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Anna Fergana

Originally from Turkmenistan, I now live and study abroad.

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Latest posts by Anna Fergana

1 May 2015

Turkmenistan Singer Gives Apple a Sales Boost

Once you hear this Central Asian ode to the iPhone, you won't be able to un-hear it.

24 April 2015

Were Turkmen Dissidents Wrong to Publish a Video of Schoolgirls ‘Turning Up the Love’ on Their YouTube Channel?

In deeply traditional, highly repressive Turkmenistan, schoolgirls dancing along to Western songs is akin to a crime against the state.

20 March 2015

Turkmenistan's Islam: Between Religion and State

Will the Turkmen government's attempts to nationalise Islam and shut its citizens off from the wider world backfire?

7 October 2014

Central Asia's First Ladies: Heard But Not Seen?

Are the wives of Central Asia's authoritarian presidents the power behind the throne or just highly placed women subject to the same raw deal as many others in the region?

3 July 2014

Five Things You Need to Know About Turkmen Weddings

If you were thinking of choosing Turkmenistan as a wedding day destination, you should know one thing - when it comes to celebrating a marriage, Turkmen do not mess around.

6 March 2014

Attack Leaves Three Turkmen Border Guards Killed. But Who Killed Them?

A recent attack on a border patrol along the Afghan frontier left three Turkmen border guards dead. Netizens in the country argue about who attacked the border guards and why.

13 February 2014

Did Turkmenistan Get Cold Feet Before the Sochi Winter Olympics?

Warm-wintered Turkmenistan failed to send a singe athlete to this year's Winter Olympics. The only representative the republic sent to Sochi was its sport-loving president.

6 December 2013

Like Father, Like… Kyrgyz Opposition Leader's Son Gets Arrested

"Like father, like son" is the most popular theme in netizen reactions to the recent arrest of a controversial Kyrgyz politician's son on theft charges.

10 May 2013

VIDEO: Turkmenistan's Pop Music Makes Love, Not Politics

In Turkmenistan, pop musicians tread a difficult path between carving out a distinctive image for themselves and ensuring they don't fall foul of the state.

5 March 2013

Turkmenistan: With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends?

People in Turkmenistan and Turkmen dissidents in exile are unhappy about the fact that criticisms of the country's political regime come from various 'foreign experts,' while Western policymakers and politicians...

16 February 2013

Lies, Damned Lies, and Turkmen Statistics

When it comes to statistics, the Turkmen government remains committed to the time-honored Soviet principles of book-cooking, data fudging and avoiding the uncomfortable truth at all costs. 'Good' statistics, such...

24 January 2013

Turkmenistan: Human Rights? What Human Rights?

In Turkmenistan, which ranks among the world's "worst of the worst" human rights abusers, the very existence of such rights is seen as 'fiction'. Some netizens blame Ashgabat's repressive regime...

29 November 2012

Ten Years after Attempt on Ex-President's Life, Rumors Linger in Turkmenistan

In November 2002, the then Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov survived an assassination attempt that was blamed on Russian-supported opposition. Ten years after the incident, in the country starved of reliable...

27 October 2012

Turkmenistan at Twenty-One: Double Holiday and Thaw with Russia

As Turkmenistan marks the 21st anniversary of its independence today, the celebrations coincide with a major Islamic holiday. Also, Turkmenistan's Independence Day this year comes at a time of an...

12 September 2012

Peace Corps Volunteers are Leaving Turkmenistan

It has been announced that the Peace Corps - a U.S. government-run volunteer program - will close its programs in Turkmenistan and leave the country by the end of 2012....

31 August 2012

Turkmenistan: Goodbye August, Month of Melons

August is the month of melons in Turkmenistan where expansive steppe lands yield some of the tastiest crop known to mankind. Turkmen Melon Day, celebrated since 1994, is one of...

11 July 2012

Turkmenistan: Silent Anniversary of Deadly Blasts in Abadan

One year after the explosions at an arms depot in Abadan, officials in Turkmenistan hardly mention the deadly incident. Instead of commemorating the victims of the blasts, they prefer to...

20 June 2012

Turkmenistan: Lonesome Dictator Invites Opposition Parties to Form

Turkmenistan's president has recently pondered the creation of opposition political parties that would add an element of competition to the country's political system which is currently dominated by a single...

4 June 2012

Turkmenistan: The Karate-Chopping, Record-Breaking President

In Turkmenistan, the state-controlled media tirelessly praise President Berdimuhamedov and the 'achievements'. Many Turkmens use news forums and social media to say what they really think about their leader and...

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