>Breaking News: Saparmurat Niyazov, "ex"-communist dictator of Turkmenistan, dies; Putin affirms Russian friendship, warns of CSTO intervention

>The people of Turkmenistan . . . will remain committed to the political course of Saparmurat Turkmenbashi.
— Official statement of Turkmen Government, December 21, 2006

The political course of Comrade “Turkmenbashi,” of course, is neo-communism. Following President Niyazov’s death, Comrade Czar Putin subtly affirmed his intent to keep Turkmenistan within Moscow’s orbit: “We have known Saparmurat Atayevich as a friend of Russia. It was thanks to his efforts that a solid foundation of multi-sided Russian-Turkmen cooperation had been laid down . . . [I]t is in the interests of the people of Russia and Turkmenistan to continue strengthen our partnership.” The Hindu reports:

Meanwhile, head of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation of former Soviet states warned of a “potential aggravation of the situation” in Turkmenistan and said the defence pact could intervene. Russian analysts said Turkmenistan was likely to become a battleground for fierce struggle among Russia, the U.S., Europe and China for control over its vast gas reserves.

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will lead the Russian delegation at Comrade Turkmenbashi’s funeral. The report of President Niyazov’s death below is from state-run Novosti. See our December 14 “Red World” entry for Turkmenistan, updated several blogs below.

Turkmen TV reports Niyazov’s death at 66 – Russian Embassy
21/12/2006

MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) – A state TV channel in Turkmenistan has broadcast a statement on the death of President-for-Life Saparmurat Niyazov, praising the authoritarian leader’s achievements, the Russian Embassy said Thursday.

The announcement, which included a government statement, said Niyazov died of a cardiac arrest at 1:10 a.m. local time (8:10 p.m. GMT Wednesday) at the age of 66.

The embassy official said over the phone that the TV channel showed Niyazov’s portrait in a black frame as the statement was read out.

“The television channel is recounting the president’s biography and what he has done for Turkmenistan and the international community,” the Russian diplomat said.

The TV broadcast included an official statement from the Turkmen government, the State Security Council and parliamentarians.

“The people of Turkmenistan … will remain committed to the political course of Saparmurat Turkmenbashi,” the statement said.

Niyazov ruled the energy-rich ex-Soviet Central Asian republic for 21 years with an iron fist and created a personality cult styling himself as Turkmenbashi, or head of the Turkmen people.

The late president had been suffering from heart problems for several years. In 1997 he underwent heart bypass surgery in Germany. Since then, German cardiologists had traveled to Turkmenistan regularly to treat the leader.

Leaders of the opposition, who have been living abroad to avoid prosecution, have said they might meet in the next few days to discuss the situation following the president’s death.

Khudaiberdy Orazov, a former deputy prime minister and chairman of the Vatan movement, said he had already spoken with other opposition leaders over the phone.

7 responses to “>Breaking News: Saparmurat Niyazov, "ex"-communist dictator of Turkmenistan, dies; Putin affirms Russian friendship, warns of CSTO intervention

  1. mah29001 December 21, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    >Hmm, since the “former non-Communist” tyrant died. I wonder if Soviet strategy might shift to include these “Islamist” organizations that are “banned” by these “former” Central Asian blocs. You know, setup a Central Asian version of Iran. That sort of thing.

  2. mah29001 December 21, 2006 at 10:41 pm

    >I am also quite skeptical about Turkmenistan’s dissidents. They somehow could unfortnately repeat the “democratization” and “liberalization” of Turkmenistan quite similar to its Eastern European counterparts in Poland, Czech Republic and the rest of Eastern Europe.Only time shall tell if that indeed is the case.

  3. mah29001 December 22, 2006 at 6:32 pm

    >Here’s something to certainly watch out for:http://www.newsok.com/xml/rss/2989372/You might want to add that to your blog if you would wish.

  4. mah29001 December 22, 2006 at 7:10 pm

    >It seems like that link I sent you about Turkmenistan having a “democratic” election after the death of the dictator still loyal to Moscow and Beijing would probably implement the process of “democratization” and “liberalization”.

  5. mah29001 December 22, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    >You might also want to take a gander of this, about Iran’s influence in Turkmenistan now that the “former” Communist dictator is dead:http://www.stratfor.com/products/premium/read_article.php?id=282234&selected=Analyses

  6. mah29001 December 22, 2006 at 10:10 pm

    >And Iran isn’t the only one looking for influence in the “former” Soviet bloc of Turkmenistan, but “former” Soviet Russia is as well:http://www.stratfor.com/products/premium/read_article.php?id=282229&selected=Analyses

  7. mah29001 December 22, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    >Sorry if I am adding more to the story, but here’s the Not-So-Former-Soviet-Union telling its minions in Turkmenistan to stay the course:http://www.hindu.com/2006/12/23/stories/2006122300591800.htmYou might want to add something about Iran and “former” Soviet Russia’s influence in Turkmenistan now that the “former” Communist dictator is dead. Will Turkmenistan become an “Islamist” state or will it stay as a “former” Soviet bloc? But sadly, the people of Turkmenistan don’t have a choice for their future as it sadly indicated with the death of the Romanian dictator and how the KGB managed to “democratize” Romania.

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