Turkmenistan has the fourth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and many years ago was touted by its first president as being destined to become a second Kuwait.
Turkmenistan has now become a country where people stand in long lines for rations of bread, dig through garbage for scraps and things they might possibly be able to sell, while the government celebrates horses and dogs.
Turkmenistan’s economy has been in dire shape for more than half a decade now and the standard of living for the country’s people continues to drop.
And recently, current President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has been guiding his son Serdar up the hierarchy of the government leading to speculation the presidency will be passed from father to son and the mismanagement that characterizes the Turkmen government will continue for another generation.
On this week’s Majlis Podcast, RFE/RL Media-Relations Manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion that looks at the deterioration of Turkmenistan.
This week’s guests are: from the Netherlands, Ruslan Myatiev, the head of the Turkmen.news website; from Prague, Farruh Yusupov, the director of RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk; and Bruce Pannier, the author of RFE/RL’s Qishloq Ovozi blog.