Overview Turkmenistan

Show region Post-Soviet Eurasia

With one of the most restrictive political systems globally, Turkmenistan’s ultra-centralized regime does not respect human rights and civil liberties. People’s growing discontent is reflected in an increasing number of protest actions and emigrations. The government is countering the growing dissatisfaction with an even stronger denial of fundamental rights and freedoms.

Operating within a tight corset of state regulation, gas-rich Turkmenistan has been in a severe economic crisis since 2015. Misguided economic policies have further worsened the already-difficult socioeconomic situation, indicated by a significant increase in poverty. The COVID-19 crisis – and the government’s total denial of it – has exacerbated the dire situation.

Reforms in all areas of society are primarily cosmetic. At first glance, Turkmenistan’s cooperation with foreign governments has developed positively. However, the government aims to enhance the country’s reputation in the interest of financing projects and demonstrating to the population that Turkmenistan’s policies enjoy the esteem of the international community.

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