After Turkmenbashi: The Future of Turkmenistan and Central Asia
Recorded on January 16, 2007
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
The death of Saparmurad Niyazov, the bizarre dictator of
Turkmenistan, self-named Turkmenbashi (the head of Turkmens), opens
a window of opportunity for the reclusive Central Asian nation.
Turkmenistan is sitting on the fifth largest natural gas reserves
in the world and is the key gas supplier for lucrative Russian gas
trade with Europe, including Ukraine. Turkmenistan is also
strategically located, bordering Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and
the Caspian Sea, the conduit for Central Asian oil and gas.
Turkmenistan's people were denied basic political and economic
freedoms during the erratic twenty year rule by Turkmenbashi. They
deserve better. Our distinguished panel will examine the
repercussions of Turkmenbashi's transition for Central Asia and
U.S. interests in the region and will offer insights and policy
recommendations during this sensitive time.