To jimmj63: Thanks and answers to your question

  • Indeed it is - and since very little is known about this country anywhere outside, I'll be uploading pictures from there on a more or less regular basis from now on. In fact, there are hardly any pictures from Turkmenistan here, more even from North Korea, which is the only country you could possibly compare Turkmenistan to. Just take a look at some indices on personal liberties, freedom and so on:

    "President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov failed to implement substantive reforms during 2008, and the media environment in Turkmenistan remained one of the most repressive in the world. During a public address in January, the president told journalists to focus on reporting “the stability which prevails in all spheres of life, including state governance.”" (...)
    In June alone, two reporters (Sazak Durdymuradov and Osman Hallieyev) were discovered to be working for Radio Free Europe, immediately detained, put into "psychatric facilities", beaten and tortured. (...) Correspondent Ogulsapar Muradova died under torture"
    Freedom of religion, assembly, movement or political freedom are unheard of and any movement in any of those directions can lead to immediate detention, psychological and physical torture.
    Further problems: Sustained discrimination of ethnic minorities, detentions; exceptional police brutality; severe repression of womens' rights ...

    Transparency International, Corruption index 2009:
    8th most corrupt country in the world.

    Bertelsmann Transformation Index:
    among the 10 worst countries in terms of governmental management and economic reforms (worse: Zimbabwe, DR Kongo, Afghanistan, Somalia)

    Reporters without Borders:
    Among the "12 enemies of the internet" together with countries such as Iran, North Korea or Saudi Arabia.
    Freedom of press: third worst country worldwide, after Eritrea and North Korea.

    And so on and so forth.

    Quite amazing!