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Turkmenistan government shake-up with ties to ‘defense’ and ‘security’

January 22, 2009

©  Reflections on the Ruhnama
By Steve in Wisconsin
Publication date:  January 22, 2009

A purge is occurring within Turkmenistan’s government – and at least some of the changes have links to ‘defense’ and ‘security’ matters.

An article yesterday on the Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty website reads:

Turkmenistan’s Top Military Officials Dismissed
January 21, 2009

ASHGABAT – Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has dismissed Defense Minister Agageldi Mammetgeldiev and the head of the State Border Agency, Bayram Alovov, RFE/RL‘s Turkmen Service reports.

They were replaced, respectively, by the former chief of Turkmenistan’s Customs Agency, Yaylim Berdiev, and the former chief of the State Agency Against Drug Trafficking, Islam Orazov.

The moves came after Berdymukhammedov harshly criticized the activities of the Defense Ministry and the State Border Agency at a televised session of the nation’s Security Council.

Last week, Berdymukhammedov fired one-third of the country’s government, as well as the head of the state oil company.


This follows an earlier report last week:
Turkmen President Sacks Cabinet Members, Oil Company Director
January 16, 2009

ASHGABAT – Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has fired one-third of the country’s government, as well as the head of the state oil company, RFE/RL‘s Turkmen Service reports.

Berdymukhammedov was shown on TV late on January 15 accusing top officials of “committing unforgivable mistakes and miscalculations.”

He then fired the ministers of energy, communications, sports and tourism, and the heads of the Turkmenneft state oil company and the state geological agency.

The dismissals were the biggest changes made in the government by Berdymukhammedov since he came to power in December 2006.


Interestingly, Russian information agency Ferghana.ru reports today:
Turkmenistan:  New military doctrine allows for no foreign military bases on the territory of the country
©  Ferghana.ru
January 22, 2009

President of Turkmenistan Gurbankuly Berdymuhammedov signed the new military doctrine on January 21.

The new military doctrine proclaimed non-alignment and banned establishment of foreign military bases on the territory of Turkmenistan. Neither does it stand for procurement, production, proliferation, or transit of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction across the Turkmen borders.

Defensive in nature, the military doctrine is centered around maintenance of peace in the country, inviolability of its borders, solidarity of the people, protection of its peaceful prosperity, strengthening of the Armed Forces, improvement of the image of [Turkmenistan] in the eyes of the international community, and advancement of friendship with neighbors.

Berdymuhammedov sacked the defense minister that same day. Web site Turkmenistan – Golden Age reported Defense Minister Mammetgeldiyev relieved of his duties with the president’s thanks for service to the Motherland.


Central Asian News Services quotes the State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH) and reports the following new appointments:
Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov appoint high ranking officials
22 January 2009, 15:39

CA-NEWS (TM) – In accordance with the Decree of President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov following appointments were made:
– Yaylym Yagmyrovich Berdiev is appointed Minister of Defence of Turkmenistan, Yaylym Yagmyrovich Berdiev is appointed Secretary of the State Security Council of Turkmenistan;
– Myrat Yslamov is appointed Chief of the State Border Service of Turkmenistan, Commander-in-Chief of Frontier Forces of Turkmenistan
– Serdar Gurbangulyevich Batyrov is appointed Acting Chief of the State Agency for Drugs of Turkmenistan and relieved him from the post of First Deputy of Chief of the State Agency for Drugs of Turkmenistan
– Seyitnyyaz Gurbanmammedovich Ballyev is appointed Acting Chairman of the State Migration Service of Turkmenistan
– Orazgeldi Taganmyradovich Esenov is appointed Acting Chairman of the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan, reports the Turkmen State News Agency (TDH).


Some of these changes are likely related to the Ruhnama Day 2008 shootout in Ashgabat which may have been a coup attempt against President Berdymuhamedov’s illegal rule – possibly orchestrated either by internal elements within government or Islamic fundamentalists. Skeptics deny the official story that the incident involved an encounter with ‘drug traffickers’.

Although Berdymuhamedov’s predecessor, Saparmyrat Turkmenbashy the Great, also ‘replaced’ government officials as deemed necessary, this was not done on the scale that it has occurred under the new president. While Gurby may believe that he is purging his administration of rogue, incompetent or untrustworthy elements he is simultaneously creating uncertainty in the minds of those who remain in place. This presents its own set of problems as career military, police and other officials become edgy wondering if “they’re next” on the president’s hit list. This type of underlying fear – particularly if some of the discharged employees did nothing to deserve termination – breeds contempt for the Head of State.

As Saparmyrat Turkmenbashy the Great penned in Ruhnama:

Mankind is not always full of virtue or conscious of virtue; arrogance may triumph sometimes. Why does arrogance lead to calamity?

Ruhnama I, p. 192
(English hardcover edition.)


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