The school year is on the nose, and the doors of the seminary of the Turkmen State University (TSU) are closed. The Human Rights Foundation “Forum18”, registered in Norway, informs that contracts with Turkish theological teachers have been broken in a hurry, they have already returned to Istanbul, courses for applicants have been frozen, and the remaining students have been included in the number of students of the Faculty of History.
Ashgabad University in secular Turkmenistan remained the only “forge” of the servants of Islam - in 2001, a barn castle was hung on the gate of the last madrasah in the regional center of Dashoguz, bordering Uzbekistan’s religious territory. The head of state acted as the seminary trustee, who initiated the latest sanctions. Meanwhile, in the walls of the alma mater of the sura of the Koran, he studied the local Qazi. Now he drives around in a Mercedes with state numbers and gets a part-time salary as deputy chairman of the Council on Religious Affairs under the President. The share of the two previous supreme imams is unenviable - one is imprisoned for a 25-year term on charges of encroaching on the life of the first person, the second disappeared from sight after he was dismissed for his inappropriate behavior.
Saparmurad Turkmenbashi (“Turkmen Head” - official title) issued a warning in July. The interpretation of Islamic foundations and all kinds of religious rites should have one source. "Otherwise, there will be a lot of interpreters of religious customs, which, one way or another, will lead to countless quarrels." He insisted on this position in previous years, ordering the need to burn copies of the Quran, arbitrarily translated into Turkmen by one of the local imams, demanding strictly to prevent religious emissaries, literature and audio-videotapes from entering the country. At the same time, according to the stories of Ashgabat people, the records with the sermons of impostors-imams, like their samizdat brochures, can still be quietly bought today on the "crush".
Mirages in the desert
The last leader of the Turkmen Communist Party and the first president of neutral Turkmenistan, Saparmurad Niyazov, has long tried on the mantle of the main preacher: he erected two mosques in honor of himself and surrounded them with vineyards, composed the book “Ruhnama” and declared it the second holy book for Turkmens after the Koran having opened an orphanage for Arab money, in which five hundred children from their childhood teach Sunni etiquette at the foot of the Kopetdag, Niyazov has the prerogative to decide on which days to celebrate Kurban Airam. In the end, with his light hands, Turkmen-Turkish colleges (about two dozen) appeared in all regional centers, and a Turkmen-Turkish university was opened in the capital itself. Within the walls of these institutions, educators from Konya inspire the ascetic norms of Islam to their students, explain the advantages of “Pan-Turkism” and the key role of Turkey in this, which, according to their predictions, will sooner or later turn into an exemplary Islamic state.
In general, for the Turks, who were the first to kiss the hands of Turkmenbashi, the attitude was for some time exclusive as an “alternative in the absence of an alternative.” Only they were allowed to open a central hospital, a Yimpash supermarket, a Zaman-Turkmenistan newspaper, a regional TRT television station, schools, a university, a library, an Ottoman-style mosque and a cultural center in Ashgabat. “Either jokingly or seriously”, the Turkish embassy official put it like this, Niyazov promised to allocate large land plots in case Ankara decides to organize a couple of millions of Anatolian Turks to Turkmenistan, which according to manuscripts originate from Merv Seljuks. Not a single diaspora has been honored with such a patronage, even if it is pretentious. After that, a huge park named after Turkmenbashi and his personal residence appeared in Istanbul. In Turkmenistan, more than 300 Turkish firms were registered, which brought about 15,000 workers from Turkey. The projects to which they have applied their hands have exceeded billions of dollars. The first roughness in the Turkmen-Turkish relations followed a closed court and arrests of two key figures in the Turkmen government - Vice-Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers in the oil and gas sector, Ella Kurbanmuradov, and the head of affairs of the presidential office, Deputy Chairman of the People's Veche (Khalk Maslakhaty) Recep Saparov. With "great weight," these officials closest to Niyazov provided the lottery win to Turkish dealers. Apart from the immunity that the Ahmet Chalyk holding has retained for a while, securing a number of positions in the Turkmen government, today many firms have declared objectionable, ranging from the construction Erku to Atyurt, which has served numerous presidential residences. And now here is the news of sending Turkish theologians.
Sources close to official Ashgabad promise that after the dispersal of the seminary, inspection raids will follow from the Ministry of Education to Turkish lyceums. According to them, rumors have long been circulating that the financing of some of them is indirectly connected with the notorious Turkish religious branch “Nurcular” and its leader, Imam Fathullah Gulen, who permanently resides in the United States. The question arises why this fact was remembered only now. The Russian authorities treated all these warnings with excessive zeal a couple of years ago. In the end, after the FSB checks, a wave of closures of similar schools in Buryatia, Tuva, Karachay-Cherkessia, Khakassia and other regions of the Russian Federation rolled over. The Young Turk opposition in emigration almost remembered about Gulen almost simultaneously. They beat the alarm: the form and methods of training of institutions closed in Russia were not much different from those operating in modern Turkmenistan. The educational process takes place in Turkish and English, these schools operate in the form of a separate boarding house, in which children are obliged to spend five days a week. And if we take into account that the backbone of the students is the children of government officials, including youths of the Turkmen deputy prime ministers, then the prospect of total “Turkization” of the Caspian country seems to be at all.
According to one Western diplomat in Ashgabad, the aggressive and at the same time “turkization” imposed from above caused a strong rejection of the local population. The authorities could not react to it. The most impressive time bomb was the enslaving differentiation of the wages of local residents and Turkish migrant workers, not in favor of the former. Rustem, a pupil of the Ashgabat Turkmen-Turkish Lyceum, believes that even children do not believe the educators from Turkey - given the “tarnished reputation” of their compatriots in moral terms. From time to time Niyazov himself speaks about it, trying to weaken the knots of contradictions, reacting in a peculiar way to the problems that arise even in everyday life. “I heard that the Turks sometimes stick to our girls ... but we know that our girls can stand up for themselves,” he cautiously remarked at one of the plant's start-up ceremonies, inserting the saying he invented: “Turks and Turkmen brothers. Two states are one people. ” The small audience, zamekav, began to applaud dryly. They probably recalled that at least two construction crews from Turkey had to flee after the righteous anger of the relatives of the offended Turkmen attacked them.
P.S. There is a historical aspect to the topic of conversation. As early as the 19th century, an academician from Hungary, Arminius Vamberi, who visited the Turkmen land in the guise of a dervish, emphasized the “self-sufficiency of the Turkmen”, because the internal structure of the Turkmen remained hardly tolerated by Arab influence, despite thirteen centuries of close intercourse. By the way, this seems to be written in the “Ruhnama” too ...