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No. 24 (44) December 2006
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Farewell to bashi
Begmurad Annageldıev (Ashgabat)
What happened was nobody expected. Forever the Great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi died. Of course, all people are mortal, it happens to die, but not the same!

Let us leave alone his financial legacy, for which the struggle has already begun inside and outside Turkmenistan, descriptions of its palaces, fountains, statues and ice rinks in the desert. What did Turkmenbashi leave for his people? And he left behind him a desert. But not the one under which gas reserves lie, but a completely devastated society and completely broken mechanisms of governing the state, which he so persistently built exclusively for himself, the decline of the economy, which he personally directed.

The desire of Turkmenbashi to build a new state through the proclamation and implementation of various programs for the development of various areas of government has led to the fact that these areas have been reorganized in such a way that some of them will have to be built anew, and everything will be brought out of a serious crisis, so that they do not collapse completely and do not pull all the others along.

The proclamation of the Turkmenbashi program "Education" and the foundations of the state youth policy effectively deprived Turkmenistan of the education system as an institution for preparing a competitive reserve for the public and private sectors. The reduction in the general period of study, the introduction to the detriment of the general educational program and the special disciplines of subjects of ideological direction, changed the structure of knowledge delivery, exhausted the very meaning of the existence of certain subjects. Teachers and teachers themselves admit that they produce completely “sterile” schoolchildren and students who are completely unsuitable for later life. What qualifications of graduates can we talk about if, in the first years of higher education, the main subject is Niyazov’s book “Ruhnama”.

The degradation of education is already affecting the entire economy and other areas. In fact, everything now rests on a weak stratum of specialists who received education in Soviet times and did not leave Turkmenistan for economic, social and ethnic reasons. Even the favorite “fixed idea” of Turkmenbashi, its new buildings - factories, factories, luxury housing, transport infrastructure - built by foreign experts, after being put into operation for a year or two, have fallen into decay, there is simply no one to service and maintain the equipment at the proper level.

Health care experienced the same charms of “programming”. The state program "Health" so undermined the health of this industry, that virtually entire institutions and medical professions disappeared. The “merging” of many structures and specialists into the so-called “diagnostic centers” located in large cities led to the degradation of medicine in rural areas. The reduction of the serving medical staff (more than 10,000 people were simultaneously dismissed) and the reduction in state funding led to the fact that urgently needed soldiers were sent to these works. And the lack of competent specialists nullifies the equipping of diagnostic centers with the most modern equipment, no one simply can interpret the data of the analyzes. More than ever, corruption has flourished in medicine, although now there is no place in Turkmenistan where one would not have to pay for almost every step.

Despite the existence of state programs for raising the village, all agriculture fell into decay and this greatly upset Turkmenbashi shortly before his death. He stated a complete failure in cotton and the bankruptcy of his own program, Zerno. According to official data only a little more than 30% of cotton and grain were collected. And neither the massive purchases of powerful equipment by leading firms, the so-called “preferential crediting” of agriculture, or the constant rotation of executives do not save the situation. Things reached the point that interruptions in bread began to be felt throughout the country and even in Ashgabat, and to maintain the supply of raw materials of the textile industry, soldiers were again thrown at the fields.

And the soldiers themselves ... Initially, the progressive idea of ​​creating an alternative civilian service has become a mechanism for the merciless exploitation of the younger generation. The soldiers, like cannon fodder of wartime, are thrown to plug all the holes of the economy of Turkmenistan, where they need gratuitous labor.

The very economy of Turkmenistan is completely tied to the export of gas and several other mineral resources. The imbalance in the economy in favor of the raw material component is so great that any incident will immediately lead to a collapse. The situation is complicated by the fact that Niyazov alone resolved questions about the financing of various activities, the development of various areas. Government officials with the rank of vice-premiers each, even the smallest contract with foreign firms, had to agree with the president. There is no banking activity in the country in the generally accepted understanding of this term. And this is one of the reasons for the almost complete absence of a national small and medium business, not to mention a large one. The second reason - corruption - has led to the fact that financial crooks, mostly Turkish people, occupy a dominant position in the private sector. And the overwhelming number of private entrepreneurs are banal shuttles and merchants in the bazaars. The lack of free conversion of the national currency (literally: in Turkmenistan it is impossible to exchange manats for other currencies and there is a black market that differs from the officially declared 4 times) makes free enterprise a generally difficult task.

The president did not forget about the structure of power. And the program of its modernization and "democratization" has led to the fact that this structure has become so confusing and contradictory that the new authorities cannot take a step from the very first day in order not to violate the constitution and other laws left by Turkmenbashi. The crisis of power, which does not envisage continuity and the mechanisms for its implementation, already willy-nilly forces the authorities to abandon the heritage of Turkmenbashi, although they swear allegiance to his precepts.

They all understand that you need to change something. The big temptation is to follow the path of creating the junta and tighten the screws even more and slide into total repression. But this is the easiest way. And the most dangerous. Everything in the state is kept on parole. Turkmenbashi. And he rested. He died for life president. I ordered to live long. As a testament to your people, it looks like a mockery. Because life will be difficult.
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The Kassem
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March 23, 2005, KG, Bishkek
There is a danger that the government will provoke acts of violence and looting in the southern cities. The authorities are now ready for anything, even to incite ethnic conflict. Attempts have already been, in particular the state secretary. Osmonakun Ibraimov constantly exaggerates the theme of Kyrgyz-Uzbek relations.
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