Turkmenistan is a state in Central Asia that was previously part of the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the USSR, the fate of the union republics took shape in different ways. Many of them have successfully integrated into the modern world, establishing strong cultural and economic ties with other states. But Turkmenistan to this day is considered one of the most closed states in the world.
It is quite difficult for foreign tourists to get to Turkmenistan. In particular, restrictions on entry apply to journalists whom they categorically do not want to see in Turkmenistan. It is believed that the reason for such an unfriendly attitude towards the press was the publication in one of the Russian magazines, which lifted the curtain, revealing some features of the life of this Asian country.
Those foreigners who are still lucky enough to be in Turkmenistan first go to the capital of the state - Ashgabat. This city is a visiting card of the country. Ashgabat looks like a glossy shop window. Here you can see wide avenues, gilded busts of state leaders, comfortable modern houses. But these rosy pictures are combined with the almost complete absence of democratic freedoms in the state, to which Europeans are so accustomed.
Turkmenistan is sometimes called the country of “communal communism”. Residents of the country receive most of the household services free of charge or for a nominal fee. The average salary in Turkmenistan, however, is not very high: it does not exceed two hundred dollars. However, the official mass media do not get tired of repeating that with this money the inhabitants of the country can buy everything they need.
Relative material wealth in Turkmenistan is combined with informational secrecy. Computers are not considered basic necessities and are therefore quite expensive. The internet also remains a luxury. In 2012, there were only two Internet cafes in the capital of the country, but not all sites could be accessed here. Traffic on the network is tightly controlled by the state.
Foreign television channels were also banned in Turkmenistan, which could cause confusion in the souls of ordinary citizens of the state and sow doubts about the correctness of the path chosen by the country. The leadership of the state apparently believes that the central Turkmen television, which includes three channels, is a sufficient "window to the world." Not everyone can travel outside the country. There are special lists of those who are prohibited from traveling outside Turkmenistan.
All these restrictions have existed in the country for two decades. The government of Turkmenistan by such measures seeks to protect the people of the country from the "pernicious" influence of Western civilization, which could undermine the foundations of the state. The closeness of Turkmenistan and the limited information about its internal affairs give rise to a lot of speculation and rumors. Having become a "forbidden fruit" for the rest of the world, Turkmenistan has become one of the most attractive countries for foreign journalists.