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.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says a 2013 media law, which bans censorship, is a "complete fiction". The watchdog says independent journalists work in secret, reporting for outlets based abroad.

An "atmosphere of fear" prevents reporting of negative news, says Freedom House.

TV is the most popular medium. State-run broadcast media comprise several national TV and radio networks. Rebroadcasts of Russian TV are subject to censorship.

Some citizens watch Russian and Turkish TV via satellite. Government attempts to curb satellite viewing have been largely unsuccessful, says Freedom House.

US-government funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcasts in Turkmen by shortwave and satellite under the name Radio Azatlyk.

Turkmentelecom and other state bodies control internet access, which is prohibitively expensive for most citizens. There were nearly 425,000 internet users by July 2014 (InternetLiveStats.com) - a penetration rate of 8%.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LiveJournal are blocked, as are foreign news and opposition websites. RSF lists Turkmenistan as an "Enemy of the Internet".

The press

  • Neytralnyy Turkmenistan - state-owned daily, in Russian
  • Turkmenistan - state-owned daily, in Turkmen
  • Watan (Homeland) - state-owned daily, in Turkmen
  • Galkynys (Revival) - weekly; mouthpiece of ruling Democratic Party of Turkmenistan


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


  • Turkmen Radio - state-owned; its five networks include main channel Watan (Homeland)

News agency/internet

More Asia stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • BooksNew novels

    BBC Culture takes a look at ten new books to read in March


  • A robot holding a table legClick Watch

    The robots who build flat-pack furniture - teaching machines to work collaboratively

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. 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.