The Turkmen leader named Berdiyev’s deputy, Gurbanmyrat Annayev, to succeed him as the security minister. Deputy Prime Minister Charymurat Amanov was named to fill the position of the secretary of the State Security Council.
Berdymukhamedov has ruled the gas-rich ex-Soviet Central Asian nation since 2006 through an all-encompassing personality cult that styles him as Turkmenistan’s “arkadaq,’ or protector. He has been frequently shown on state TV dressing down government officials.
In December, two other former top government officials were shown confessing on state television for their reported involvement in corruption, dressed in prison robes, their hands hand-cuffed and heads shaven clean.
T urkmenistan, a nation of 5.9 million people on the Caspian Sea, lies on the ancient Silk Road trading route to China. It has huge reserves of natural gas but human rights groups say its government is among the world’s most repressive.
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