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Deplorable State of Turkmen Culture

There's never a free moment! Now President Berdymukhamedov is scolding musicians, telling them they should stop imitating world pop music, but instructing them not just to arrange folk tunes, either, the semi-official news service turkmenistan.ru reported. Whatever they manage to produce under these restrictions, musicians are mandated to use as many of Turkmenistan's 72 musical instruments as they can.

Last week, the Turkmen leader criticized Vice Premier Maysa Yazmukhammedova and the Ministry of Culture and Television and Radio Broadcasting which she oversees for "failing to realize the potentials of national culture." Who knows what the hapless official did wrong -- preparation is under way for a big song and dance festival in the Caspian resort of Avaza -- the president's pet project -- and that's why performers have fallen under his glare.

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Deplorable State of Turkmen Culture

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