Kyrgyzstan is moving decisively to join a Moscow-led trade body, but the process will take time as Bishkek seeks preferences that would protect its garment industry and legions of migrant laborers, says a top Kyrgyz official.
Turkmenistan has long sought to limit outside cultural influences, going so far as to ban opera and ballet for a few years. Now, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov wants to choke off the influx of foreign money into the Central Asian state.
For generations, schoolchildren in Turkey learned that “every Turk is a soldier.” Patriotic families still often send their sons off to compulsory military service with a party and a flag-waving procession through their respective towns and villages. But this façade of pride conceals an ugly truth – rampant bullying within the army’s ranks.
In the aftermath of the May 17 mob rampage against gay-rights activists in Tbilisi, public discussion in Tbilisi is focusing on church-state issues, especially the question of whether the Georgian Orthodox Church operates beyond the reach of civil law.
Last month, security forces in Turkmenistan tried to prevent video of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov falling off his horse from reaching the outside world. Perhaps they feared the scenes would damage his cult of personality.
The last few weeks underscore why investors are wary of investing in Kyrgyzstan’s mining sector. Over that span, a gold-mine tender was sidetracked by a legal dispute, a scandal brewed involving allegations of conflicts of interest in parliament, and villagers near a potential mining site signaled they would strongly oppose development.
A raging mob in Tbilisi chased away a downtown rally designed to commemorate the May 17 International Day against Homophobia. “Kill them! Tear them to pieces!” yelled the agitated crowd as police struggled to evacuate a handful of gay-rights supporters from the Georgian capital's central Freedom Square.
Ümit Balak may be the only mayor in the world who is campaigning to bury his own village.
Tuzköy, a community of about 2,000 people near Nevşehir in central Turkey, is blighted by an epidemic of cancer and lung disease linked to erionite, a rare and highly toxic mineral present in local rocks.