How to live in Turkmenistan Trip to one of the most closed countries in the world. Part 2

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

The original on the website of Ilya Varlamov

Almost all processes happening in our lives, we have learned to explain. We know that the sun rises because the Earth rotates, the plane flies to Turkmenistan due to the lifting force and on the streets of Omsk dirty and there is no pavement, because the mayor is bad. It all seems clear and natural. But the world and its laws will change if you arrive in Turkmenistan. If you ask Turkman, Turkmenistan why in the flying aircraft, he did not hesitate to answer: “Because the passengers were given visas, and Gurbanguly malikgulyyevich, the leader of the nation and our wise ruler, agreed to accept the plane in the Turkmen land”. Why in Omsk dirty? “Because the mayor wasn’t shot for sabotage in time”. In Turkmenistan, everything is subject to the will of the leader. No birds singing, the sun never rises, the wind does not blow without the will of the distinguished Berdimuhamedov, the initiator and inspirer of the epoch of new Revival and inclusive transformation, may God give him health and strength to carry 5.3 million Turkmens! In Turkmenistan there are no laws. The will of the leader. It is above any laws, she, like the sun, lights the way of the Turkmen.

Related news: How to live in Turkmenistan Trip to one of the most closed countries in the world

Turkmens have long since ceased to think about what and why they are supposed to do. In 25 years of independence they have seen a lot. First Turkmenbashi crushed your people, like clay, and constantly introduced new restrictions, then the banner of tyranny has picked up new leader, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, and the show continued. Today let’s talk about what is forbidden to Turkmens.

The most important thing in Turkmenistan is prohibited any dissent. At all. Even innocent conversations about what may the man do not like in Turkmenistan, plunged companion in horror. About the protests and say no. People here don’t know what protest. Even the kitchens are afraid to criticize the government. Over the years pressure the Turkmens have learned to justify any stupidity that happens to them. Ordinary conversation with an aboriginal looks like this:

— Tell me, what’s that stick out of your ass sticks out?
— Like what? Don’t you know, it’s a MOP!
— Why do you have a MOP in your ass?
‘Why? And you don’t?
— We do not, we men can walk around without a MOP in your ass.
— So with a MOP is easier, and why go without MOP if you can with it?
You can take out?
— Oh, no, of course! All of us said so to go!
— This law exists?
— No.
— Who said that?

This place Turkmens usually hangs out, because he doesn’t understand who told him to. Well, really: nobody says, for example, to hang all the portraits of the leader, simply so it is accepted. Each head hangs a portrait of the leader. Why? Away from sin. What is sin and why we need to stay away from him, says the Turkmen TV. To the TV here very seriously, because that anyhow he will not tell a television in Turkmenistan as a voice from above. Of course, any of Turkmens knows that the voice over is the voice Berdimuhamedov, yeah light up the path and the moon and the sun, Yes wobblestick he’s wearing glory!

Here, for example, in 2015, Turkmenistan has banned the importation of cars black. Why? According to Berdimuhamedov, the black color brings bad luck, so ride on black cars, no one can. Customs officers told the carriers that the reason for the denial of importation — “the discrepancy of black colour weather conditions of Turkmenistan”. Hatred of the color black has reached such an extent that in 2014 the police raids on cars with black wheels.

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

The Arcadia, by the way, black does not favor: he has a white “rolls-Royce”, the President’s motorcade also consists of white cars, and white for the official cars issued to high-ranking officials.

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

This is not the only crazy ban. New rules are constantly appearing. In 2007, banned the importation and operation of vehicles with right-hand rudder, in 2009 the import and operation of machinery in coupe and supercars in General. Berdimuhamedov has the green Bugatti Veyron, but that doesn’t count.

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

In 2010-m already banned the import of cars with engine displacement greater than 3.5 liters, 2013 – importation of cars with tinted Windows, in 2015 the import of cars with engine capacity less than 1.3 liters. Usually official rulings on such occasions does not come out, just at the customs say they received “orders from above”.

In Turkmenistan prohibited any tuning. When I asked the Turkmen, and what such bans, he explained: “If the Turkmen tuning does not deny, he kit the whole car, like a Christmas tree. Rides then at 3 a.m., stoned, people in the way! At one time the signal was banned for a month, and there was a time when I was deprived of the rights of the strong!”

In General, it’s amazing how people like this instilled an inferiority complex. Apparently, in the training manual for dictators is a point: “Tell your people that they are savages, while you’re smart and know what to do”. Many Turkmens in all seriousness tell you that the people they are wild, and the only way to order to call.

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

Once was the case: the nephew of one Prosecutor brought his BMW Z3. Did a couple of searches, and the solicitor was jailed for 20 years.

To plant in Turkmenistan can generally any person. The joke about “if you do not sit down, it not your merit, and our defect” in Turkmenistan is not funny. People disappear, sit on false accusations, are persecuted. The scale of the disaster just are not known, as in Turkmenistan without any one human rights organization. But judging by the fear in the eyes of the people, when they ask about the repression, the problem is serious. Here’s what Western human rights defenders (probably a lie…):

“Turkmenistan remains one of the most repressive and authoritarian regimes in the world. Berdymukhamedov came to power after the death in December 2006 of President for life Saparmurat Niyazov. In the first year it has taken some steps to dismantle some of the most odious aspects nesovski social policy, however, genuine reforms in the field of human rights and has not followed. Hundreds, if not thousands of people remain behind bars, convicted for illegal processes on allegedly politically motivated charges. Remain draconian restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of Association, Assembly, movement and religion”.

A few days ago in Turkmenistan came into force a law that banned advertising a casino, and DFS, fortune tellers, erotic massage, pyrotechnics, energy drinks and even infant formula.

It is strange that sex parlors, fireworks and food are in one list, but it’s not about that. A curious point about the casino. The fact that the casino in virtually no. Previously, they existed in all the major hotels in Ashgabat (the”Grand Turkmen” and “AK-Altyn”, etc.), but then Berdymukhammedov decided that tourists and so bold, and ordered all to close. Moreover, a special law that would ban gambling in the country, and was not adopted. Well, a common situation for Turkmenistan.

In 2012 the Ashgabat the owners of the casino and Nightclubs (which, quite frankly, and so was a bit) ordered the rolling benches and the formation to migrate to the West, in an international tourist zone Avaza. It was built from scratch near the town of Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnovodsk) on the Caspian sea. But in the end in Avaza so nothing was opened.

The only place in Ashgabat, where now just allowed gambling national Racecourse. There, judging by responses of tourists, you can still bet. I Racecourse was not reached.

Soon after coming to power of Berdimuhamedov the flow of immigrants from Turkmenistan has increased three times. People crowded abroad on tourist visas, settling in various countries as illegals. Most active people went to Turkey, Iran, Russia and the UAE, as well as in Europe.

It is noteworthy to get people started, not because after the death of Turkmenbashi was quite bad, but simply because the border has become a bit more open. But Berdimuhamedov did not like that the people allows himself to go anywhere. They have all the gold statues don’t like?

The authorities decided to ban leaving the country for certain categories of the population, and at the same time to make black list of persons, which are prescribed not skip across the border neither there nor back.

In 2010, human rights defenders found out that in the list Berdimuhamedov 37057 people, including 1748 the citizens of Russia. In addition, the authorities gladly banned from leaving the country relatives of dissidents, and for life. And Turkmen students are not allowed to study in neighboring Kyrgyzstan, fearing that they will come back, having breathed the air of freedom, and will demand the respect of human rights. Doctors and journalists are also almost impossible to leave the country.

In accordance with the law “On migration”, leaving the country is prohibited to citizens with access to state secrets. In fact, not only do not release, say, of MNS (Ministry of national security), but also small local officials.

Funny paragraph in the law: if the departure of the person “contrary to the interests of national security of Turkmenistan”, it will not be released. It is clear that under this item it is possible to bring anyone. But there is another more convenient point: the person may refuse to leave the country if “there is concern” that abroad, he can fall into slavery.

Turkmens don’t exactly always know whether they should go or not. So, one employee of the state Bank told me, as he turned at the border when he wanted in Uzbekistan to go: it turns out that employees of state-owned banks is also impossible!

But there is another problem with traveling abroad. Now in Turkmenistan has banned the sale of dollars. As no foreign currency to go abroad? It’s very simple (ha ha ha). Put money into an account in the Bank, and when I leave, the migration service informs the Bank that you left, and in the destination country, you will kindly be permitted to withdraw from an ATM approved amount.

Turkmenistan is the only country in the world where on the border of their citizens is stronger than they are especially tough on foreigners, particularly at checkout. The guard interrogates each Turkmen, checks some documents and papers, studying the route and goal.

What about the media? Sad. In 2013 the country came the law, which guarantees complete freedom of mass media in Turkmenistan.

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

In fact the opposite. Newspapers mainly publish official records on how many gathered grain as produced gas, about how all is well and the country is building democracy. Reports of any incidents and problems that concern the people out there to find. All the important news usually are rumors. A ban on the importation of foreign print media, introduced Turkmenbashi, is still effective.

According to the UN, the Internet in Turkmenistan is 5% of the population, or 250 million people. The Internet is very slow and expensive. No wifi in cafes and restaurants, met him only in expensive hotels for foreigners, where he is also half-dead.

But even if you get on the net, many sites will be blocked. First of all, in Turkmenistan are blocking opposition sites, sites of human rights organizations and Western social networks. For residents of countries denied access to Facebook and Twitter, YouTube, instant messengers such as Viber, WeChat, WhatsApp and Telegram even don’t work. Blocked sites many media outlets, including Russian. For example, at “Yandex.News” won’t you come in. LJ closed, closed almost all sites that have video. The funny thing is that in 2013, the year in Turkmenistan has even blocked the section of the website of the President of Russia through which the oppressed population tried to complain to Putin.

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

In 2012, they say, started blocking proxies and that no one had access to banned sites. By the way, I was not able to run VPN on the laptop. All known to me methods that worked even in China, Turkmenistan has not acted.

By the way, the Turkmen authorities is much easier than Russian. We still have quite a complex circuit with Roskomnadzor and providers. And on-site Berdimuhamedov just two providers, and both are tied to the Corporation “turkmentelekom”. That is, any site can be locked instantly in manual mode. What is being done. By the way, in Turkmenistan working. See how fast they will block me.

The organization “reporters without borders” included President Berdimuhamedov in a list of 39 world leaders and politicians, which she considers “the enemies of freedom and information”. She says that “all the Turkmen media in practice controlled by the state, which uses them for propaganda and severely punishes anyone for the slightest deviation from the official line. The new law on mass media is too far from reality, therefore it cannot even analyze”.

Here is the kiosk with the local press:

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

Look carefully, do not bother? Yes, all the Newspapers should come out with a photograph of a national leader on the front page. Definitely. While the title picture sent centrally, and everyone is equal. On this picture you can understand how the newspaper fresh! And Turkmens can play a game of “Collect all the portraits of the President”!

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

More recently, the leader of the nation decided to ban Smoking. All were covered with good thoughts about the health of the nation. Cunning plan, by 2025, Turkmenistan has not had to remain smokers. First began to introduce new taxes and duties, at some point, the cigarettes disappeared forever from the shelves and become very expensive (600 rubles/bundle). But then it turned out that the state just decided to seize the entire turnover of tobacco in the country. Now cigarettes sell only in the right places, and they cost about 200 rubles per pack.

But even if you buy cigarettes you will be difficult to smoke. Smoking is prohibited almost everywhere. You can’t smoke outside, can’t smoke while driving. Hookahs are prohibited.

The couple during the marriage obligation to be photographed on the background of a portrait of the President. Their wedding album must be at least three photos with Berdymukhamedov. There is no official document on this occasion out of production, but employees of registry offices say that this is a mandatory requirement.

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

Interestingly, just working the Turkmen ease. Recently the residents of the regions of Turkmenistan were forbidden to work in Ashgabat without the permission of the Ministry of labour and social protection, thereby equating them to foreigners. Berdimuhamedov’s decree have not been published anywhere, but he is already willing to perform: region residents are being evicted from rental apartments, and virtually forced to leave Ashgabat.

And even in Turkmenistan is prohibited to freely take pictures. You can not shoot airports, train stations, government buildings, markets, people in uniform. As people in uniform in Turkmenistan, as sand in the desert, to shoot almost anything. The view of the camera plunges into the terror of the people, and especially near government buildings.

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

Surprisingly, in the network there are no photos of many objects! Because of the ban to remove police in Turkmenistan there are no onlookers. If there is an accident, no one pulls out a phone and takes off, no one puts complete on “YouTube”, “YouTube” is also prohibited.

Banning photos will make a separate post.

For all time of stay in Turkmenistan, I have never seen a single stray dog or walking in the yard cats. All dogs were on chains behind the fence. Cats did not exist. Media reports that homeless animals in Turkmenistan are pitiless. For example, the arrival of Berdimuhamedov in the cities of Balkanabad and Turkmenbashi staged a RAID on the homeless dogs and cats. Killed everyone who came across my eye, and the corpses were taken to the city dump. One of the residents of Ashgabat were told that sometimes butchers catch allowed, and then require the owners of the ransom.

The domestic cat fell out of a window of a house in Turkmenbashi… Hope she will be able to get back until it was discovered by the flayers.

Как живет Туркменистан: Поездка в одну из самых закрытых стран мира. Часть 2

War Pets began under Niyazov, which, according to the stories, hated dogs. It is rumored that dogs and cats were in favor of the king, because the once homeless dog allowed myself to wander into forbidden territory near the presidential Palace. Yes, in the center of Ashgabat, the movement of pedestrians to their dark shapes casting shadows on the Golden palaces of the leader.

To live in Turkmenistan it is necessary, casting no shadow.

Ilya Varlamov

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