Taking its cue from Britain’s late champion of privatization, Margaret Thatcher, the government of Turkmenistan plans to create a generation of homeowners.
To the newcomer, Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat, can appear a testament to pared-down simplicity: long and often empty roads lined with pristine, glaring white buildings. Acquiring apartments in those, or indeed any, buildings has long been fraught with complication. But upcoming reforms designed to fit with broader promises to liberalize the economy could soon make home ownership more commonplace.
The move has been long in coming. Shortly after ascending to power in late 2006, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov promised to improve the quality of housing stock, implement a privatization program and open the field for a genuine real estate market.
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