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Anastasia Pogorelskaya: Russian language policy in Turkmenistan and the interests of Russian universities

Nowadays Turkmenistan is considered one of the most closed states not only at the post-Soviet area but also in the world in general. The information exchange with the rest of the world is limited both due to restricted Internet access (only 21,25% of the population used it in 2019) (International Telecommunication Union, 2019), and to the state policy aimed at preserving the current regime.

However, the rumors on final curtailment of education in Russian language in Turkmenistan gripped the attention of Russian authorities and mass media in the beginning of September 2020. After two weeks it was reported that the Turkmen Ministry of education provided the long-expected announcement on the issue. It stated that the number of classes providing school education in Russian stayed the same around the country because after the Russian-language department was closed in one of Ashgabat schools the new special school providing education in Russian was opened in one of the new Ashgabat quarters (Russian Newspaper, 17 September 2020). Nevertheless, taking into account the unfortunate experience of Turkmen-Turkish schools that were closed in Turkmenistan about 10 years ago (officially it was done at the request of Turkish official authorities), the reduction of opportunities for receiving education in other languages except for the official one, namely Turkmen language, seems to be the state strategy originating in the last century...

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Anastasia Pogorelskaya

- Senior Researcher, TSU Center for Eurasian Studies

- Associate Professor, Department of World Politics, TSU School of History and Politics