We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. Click here to find out more. Allow cookies

arrow Register here

Forgotten password?


  The Chatter Box : Travel
Messages 1 2 3 4 

Turkmenistan by sighthound on 14 December 2006 6:30pm
Has anyone here been to Turkmenistan? Or know anything about the current political situation there?
Re: Turkmenistan by suzulu on 15 December 2006 3:27pm
I have never been there and know nothing of the current political situation but Wikipedia online gives a good description of Turkmenistan's history, politics, human rights, etc. and recommends further reading.

Obviously, though, it is better coming from someone who has actually been there or from there.
Re: Turkmenistan by tucsonmike on 16 December 2006 5:48am
I just bought Lonely Planet Central Asia. Let me look for you. Also check the State Department Consular Report. I agree with Sue. Wikipedia has a fairly good article.
Re: Turkmenistan by tucsonmike on 17 December 2006 8:21pm
From what I read, it is fine for a foreigner, but the country is a throwback to the old Soviet system. Hotel rooms are bugged and the President has built a personality cult. His kids will not succeed him though (unlike Kazakhstan). Nizayrovs kids are estranged and living abroad.
It does not seem to be much of a tourist place.
Re: Turkmenistan by sighthound on 17 December 2006 11:49pm
My reason for asking if anyone had first-hand experience was because of some bad news I'd just received and I was looking for advice from people who had been there.

Turkmenistan is the ancestral home of a rare but wonderful breed of horses, Akhal-Tekes. The breed was down to 70 horses after WWII but has made a brilliant come-back and one of the main reasons was the efforts of Geldy Kyarisov who used to be the head of the Turkmen Horse Association and bred the horses now featured on the TM currency and stamps. But he ran afoul of the despotic President Niyazov and was imprisioned on trumped-up charges in 2002. His family was informed last week by people who may or may not be part of the TM intelligence service that Geldy died under torture by the secret police. We're hoping that that is not true but he disappeared from the prison he was in in October. This last news has spurred efforts to find him. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and various government agencies from several countries have been contacted.

If you want to learn more, visit www.geldy.co.uk or e-mail me to learn of the efforts to locate him and secure his release if he is still alive. (My address is in Vitals.) We are sending Christmas cards to him at the prison and the Ministry that he was involved with to express our concern. They probably won't get to him but it will show the government that there is much international concern about him. Last summer, the government shut off the water going to his farm and his magnificent horses were dying of thirst. An international effort got the government to turn the water back on. We're hoping that a similar effort will not be too late to save Geldy.

Re: Turkmenistan by suzulu on 18 December 2006 12:47am
Geraldine, that is terrible! How those poor horses must have suffered! I do hope that Geldy is alright and that they find him. It must be terrible for his family not knowing where he is.
Re: Turkmenistan by sighthound on 18 December 2006 4:19am
For anyone who is interested, you can send the Christmas cards to Geldy Kyarisov at:

c/o Ministry of Internal Affairs
Novgorodskaya 10
Ashgabat 744000


Ovada Depe Prison

His family and all of us in the Akhal Teke community will be very grateful. I will let you know if there are any developments.

Thank you, Geraldine
Re: Turkmenistan by Ellerd on 18 December 2006 6:19am
Here's the transcript of an article that appeared on Australian TV last year about President Niyazov:


Geraldine - I do hope your friend turns up safe and well.
Re: Turkmenistan by tucsonmike on 20 December 2006 2:38am
Geraldine, we will send cards.
Re: Turkmenistan by sighthound on 20 December 2006 4:58am
Thanks, Mike.

Oh, I forgot to mention that it would probably be best to send cards with no Christian religious pictures on them. Turkmenistan is an Islamic country. (If you're really enthusiastic, the Moslem holiday of Eid al-Adha is on December 31st this year and I'm told there are cards available on-line for that. Should have a link tomorrow. Write me if you're interested. I'm in Vitals.)

Some good news. I got a call yesterday from Amnesty International in Washington, D.C. and they are going to investigate. Some friends had been trying to get London AI interested for quite awhile but no luck. Now that Geldy is officially "disappeared", they're going to take up his case. I'm learning much more about Turkmeni politics than I ever wanted to know.
Messages 1 2 3 4 

  Reply to this post:
  Register here


Select a discussion theme.
Register (or log in if you have not yet done so).

To start a new discussion topic:

Write the name of the topic in the 'Subject' box.
Type your message in the larger box to contribute.
Click 'Submit'.

To join a discussion topic:

Click on the discussion topic of your choice.
Type your message in the larger box to contribute.
Click 'Submit'.

To edit your message:

You can edit a message at any time after posting it as long as you're signed in.
Click on the 'Edit your message' link above the message.
Make your desired changes.
Click 'Submit'.

If you find you don't want to change the message after all, click on 'Return without changes'.

To set a chatmark:

Register (or log in if you have not yet done so).
Click on the "Set chatmark" link on the Chatter Box pages. This will set the time at which you have logged in.
Click on the "Go to chatmark" link to see all messages posted since you set your chatmark.

You can set your chatmark at any time and as often as you like.