OPEC to cut production, parliamentary elections and changing the national anthem in Turkmenistan

Monday, December 15, 2008

Three pieces of news from the Turkish media I spotted today:

  • OPEC is moving towards a cut in production. Member nations have agreed on a cut, and will decide by how much in the meeting on Wednesday in Alger. The non-member nations Russia, Oman, Azerbaijan and Syria will also participate in the meeting. Right now OPEC produces 40 percent of the world's oil.
  • Parliamentary elections are taking place in Turkmenistan today. 3 million voters are registered in Turkmenistan and they will be deciding on 125 parliamentary seats. It starts at 8:00 am in Ashgabat and five other provinces. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow also voted in Ashgabat's 13th electoral district. Last September the number of seats in the Turkmen Parliament was raised from 50 to 125. Voters in Turkmenistan have to be 18 or older, and you need to be 25 to run for parliament. There are about 50 international observers in this election from the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
  • Turkmenistan is also tweaking its national anthem a bit (10 December) by removing the Türkmenbaşy references in the anthem, which refer to the former president Saparmurat Niyazov, who suddenly died in 2006. Türkmenbaşy means "leader of the Turkmens" and is one example of the idol-worship he had created in the country before he died, that is slowly being undone bit by bit as time goes on. The references to the former president will be taken out after the 21st of September, the 2nd anniversary of the former president's death, and the changes are supported by the parliament and the current president. You can see the national anthem here, and I think I'll try to find a Turkish version after the changes are made that I can put up here to show the difference between the two languages.


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