Turkmenistan: Ashgabat Experiments with Top-Down Political Pluralism

My little friend here can lead one of the parties. (Photo: State News Agency of Turkmenistan)

There’s a Stalinist-era anecdote that can apply to Turkmenistan today. The story goes that during the collectivization drive in the 1930s, an apparatchik in the Far East sent a telegram to his superiors: “The collective farms have been created; dispatch the collective farmers.”

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Serdar Aytakov is a pseudonym for a freelance journalist specializing in Turkmen affairs.

Turkmenistan: Ashgabat Experiments with Top-Down Political Pluralism

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