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Chop and change? Turkmenistan stages Asian martial arts

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan's image-conscious strongman Gurbanguly Berymukhamedov on Sunday kicked off a 10-day regional sporting event the isolated country is hosting despite a slew of economic and rights concerns.

Horse-mad Turkmenistan claims to break strange world record

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan claimed Tuesday that the Central Asian country had broken a niche world record by building the world's "largest horse head sculpture" ahead of a sporting event it is preparing to host.

Turkmenistan bans alcohol ahead of flagship sporting event

Ashgabat - Reclusive Turkmenistan has banned sales of alcohol until October to ensure "public order" ahead of a key sporting event the country is hosting next month, an official in the trade ministry told AFP Saturday.

UN chief warns Central Asian states on rights

Ashgabat - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres Tuesday urged ex-Soviet Central Asian states to observe human rights in the fight against extremism as he completed a tour of the Muslim-majority region.

On first visit abroad, Uzbek leader unveils statue of predecessor

- Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Tuesday unveiled a statue of his feared predecessor during his first official trip abroad to neighbouring Turkmenistan.

Magnanimous Turkmen strongman promotes vote rival

Ashgabat - In a generous gesture following an electoral victory in which he scooped 97 percent of the vote, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has promoted his closest electoral rival, state media reported Tuesday.

Turkmenistan leader sworn in after almost uncontested electoral win

Ashgabat - Isolated Turkmenistan's strongman Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov was sworn in Friday in a grand ceremony after securing over 97 percent of an almost uncontested vote at the weekend.

Turkmen president wins new 7-year term with nearly 98% of vote

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan's reigning strongman Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov bagged a new seven-year term with nearly 98 percent of a weakly contested vote, electoral officials said Monday, following a preliminary count.

Turkmenistan votes in one-sided presidential poll

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan voted Sunday with a massive announced turnout in a presidential vote expected to tighten strongman Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's hold over the gas-rich Central Asian country.

Op-Ed: Barack Obama's criminal legacy on war, torture and Guantánamo

President Barack Obama leaves behind a criminal legacy on war, torture and Guantánamo Bay. This isn't hyperbole, it's legal fact, as what follows will amply demonstrate.

Cult of Turkmen 'Father' fades into history, 10 years on

Ashgabat - Every time Meder Jumayev looks at his wristwatch, the pensioner is happy to see a familiar face looking back at him.

Turkmenistan to hold presidential vote in February

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan will hold a presidential vote on February 12 next year, state media reported Saturday, with President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov likely to compete unencumbered by any serious opposition.

Turkmenistan changes constitution to extend leader's rule

Ashgabat - Isolated Central Asian Turkmenistan on Wednesday passed constitutional changes that could pave the way for authoritarian leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov to rule the ex-Soviet nation for life.

Turkmenistan leader sacks two ministers, tax chief

Ashgabat - Energy-rich Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov sacked two ministers and the top tax official, government media reported Saturday as low prices for hydrocarbon exports continue to bite.

Turkmenistan introduces mandatory pre-marital HIV tests

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan has passed a law making HIV tests mandatory prior to marriage, state media reported on Wednesday, in a sign the reclusive Central Asian state fears the spread of a disease it has always downplayed.

Central Asia strongman regimes challenged by stuttering economies

Ashgabat - Pensioner Anna Kovalyova, 63, would struggle to make ends meet on her pension worth $250 if it was not for the subsidies from the authorities in Turkmenistan that make water, gas and electricity almost free.

Turkmen leader sacks key aide amid graft charges

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has sacked his administration chief, complaining of corruption and mismanagement, state television said Saturday, as economic troubles begin to mount in the isolated Central Asian state.

Turkmenistan pulls cigarettes from shelves in anti-smoking bid

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan's authorities have forced shops to stop selling cigarettes, traders in Ashgabat said Thursday, after its president urged citizens to kick the habit.

Songs of praise: Turkmenistan president's hymn sets new record

Ashgabat - A choir of 4,166 people in isolated ex-Soviet Turkmenistan has broken a world record by singing a hymn penned by the nation's strongman president, in the latest choreographed show of support.

Don't call it the Great Game: U.S. renews Central Asia ties

Ashgabat - The great cities of the Silk Road were once thriving, cosmopolitan centers for the trade in goods, ideas and culture between the civilizations of Europe and Asia.
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