Recently the Russian Mass media is more declined to a single formula - saying about Turkmenbashi either nothing or only negative.
Moreover, most of journalists, writing about "dictatorship regime in Turkmenistan" have just recently found out
that Niyazov and Turkmenbashi is the same parson.
In late 80th Saparmurat Niyazov was appointed as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of Turkmenistan, one of
the most underdeveloped ex-Soviet states and then headed the state as the president for live. He started severe fight with
criminal structures of the state.
He formed a unique system for heading the state, which he follows for 17 years, keeping the state in stability and without
national and foreign conflicts, without refugees as in other former USSR states. Independent observers stress that it was
Turkmenistan, which practiced the most painless reforms forward to the new stage of development. The social security system
proposed by Niyazov looked first as exotic and populist gave its unexpected results: citizens of the state still enjoy free
gas and electric power, symbolic fee for housing and transport tariffs etc.
Niyazov is used to hear accusations addressed to his system of human rights protection and democracy. However, it is worth
mentioning that the economic improvement of the state was possible only thanks to the efforts and initiatives of the President
Niyazov. Dozens of textile factories are constructed in the state, production of which is of good demand worldwide. Oil processing
complexes on the Caspian Sea shore are modernized and now the production of these complexes is being exported to Europe. Under
the initiative of the President Niyazov Turkmen-Iranian Tejen-Seraskh-Meshkhed railway is constructed, which became "golden
chain" of TransAsian steel main. Medical centers, hotels and other facilities are erected in Turkmenistan thanks to Niyazov.
For developing the state the president counts not only on reserves of gas and oil but is ordering to carry out an economic
program foreseeing development of many fields of economy - paper industry, metallurgy, pharmaceutical etc, upgrading the positive
balance to 736 million USD.
Despite of rather high economic indexes the Father of the nation as Niyazov is called on the analogy of the Turkish Ataturk,
Turkmenbashi is forming his own strategy of development trying to lead all economic reforms. However, year-by-year he has
less time for supervising the activity of all branches and departments. The ministers and vice Prime Ministers of Turkmenbashi
sometimes are not initiative at all. Therefore the President can not concentrate himself on the key state problems and on
Niyazov announced that by the end of the first decade of XXI century Turkmenistan will announce new presidential election.
For these goals Niyazov suggesting announcing each year 3-5 candidates for this high post. However, Turkmenbashi added that
he is not going to leave the political stage and will follow the process of administration of the state.
It is more than obvious that the future of Turkmenistan is closely connected with Niyazov-Turkmenbashi. No matter how
harsh he is criticized in mass media, he has unlimited credit of trust in his homeland.
Ashkhabad-Moscow Eurasia Today monthly, April 2003
By Victor YEVSIKOV
Translated and published at http://eng.turkmenistan.ru