Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 November 2015, 08:46 GMT

State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009 - Turkmenistan

Publisher Minority Rights Group International
Publication Date 16 July 2009
Cite as Minority Rights Group International, State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009 - Turkmenistan, 16 July 2009, available at: [accessed 25 November 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Both registered and unregistered minority religious communities experienced difficulty in obtaining places of worship. Occasional threats and harassment by government agents continued.

Several minority groups tried to register as NGOs to have legal status to conduct cultural events, however no minority groups succeeded in registering.

Non-Turkmen speakers complained that some avenues for promotion and job advancement were closed to them and only a handful of non-Turkmen occupied high-level jobs in government ministries.

The Uzbeks are the country's second largest ethnic group after the Turkmen, numbering some 300,000 to 400,000 out of a total population of 5.2 million and concentrated in the Dashoguz and Lebap regions, along the eastern border with Uzbekistan. Ethnic Uzbeks refused to take part in the December parliamentary elections because all the candidates were ethnic Turkmen, disappointing hopes that at least some members of parliament would have represented Uzbek interests. Analysts say ethnicity is one of the criteria the authorities have used to vet prospective candidates. The government of Turkmenistan said 90 per cent of eligible voters had participated in the elections.

On a visit to the country, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Ambassador Knut Vollebaek met with President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to discuss national minority issues and express support for the country's efforts to modernize its education system.

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