Turkmenistan Culture

Turkmenistan Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Turkmenistan

All media in Turkmenistan are owned by the state. The country’s only Russian-language newspaper, Nejtralnyj Turkmenistan (‘Neutral Turkmenistan’), has an edition of about 47,000 copies. The equivalent in Turkmen is called Turkmenistan (36,000 ex.). Other magazines largely contain material from Turkmenistan, such as Vatan (‘Motherland’, 31,000 copies). Alongside them are profiled newspapers such as Adalat (for lawyers), Saglyk (for medical staff) and Mugallymlar (for teachers).

The Turkmenistani State Milli Teleradiokompaniyasi (TMT) broadcasts radio in Russian and Turkmen since 1927 and television since 1959 (four channels). The official news agency is called TurkmenPress. About a percent of the population has access to the Internet and the national operator blocks access to several foreign internet services.


According to ANIMALERTS, Turkmenistan has been inhabited by many different peoples and therefore has plenty of influences from other cultures in music, literature and other art forms. Carpeting is the oldest and most famous art in the country.

Archaeologists have found carpet remains that are considered to be over 2,500 years old. Many beautiful old carpet patterns have been preserved throughout history to our time. The so-called Buchara rugs, formerly sold in the city of Buchara in Uzbekistan, are usually made by Turkmen.

The oldest sago tax is common to the Iranian and Turkish peoples of the region and was transmitted orally in ancient times. Most famous is the verse story Görogly dessany (The son of the blind) from the 16th century. The great name in Turkmen literature is the poet Magtymguli Pyragy (1770-1840), who was banned in the Soviet era (c. 1920-1991). The same was true of Oguz Turkmen’s national post Gorkut-ata. The foremost name among modern Turkmen writers is Berdy Kerbabayev (1894-1974), whose most important novel Nebit Day (1957) is about Soviet oil workers on the Caspian Sea.

Labor market

Almost half of the formal workforce in Turkmenistan is employed in industry, while an equal share is found in the service sector. Almost a tenth of the employees work in agriculture. There is no union freedom in the country.

Some Turkmen support themselves in the informal sector of the economy, especially in agriculture. Unemployment is believed to be quite high. Nevertheless, many foreign nationals are working in Turkmenistan, as there is a shortage of vocationally educated domestic labor.

The right to organize is not respected and so is the right to strike and the right to freedom of assembly. The country’s trade union organization is called the National Center for Turkmenistan Trade Unions and covers virtually all trade unions. It still functions to a great extent according to the Soviet model, that is, as a loyal tool for the regime.

The wage situation is low, although it has improved somewhat in recent years. According to international human rights organizations, forced labor exists, although prohibited by law. Child labor is also reported to occur, especially in the cotton fields.



3.9 percent (2019)

youth unemployment

7.5 percent (2019)



A regional company is formed for gas pipeline construction

The four state gas companies in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India form a joint company to build, own and administer the planned Tapi gas pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.

Turkmenistan Culture

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