Turkmenistan. On January 1, the Turkmenistan currency
devalued by about 19% as a result of the sharp fall of the
Russian ruble. The low oil prices pushed the Turkmen
economy, which is based on gas and oil. According to
COUNTRYAAH, President Gurbanguli
Berdimuchammedov said that the economy needs to be widened
so that revenue outside energy is fivefold by 2020.
When Berdimuchammedov visited the EU in the spring to
discuss, among other things, gas supplies, issues of human
rights were raised with him. According to Amnesty,
Turkmenistan is one of the world's worst repressive states.
Berdimuchammedov announced an amnesty for more than 1,200
prisoners, but it was unclear what their crimes were.
Turkmenistan was the third worst country on Reporters
Without Borders list of press freedom in the world. Only
worse were Eritrea and North Korea.
During the year, a 21 meter high gilded equestrian statue
was inaugurated, where Berdimuchammedov sits on an
achaltekeer horse on top of a white marble cliff. The
monument was named the Protector, called the leader.
In July, Berdimuchammedov dismissed a number of ministers
and other civil servants accused of corruption and curbing
economic reforms. In a short time, about 80 officials were
reported to have been prosecuted. At the same time, it was
announced that the country's GDP grew by just over 9% during
the first half of the year.
US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Turkmenistan in
November and met Berdimuchammedov. Kerry explained that
oppression by political opponents could backfire and favor
the radicalism feared by the leaders of Central Asia. Kerry
raised 87 "urgent prisoners" that the United States would
like to see released, though without making any promises. It
was the first US Secretary of State to visit Turkmenistan
During the year, Berdimuchammedov ensured that
Turkmenistan entered Guinness's record book by 4 166 people
singing cannon. The song was "Forward, Just Forward My Dear
Turkmenistan", a toned poem written by Berdimuchammedov. The
choir appeared in a huge herb, the traditional round nomad
tent. The author and dictator participated in the song and