Turkmenistan Political Orientation
Government Type: Republic under Authoritarian Presidential Rule
Leader: President Serdar Berdymukhamedov
Political Party: The Democratic Party of Turkmenistan (TDP) (Originally The Communist Party of Turkmenistan)
Political Position: Big Tent (Turkmen Nationalism)
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 13.91 – Total Oppression
World Press Freedom Rank: Turkmenistan 176/180
According to Reporters Without Borders‘ 2023 World Press Freedom Index, Turkmenistan has the worst press freedom, followed by Iran, Eritrea, and North Korea. RSF summarizes the media environment in Turkmenistan by stating, “News in Turkmenistan, one of the world’s most closed countries, amounts only to praise for the regime.” They further report that “Citizens have no access to worldwide information sources on the web and risk a fine if they try to use a VPN.”
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
President Serdar Berdymuhkamedov succeeded his father and currently is the President of Turkmenistan. According to RSF, following his election, “censorship and surveillance of journalists have intensified.” The BBC reports that “President Berdymukhamedov wields absolute power and is the focus of a personality cult in the state-run media.”
Reporters Without Borders, Freedom House, and Human Rights Watch all reported; that the government of Turkmenistan continues to maintain near-total control over the media, and media outlets are either owned or strictly controlled by the government. Furthermore, almost all newspapers are state-owned, and most content revolves around the president and his accomplishments.
Broadcasting is under the complete control of The State Committee of Turkmenistan for Television, Radio Broadcasting, and Cinematography. They operate seven national television and four radio stations such as Altyn Asyr, Yashlyk, and Miras. For more about the channels, please see here.
In conclusion, Turkmenistan’s Press freedom is severely restricted as the government owns and controls the media and routinely promotes the regime’s ideologies and cult-like praise of the president. This results in the people of Turkmenistan being closed off from the rest of the world due to oppressive censorship and consistent pro-government propaganda.
Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check