/03, p.46-7)
2002 Jan, Leading diplomats
went into exile and set up the Turkmenistan Popular Movement aimed
at toppling Pres. Saparmurad Niyazov.
(WSJ, 5/13/02, p.A13)
2002 Mar, Pres. Niyazov sacked
20 security officials on politically motivated charges of plotting a
(WSJ, 5/13/02, p.A13)
2002 Apr 24, In Turkmenistan a
5-nation Caspian Sea summit failed to reach agreement on dividing up
the oil riches of the area.
(WSJ, 4/25/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 28, US Sec. of Defense
Rumsfeld visited Pres. Niyazov in Turkmenistan and Pres. Nazarbayev
(SFC, 4/29/02, p.A9)
2002 Aug, Pres. Niyazov (62)
proposed renaming January to Turkmenbashi after himself Akbar
Turkmenbashi, the Great Leader of all Turkmen.
(SSFC, 8/11/02, p.A14)
2002 Aug 13, Turkmenistan's
Pres. Saparmurat Niyazov issued a decree that extends adolescence
until age 25 and postpones old age until 85. His edict divides life
into 12-year cycles. Childhood lasts until age 12. Next comes
adolescence which will now last to age 25. Turkmen aged between 25
and 37 are considered youthful, while those aged between 27 and 49
years are mature. The next 12-year cycles are divided into periods
labeled as prophetic, inspirational and wise.
2002 Dec 30, Turkmenistan's
high court rapidly convicted and sentenced Boris Shikhmuradov, a
former foreign minister, to 25 years in prison for plotting an
attempt to kill Pres. Niyazov. Loyalists increased the sentence to
2003 Feb 22,
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan invited India to join their
$3.2-billion natural gas pipeline project, indicating the plan would
not be economically viable without New Delhi’s participation.
2004 Dec 19, Polling stations
were nearly empty in elections for Turkmenistan's rubber-stamp
parliament, forcing officials to carry ballot boxes door-to-door in
this nation ruled by a former Soviet Communist boss who has been
2004 Turkmenistan’s Pres.
Niyazov moved forward with the building of the Golden Era Lake. The
massive 75 by 37 mile lake in the middle of the Krakum Desert was
considered by many to be an environmental catastrophe.
(WSJ, 7/16/04, p.A8)
2005 Jan 3, Ukraine gave in and
agreed to pay Turkmenistan a third more for natural gas following a
(WSJ, 1/4/05, p.A1)
2005 Sep, Interpol, Int’l.
Criminal Police Organization, voted unanimously to admit its 184th
member, Turkmenistan. Interpol's General Secretariat in Lyon,
France, provides a fast and reliable communication system that links
police around the globe.
2005 Oct 3, The UN ambassadors
of Britain, France and the US sent a letter emphasizing their
continued opposition to a proposal to create a nuclear-weapons free
zone in Central Asia. The letter, sent to the UN ambassadors of the
five Central Asian nations, says that a draft treaty to create the
zone still does not address their biggest concerns and that further
discussions are needed. It calls for consultations "very soon." The
five nations agreed to the draft text for a Central Asian
nuclear-free zone in February. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan had originally put forward a proposal
for a nuclear-weapon free zone in 1997, but divisions both internal
and external over the text have stalled progress. Moscow claims that
a 1992 treaty that Russia signed with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and
Tajikistan could allow missiles to be deployed in the region.
2005 Dec 12, The president of
Turkmenistan ordered construction of a university to be named after
his book "Rukhnama," which is held as a sacred text in this
2005 Dec 29, Russia bought up
gas supplies from Turkmenistan to prevent Ukraine from getting them.
Russia was demanding a quadruple increase in gas prices.
(WSJ, 12/30/05, p.A1)
2005 Turkmenistan Pres. Niyazov
drew widespread criticism by closing provincial hospitals, declaring
them an unnecessary extravagance. Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov served
as health minister at this time. As president he reversed Niyazov’s
policy and actively promoted the building of several hospitals all
over the country.
2006 Jan, In Turkmenistan some
100,000 people had their pensions cancelled and another 250,000
pensions were severely cut back.
(Econ, 5/27/06, p.40)
2006 Mar 20, Turkmenistan's
President Saparmurat Niyazov told his nation's youth to read his
book Rukhnama three times a day in order to go to heaven.
2006 Apr 24, In Turkmenistan
Gurbanbibi Atajanova, former chief state prosecutor, was charged
with corruption. She begged not to be sent to prison after being
accused of possessing 25 houses, 36 cars and 2,000 head of cattle.
2006 Apr, China and
Turkmenistan signed a gas-supply deal. Operations of the pipeline
was scheduled to start in 2009.
(WSJ, 9/28/06, p.A8)
2006 May 27, Unemployment in
Turkmenistan was estimated at over 70%. It was exacerbated by public
sector layoffs and laws restricting job seekers to their home towns.
(Econ, 5/27/06, p.40)
2006 Jun 18, In Turkmenistan
authorities arrested Ogulsapar Muradova, a reporter affiliated with
Bulgaria-based Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation and Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty, funded by the US. They detained her three
adult children the next day. Muradova and two other rights
defenders, Amankurban Amanklychev and Sapardurdy Khajiyev, were
sentenced from six to seven years. In September Muradova died while
(AP, 6/22/06)(AP, 9/15/06)
2006 Aug 26, An international
rights groups said a court in tightly controlled Turkmenistan has
sentenced three rights defenders to jail terms of six to seven
2006 Sep 9, Five central Asian
countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan) signed a nuclear-free zone treaty, but it did not cancel
out a 1992 agreement to allow Russia to transport and deploy nuclear
weapons there under certain circumstances.
(SSFC, 9/10/06, p.A18)
2006 Oct 5, US-based Human
Rights Watch (HRW) said the EU's decision to abandon a trade pact
with the reclusive Central Asian state of Turkmenistan was a
"landmark move against tyranny."
2006 Oct 25, Turkmenistan's
President Saparmurat Niyazov announced that his energy-rich nation
would provide citizens with natural gas and power free of charge
2006 Dec 21, President
Saparmurat Niyazov (66), Turkmenistan's eccentric and iron-fisted
leader, died. He had created a lavish cult of personality during two
decades of rule over his isolated nation. The Turkmen constitution
says the speaker of parliament assumes power on the death of the
president. But just hours after Niyazov's death was reported, the
national security council named Berdymukhamedov acting president and
announced that speaker Overzgeldy Atayev had been charged with
unspecified criminal offenses.
(AP, 12/21/06)(AP, 12/22/06)
2006 Dec 22, In Turkmenistan
acting president Gurbungali Berdymukhamedov pledged that new
elections will be democratic, but only in the late dictator's
interpretation of the word.
2006 Dec 26, Turkmenistan's top
legislative body rewrote the country's constitution to allow the
country's acting president, in power for less than a week, to
succeed its late leader.
2007 Jan 3, Turkmenistan's
acting president, in his first campaign statement for next month's
election, called for wider Internet access in the country and for
improving pensions that were slashed last year.
2007 Feb 4, In Turkmenistan an
eight-story building collapsed in the southeastern city of
Diyarbakir killing 5 people. A 15-year-old boy was rescued 36 hours
2007 Feb 11, Voters cast
ballots as Turkmenistan, ruled for more than two decades by an
eccentric autocrat, held its first presidential election with more
than one candidate, but still only one party.
2007 Feb 12, A state official
said Turkmenistan planned to open its first public Internet cafes,
signaling at least some liberalization under Interim President
Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, the presumed winner of its presidential
2007 Feb 14, Gurbanguli
Berdymukhamedov, Turkmenistan's new president, took office a few
minutes after the head of the central elections commission announced
he had won Sunday's election with nearly 90 percent of the vote. He
pledged to follow the ways of longtime autocrat Saparmurat Niyazov,
but also promised changes in a country ruled for decades in an
all-encompassing cult of personality. He also promised "development
of private ownership and entrepreneurship," educational reforms, and
more doctors and hospitals.
2007 May 12, The leaders of
Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan reached a landmark pipeline
deal that will strengthen Moscow's control over Central Asia's
energy export routes.
2007 Jun 20, Adm. William
Fallon, a top US military commander, met with Turkmenistan's new
President Berdymukhamedov for talks on regional security,
counterterrorism operations and drug trafficking.
2007 Dec 30, Turkmenistan
turned off gas supplies to Iran, citing technical problems, after
Iran balked at a price increase to $140 per thousand cubic meters,
almost double the contracted rate. The move had a domino effect
causing Iran to halt gas shipments to Turkey, which in turn cut off
gas to Greece.
(WSJ, 2/4/08, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/3xmzam)
2007 Italian Oil company ENI
SpA bought Burren Energy PLC, a small independent company that
operates an oil field in Turkmenistan. ENI from that point on was
denied entry visas by Turkmenistan, which was annoyed at not being
consulted in the deal.
(WSJ, 4/23/08, p.B8)
2008 Jan 19, Turkmenistan Pres.
Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov reversed his predecessor's 2001 ban on
operas and circuses, saying that with increasing development in the
Central Asian nation, it deserved to have such artistic
2008 Mar 5, Turkmenistan's
state media reported that President Berdymukhamedov had approved a
plan to reward women who give birth to eight or more children, a
one-time bonus and lifetime perks.
2008 Apr 14, Turkmenistan
agreed to supply the EU with 10 billion cubic meters of gas
beginning next year.
(WSJ, 4/15/08, p.A14)
2008 Apr 23, In Turkmenistan
Pres. Berdymukhamedov abolished the calendar introduced by his late
predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, who named months after himself and
his parents as part of an elaborate personality cult.
2008 May 18, Turkmenistan held
a foundation-laying ceremony in Ashgabat for a new, $70 million,
607-foot monument that will rise twice as high as Turkmenistan's
current record-holder, a tower topped by a golden statue of late
dictator Niyazov that rotates to face the sun.
2008 Jun, Turkmenistan’s
population numbered about 5 million.
(Econ, 6/28/08, p.49)
2008 Sep 26, Turkmenistan's
highest legislative body unanimously approved a new constitution
that increased the president's powers but also broadened the role of
2008 Oct 15, A study by Gaffney
Cline & Associates of a big natural gas filed in Turkmenistan
confirmed the South Yolotan-Osman as the fifth largest in the world.
(WSJ, 10/16/08, p.A9)
2008 Dec 14, Voters in
Turkmenistan cast ballots in a parliamentary election hailed by the
government as an exercise in democracy but dismissed by critics as a
2009 Jan 15, In Turkmenistan
Pres. Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov fired almost one-third of his
Cabinet and the head of the state oil company in a large-scale
reshuffle reminiscent of his eccentric predecessor's frequent
2009 Jan 30, Turkmenistan's
authoritarian President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov ordered members
of his government to go back to school or lose their jobs. He said
that officials are under qualified to implement the necessary
reforms in the energy-rich Central Asian nation.
2009 Apr 8, In Turkmenistan a
blast on a Central Asian pipeline halted the supply of Turkmen gas
to Russia. The explosion was later said to have resulted from
Gazprom’s decision to stop importing gas due to high prices and
falling demand. Gazprom blamed the explosion on poor maintenance.
(AP, 4/9/09)(Econ, 12/12/09, p.46)
2009 Jun 6, Turkmenistan state
media reported that China will lend the energy-rich country $3
billion to develop its vast South Yolotan natural gas field.
2009 Jun 15, Turkmenistan Pres.
Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov staged lavish ceremonies for foreign
guests and media to launch a new $1.5 billion resort on the desert
shore of the Caspian Sea in a city named after his eccentric and
2009 Jun 16, China’s Pres. Hu
Jintao announced a $10 billion loan to the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization, founded in 2001. The SCO grouped China, Russia,
Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
(http://tinyurl.com/pr5v65j)(Econ, 1/30/10, p.51)
2009 Jul 15, In Turkmenistan
President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov led a ceremony for channeling
water across hundreds of miles to create Golden Age Lake in the
heart of the barren Karakum Desert, in a Soviet-style engineering
feat that some experts fear could unleash an environmental
2009 Aug 31, Turkmenistan
President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov said a base will be built at
the Caspian Sea port city of Turkmenbashi to help "effectively fight
smugglers, terrorists and any other forces." Turkmenistan is locked
in a dispute with Azerbaijan, on the opposite shore, over several
oil and gas fields.
2009 Oct 9, The US Peace Corps’
country director in Turkmenistan said the Central Asian nation has
denied entry to 47 Peace Corps volunteers. A diplomatic note from
the embassy said that they would be invited next year, but not for
2009 Nov 30, Tajikistan
unveiled a Chinese-built 500-kilowatt transmission line that will
link the northern and central parts of the country. This would add
to the poor nation's debt to China but reduce reliance on
Uzbekistan, which planned to withdraw on Dec 1 from the Soviet-era
power grid that unites four Central Asian countries. This prompted
fears of electricity shortages that could make for a winter of
hardship in impoverished Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan, said
the move will cut it off from gas-rich Turkmenistan.
2009 Dec 9, Iran claimed that a
newly built UN station to detect nuclear explosions was built in
Turkmenistan near its border to give the West a post to spy on the
country. The Vienna-based Preparatory Commission for the
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, or CTBTO, said
the station has now been fully constructed and is currently
2009 Dec 14, China’s Pres. Hu
Jintao and the leaders of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
gathered at the Saman-Depe gas field in Turkmenistan and inaugurated
a 1,139-mile gas pipeline running through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan
to China’s Xinjiang province.
2009 The average income of
Turkmenistan’s 5 million people was under $300 a month.
(Econ, 12/12/09, p.45)
2009 Dilip Hiro authored
“Inside Central Asia: A Political and Cultural History of
Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey
(Econ, 9/26/09, p.98)
2009 Daniel Metcalfe authored
“Out of Steppe: The Lost Peoples of Central Asia." He describes such
people as the Karakalpak in Uzbekistan, the Yaghnobi in people of
Tajikistan, the Jews of Bukhara and the Germans of Kazakhstan.
(Econ, 5/16/09, p.91)
2010 Jan 6, In Ashgabat,
Turkmenistan, Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad inaugurated a new gas
pipeline link to Iran from Turkmenistan, which he said would take
ties to a "new level."
2010 Feb 18, Turkmenistan Pres.
Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov said "If anyone wishes to propose
creating a new political party, we can register one this year, as
stipulated by the Constitution." The constitution, adopted in 1992,
allows for the formation of political parties.
2010 Mar 27, Iran used an
ancient new year celebration to reach out to Afghanistan,
Azerbaijan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Turkey at a summit
meeting that projected Iranian leadership in the strategic region
straddling the Middle East and Central Asia.
2010 Apr 2, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pushed Turkmenistan to improve its
human rights record, opening a trip through ex-Soviet Central Asia
where complaints of violations are extensive.
2010 Nov 28, Iran's Pres.
Ahmadinejad and Turkmen Pres. Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov inaugurated
the last section of the Sarakhs-Tehran pipeline to export Turkmen
gas to northeast Iran.
2010 Nov 28, Iran's Pres.
Ahmadinejad and Turkmen Pres. Berdymukhamedov inaugurated the last
section of the Sarakhs-Tehran pipeline to export Turkmen gas to
2010 Dec 11, Turkmenistan
signed broad agreements with Afghanistan, India and Pakistan at a
summit in its capital Ashgabat on the 1,700-km (1,050-mile) TAPI
pipeline. Afghanistan the next day said it will deploy up to 7,000
troops to secure the major transnational gas pipeline, slated to run
through some of the most dangerous parts of the war-torn country.
2011 Apr 24, Turkmenistan
culminated a weekend horse show with opening of the four new lavish
race tracks. The country boasted around 3,000 Akhal-Teke horses, of
which 500 are owned by the President Gurbanguli
2011 Apr 26, It was reported
that education authorities in Turkmenistan have abolished the
requirement for school-leavers to take an exam on the two-volume
Rukhnama (Book of the Soul), a rambling spiritual guide written by
the country's late Pres. Saparmurat Niyazov.
2011 May 28, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai traveled to neighboring Turkmenistan on a trip aimed at
drumming up regional support for his struggling nation's economic
2011 May 31, The official
newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan reported that Pres. Gurbanguli
Berdymukhamedov has signed a decree authorizing the creation of the
National Space Agency. Earlier this month, US space transportation
company SpaceX vice president Christophe Bauer announced that his
company would launch a satellite for the Central Asian nation in
2011 Jul 7, In Turkmenistan a
series of mysterious blasts severely damaged hundreds of houses in
the town of Abadan, 12 miles (20 km) from the capital, Ashgabat.
Exiled Turkmen activists said a munitions dump was the source of the
blast and that many people have been killed.
2011 Nov 23, Turkmenistan
signed an agreement with China to boost natural gas deliveries. This
will see the central Asian nation supply about half of China's gas
needs. The gas agreement was one of 14 signed following talks in
Beijing between Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov and
Chinese President Hu Jintao.
2012 Feb 12, Turkmenistan held
presidential elections. The seven candidates running against
President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov (54) have all made praise for
his leadership a central plank of their campaigns. Berdymukhamedov
won a new five-year term by capturing 97 percent of the vote. A
Western expert called the vote a democratic sham.
(AP, 2/12/12)(AP, 2/13/12)
2012 May 19, Turkmenistan
unveiled in Ashgabat the world’s largest Ferris wheel in an enclosed
(SSFC, 5/20/12, p.A4)
2013 Feb 13, Ukraine reached a
tentative agreement with Turkmenistan to resume imports of natural
gas from the energy-rich Central Asian nation. Completion of the
deal would require the consent of Kazakhstan and Russia as transit
2013 Apr 28, Turkmenistan
President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov (55) escaped serious injury
when his horse stumbled and he pitched into the dirt track at the
hippodrome on the outskirts of the capital, Ashgabat. State
television's video of the race cut off just before the fall. State
media reported that Berdymukhamedov won the race. The president
reappeared about half an hour later to accept the winner's prize —
about $11 million.
2013 Dec 15, Turkmenistan held
its first multi-party legislative elections, but with no opposition
to trouble the dominance of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.
Amnesty Int’l. called it a sham.
(AFP, 12/15/13)(SFC, 12/16/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 19, In Turkmenistan
official election results said the ruling party won the most seats
in the Dec 15 legislative elections, while a new party set up to
diversify politics in the ultra-controlled state won its first-ever
2014 Jan 18, Turkmenistan's
Pres. Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedo said his government will begin
installing gas meters in households, ending the unlimited supply of
free gas to citizens. The nation is estimated to have the world's
fourth-largest natural gas reserves, and gas, electricity and water
have been supplied free to households since 1993.
2014 Feb 1, Turkmenistan’s
President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov said in a resolution published
in the official government newspaper that each person would still be
allowed up to 50 cubic meters of gas for free, but anything over
that amount would cost $7 per thousand cubic meters.
2014 Jul 9, Turkmenistan
President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov announced that a university
entrance exam based on the Ruhnama, or "Book of the Soul," by former
president Saparmurat Niyazov, would be abolished.
2014 Nov 11, Kyrgyzstan
President Almazbek Atambayev, who has completed a tour seeking help
from neighboring countries, said that he obtained a preliminary
agreement for gas-rich Turkmenistan to supply up to 1 billion
kilowatt hours annually. Kazakhstan last week agreed to provide 1.4
billion kilowatt hours per year, around one-fifth of Kyrgyzstan's
2014 Dec 3, In the Turkmen
frontier village of Ak-Yayla the presidents of Iran, Kazakhstan and
Turkmenistan attended the official opening of a railway line linking
landlocked Central Asia with the Persian Gulf.
2015 May 16, Turkmenistan state
media reported the pardon of 1,202 Turkmen prisoners and 13
foreigners in an amnesty.
2015 Oct 23, Japan and
Turkmenistan signed deals worth over $18 billion on a package of
projects in the energy-rich central Asian nation, which has become
an important supplier of natural gas to China.
2015 Oct, Turkmenistan Pres.
Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov (58) published his poem “Forward, only
forward, my dear country Turkmenistan. In November a choir of 4,166
people inside a giant yurt broke a world record by singing the hymn.
2015 Nov 7, Turkmenistan media
said President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has ordered the start of
construction on a pipeline carrying gas from the former Soviet state
to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
2016 Jan 5, Turkmenistan
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov slammed the country's
anti-smoking strategy at a televised government meeting. Authorities
soon began to force shops to stop selling cigarettes, but a ban on
cigarette sales was not yet officially announced or published by the
2016 Jan 12, Banks in
Turkmenistan halted hard currency sales as the economy shows signs
of struggling amid falling global energy prices.
2016 Jan, Russia called off all
purchases of gas from Turkmenistan.
(Econ, 12/17/16, p.36)
2016 Feb 6, Turkmenistan state
television said Pres. Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has sacked his
administration chief, complaining of corruption and mismanagement.
2016 Mar 16, Turkmenistan's
president arrived in Pakistan on a two-day visit that is likely to
focus on a proposed gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through
Afghanistan, Pakistan and on to India.
2016 Jul 12, Human Rights Watch
urged an end to "forced anal examinations" with a report documenting
them in eight countries, mostly in Africa, saying the practice is
based on flawed ideas about supposedly proving homosexual conduct.
The report drew on interviews with 32 men and transgender women
subjected to the exams in eight countries that ban same-sex conduct:
Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda and
2016 Sep, Turkmenistan opened a
new falcon-shaped airport in Ashgabat.
(Econ, 12/17/16, p.36)
2016 Nov 28, The presidents of
Turkmenistan and Afghanistan officially opened a new railroad at the
Imamnazar station on the Turkmen side of the border that will link
the oil-rich former Soviet republic with Afghanistan.
2016 Dec, Foreign analysts
estimated that as many as 60% of workers in Turkmenistan are in
(Econ, 12/17/16, p.36)
2017 Jan 3, Turkmenistan said
that it has restricted natural gas deliveries to Iran over unpaid
debts. Iranian state media have put the figure demanded by
Turkmenistan at around $2 billion.
2017 Feb 12, Turkmenistan voted
with a massive announced turnout in a presidential vote expected to
tighten strongman Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's hold over the
gas-rich Central Asian country. Berdymukhamedov won with 98% of the
(AFP, 2/12/17)(Econ, 2/18/17, p.33)
2017 Mar 31, Leaders of
Turkmenistan and Belarus attended the launch of a huge potash
fertilizer plant worth more than $1 billion. The plant in Garlyk,
built near huge potash deposits, was built by Belarus.
2017 Aug 19, In Turkmenistan
merchants at several stores said that authorities had ordered
alcohol sales be halted until October, after the Asian Indoor and
Martial Arts Games conclude. The competition in Ashgabat, the
capital, takes place Sept. 17-27.
2017 Oct 2, Russian President
Vladimir Putin met with the president of Turkmenistan on a rare
visit to the gas-rich Central Asian nation.
2017 Dec 22, The US State
Department re-designated China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea,
Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as
"countries of particular concern" under the International Religious
Freedom Act for having engaged in or tolerated egregious violations
of religious freedom.
2018 Jan 29, Iran oil ministry
said it said it is ready to file a case with the International Court
of Arbitration (ICA) over the quality and price of gas it receives
from Turkmenistan, as a dispute between the two nations over
2018 Feb 23, Afghanistan's
Pres. Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan's PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi launched a
1,814 km (1,130 mile) gas pipeline that will feed Turkmenistan gas
to Afghanistan, as well as Pakistan and eventually to India.
2018 Mar 25, Turkmenistan held
parliamentary elections that included candidates from three parties
and some independents, but no real opposition to President
Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov (60). Serdar Berdymukhamedov (36), the
son of the authoritarian president, scored a huge victory in the
tightly controlled parliamentary elections. Turkmenistan has no
tradition of competitive elections or political opposition.
(AP, 3/25/18)(AFP, 3/30/18)
2018 Aug 12, Azerbaijan, Iran,
Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan agreed in principle how to
divide up the potentially huge oil and gas resources of the Caspian
2019 Jan 1, In Turkmenistan a
law took effect forbidding the sale of alcoholic drinks including
beer on trains, airplanes and ferries and at sports facilities. It
also banned the sale of alcohol on holidays when workers get the day
off. The law called for alcohol sales to be banned on Saturdays and
Sundays beginning in 2021, except at bars and restaurants.