MINELRES: Uzbek radio broadcasts in Turkmen

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Jan 13 08:44:22 2005

Original sender: Felix Corley <fcorley@ndirect.co.uk>

Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights


Uzbek radio broadcasts in Turkmen 

Ethnic Turkmen residing on the territory of Uzbekistan can now receive
information on events happening in the country and all around the world
in their native language. A daily half an hour program in Turkmen has
broadcast by Radio Tashkent International since January 2005. As a
representative of the international unit of Radio Tashkent reports,
along with everyday news, the radio offers its new listeners Turkmen
songs and verses from prominent Turkmen classics such as Makhmutkuli,
Mollanepes and Kamine. Broadcasting of the Uzbek radio in Turkmen is an
important move made by Uzbekistan to strengthen cultural ties between
the two neighboring peoples.  

At a press conference for local and international journalists on the
outcome of the meeting between Turkmen and Uzbek presidents held on 19
November 2004 in Bukhara, Islam Karimov informed S. Niyazov about five
national culture centers for Turkmens and classes in 45 Uzbek schools
where Turkmen is the language of instruction. Niyazov was delighted to
hear about this.

S. Niyazov on the other hand was unable to inform of similar state care
of the Uzbek diaspora which consists of many thousands of people
compactly residing in the border areas with Uzbekistan - in the Dashoguz
and Lebab velayats of Turkmenistan. 

There is no airtime nor have there ever been any programs for ethnic
Uzbeks in their native language on any of the four existing channels of
Turkmen national television or on the three channels of the national
radio. The oblast newspaper "Dustlik bairogi" in Uzbek, the regional
paper "Djumischi" in Kazakh, as well as all velayat newspapers which
used to be issued in Russian were closed in the mid 90s. 

"Which programs for national minorities are you referring to?" - asked
one of the editors in chief of the national radio channel "Miras", who
wished to remained unnamed. - "All our programs enjoy the national
spirit of Turkmens. All those which are non-Turkmen are perceived as
alien and undesirable. I know that there are gifted singers, musicians
and dancers among those Uzbeks living in the Dashoguz and Lebab
velayats, but the entrance to our studio as well as to other channels is
closed for them. Even during the popular annual TV song contest "Yanlan,
Diyarym!" when selecting future winners, the talented representatives of
other ethnicities are immediately left out. Moreover, such
representatives who participate would only win by singing in fluent
Turkmen and being dressed in national Turkmen costume. Such
discrimination does not lead to the development of culture or art; on
the contrary it prepares the ground for interethnic conflicts and mutual

Tashkent international radio "speaks" in Turkmen whist Turkmen radio
channels "Watan", "Miras" and "Char Tarapdan" have no airtime for songs
on Makhmutkuli's verses performed by Kamildjan Atanijazov, Bobomurad
Khamdamov, Abdulaziz Imamov and other masters of the Uzbek art, which
are very popular even among Turkmens.