With the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, Saparmurat Niyazov, the former First Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkmenistan and self-styled “Turkmenbashi” (Father of All Turkmen), became the country’s first president, quickly fashioning Turkmenistan into one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Declared president-for-life after a dubious parliamentary election in which he selected all of the candidates, Niyazov has created a Stalinistic personality cult to glorify his image and to solidify his control over the state. His “reforms” have outlawed political dissent, marginalized ethnic and religious minorities, gutted the public health system, and enforced a campaign of public indoctrination in which the state controls all media outlets, significantly degraded public education.
"Human Rights in Russia and the Former Soviet Republics: Totalitarianism: The Case of Turkmenistan,"
Human Rights & Human Welfare: Vol. 7:
1, Article 48.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.du.edu/hrhw/vol7/iss1/48
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