Turkmenistan profile

Turkmen family watch TV Programmes from Russian TV are censored before being rebroadcast

The Turkmen government has an absolute monopoly of the media. The authorities monitor media outlets, control printing presses, block websites, monitor internet use and lay down editorial policies.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has described the lack of press freedom in Turkmenistan as "unprecedented" in the body's history.

Turkmen citizens are "completely cut off from the rest of the world while the media are treated as government mouthpieces", says Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

In the RSF Press Freedom Index for 2011-12, Turkmenistan was listed as the third worst country in terms of media freedom, after Eritrea and North Korea.

TV is the most popular medium. State-run broadcast media comprise five national TV stations and five radio networks. Programmes from Russian TV are censored before being rebroadcast.

Turkmentelecom and other state bodies control internet access. There were nearly 253,000 internet users by December 2011 (InternetWorldStats).

Social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, are blocked. This censorship was extended to Gmail in 2012, reports RSF, which lists Turkmenistan as an "Enemy of the Internet".

The press

  • Neytralnyy Turkmenistan - Russian-language, published six times a week
  • Turkmenistan - Turkmen-language, published six times a week
  • Watan (Homeland) - Turkmen-language, published three times a week
  • Galkynys (Revival) - Turkmen-language weekly, mouthpiece of the ruling Democratic Party of Turkmenistan


  • Turkmen TV - state-owned, networks include main channel Altyn Asyr (Golden Age)


  • Turkmen radio - state-owned, operates four networks

News agency/internet

More Asia stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world?

    Think you’re a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s Geoguessr


  • Suspension bridge connecting mountain peaksThe Travel Show Watch

    Must-see global events including walking the first suspension bridge to connect mountain peaks

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.