Turkmenistan profile - Media

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image captionProgrammes 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 has called Turkmenistan "an ever-expanding news black hole".

"Journalists have been arrested, tortured, physically attacked, or otherwise forced to stop working," the group says.

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. The authorities have attempted to curb this by removing satellite dishes from private households.

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 around 1 million internet users by 2018, around 17.9% of the population (InternetWorldStats).

Foreign news and opposition websites are blocked and international social networks are often inaccessible.

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)