In the two years since the death of Turkmenistan's president-for-life Saparmurad Niazov, the government abolished aspects of his cult of personality, adopted a new constitution, and has began to reverse some of Niazov's most ruinous social policies. The government under President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov ended the country's self-imposed isolation and has attracted unprecedented international interest in its hydrocarbon wealth. However, it remains-as detailed below-one of the most repressive and authoritarian states in the world. Its policies and practices are anathema to European values.
October 31, 2008