Turkmenistan opening up to the world, meaning of Berdimuhammedow's surname, "Trans-Turk" energy corridor

Thursday, December 04, 2008

There's a lot of news out there and translating articles word for word takes up time that could be used by going over a larger number of articles and just mentioning the important points, so I think I'm going to do a lot more of that from now on. Here are three articles on Turkmenistan, Turkey and energy in Central Asia:
  • Turkmenistan opening up to the world (Türkmenistan dünyaya açılıyor, 3 December): Turkmenistan's "young" president (51 years old) Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow has visited 15 countries in 20 months since being elected and visited South Korea, Germany and Austria in November. He also had a three-way meeting with the presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey on the 28th of November. Some other numbers: Turkmenistan produces 70 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, of which 55-60 billion is sold to Russia and Iran. Turkmenistan wants to double natural gas production in a ten-year development plan to 150 billion cubic metres. Price of natural gas sold to Russia in 2009 will be $150.
  • What does Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow's surname mean? This article (2 December) has the answer. The "muhammed" in the middle there is pretty obvious, but the rest of it isn't it first. The Turkish version of the name would be ver­di-mu­ham­med-oğ­lu, which means Mohammed-he gave-his son. As you move east you'll often see v turn into b and a into o, giving you words like Uzbek bor for Turkish var. The authour also remarks on how Turkey as an EU and NATO member nation with access to the energy of the east will be able to become a powerful nation for the first time since 1918 when the Ottoman Empire collapsed.
  • (3 December) The Russian magazine Vremya Novostey (Время новостей) has written that Turkey wants to create a "Trans-Turk" energy corridor along with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. This project would be to bypass Russia and send energy directly from Central Asia into Turkey and then Europe. It also says that in addition to Georgia, Turkey could want Armenia in on the project too, and that it is looking at it as a more stable alternative to Georgia after the war with Russia in August this year. Also that it sees it as killing two birds with one stone: to peacefully solve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, as well as reduce tensions on the Armenian genocide issue between the two countries.


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