Turkmenistan is one of the most closed states in the world, whose authorities decided to turn into “Dubai–2” and spend almost 5 billion US dollars on the construction of a new marble city Arkadag (“Defender”). The name “ghost town” was given in honor of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the former president and father of the current formal Head of State Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
The new administrative center of the Akhal region is located just 30 km from the capital of Ashgabat. But who and from what will the Defender protect the city in the end, if life in it is doubtful? Arkadag’s infrastructure is not capable of passing through its “arteries” a huge amount of transport, and the “smart city” project itself does not provide for the construction of factories and enterprises that would provide the population with jobs. On the contrary, the data of the migration services of Turkmenistan indicate that hundreds of thousands of people have left and continue to leave the country in search of a good life abroad. At the same time, it is worth noting that such a “privilege” does not exist for everyone and not always, since Turkmenistan, despite the biometric passports introduced in 2013, forbade its embassies to issue (renew) passports to Turkmen citizens living abroad. That is, if a migrant worker needs to replace an old or lost document, he is obliged to return to his native Turkmenistan. But how to get out of it back to the family is a lottery question.
It is important to understand that people are fleeing Turkmenistan not for a good life, but because of the stable economic crisis, total slavery, corruption, and discrimination of the population. The government drives the people into poverty and a complete lack of human rights from year to year. At the same time, it “packs” its cities in a beautiful wrapper and shows the world a false impression of Law and Order. For example, in recent years Berdymukhamedov has behaved too eccentrically: releasing books, and music videos for his compositions and extolling his name. He also constantly invites recognizable personalities to the territory of Arkadag, so that they sing an ode praising his “work” to a wider audience. A certain cult of personality of the Berdymukhamedov family has no boundaries and no one is surprised anymore! And now imagine what happens to those who disagree with this and criticize the government…
The Turkmen leadership is confident in its impunity, and boldly robs 20-25% of the country’s budget, directing money to expensive projects that are inappropriate for use by the population. At the same time, he is perfectly able to focus on perpetuating as many objects named after himself as possible. And that’s all. But here it is important to understand one thing – by building the Dubai-2 in Arkadag out of concrete, the standard of living of the citizens of Turkmenistan should be at least a little like the one that exists in the UAE. Then the walls of these new buildings will be inhabited not by ghosts, but by real people!