Turkmenistan. According to
CountryAAH, the total population in Turkmenistan is 6,031,211 people in 2020. Turkmenistan's lifetime president and
one-ruler ruler Saparmurat Nijazov continued to control the
lives of the population through more or less bizarre
decrees. At the beginning of the year, he issued a ban for
young men to wear long hair and beards, which had an
immediate effect. It was previously forbidden to listen to
car radio and smoke on the streets. Nijazov had also banned
opera and ballet on the grounds that it was an unnecessary
activity. In February, the president laid off about 15,000
healthcare workers to cut health care costs. Some of the
work in the hospitals was expected to continue to be carried
out by low-paid conscripts, who had previously replaced
traffic policemen as well as workers at a textile factory.
In May, workers without explanation began to remove the
public images of the president who filled the capital.
However, there were no signs that Nijazov was losing its
grip on power in the country. According to Russian TV, the
president himself had ordered that the personal cult of him
be shut down. During the summer, Nijazov announced that an
ice palace would be built in the Turkmenistan desert, one of
the hottest areas of the earth. The palace will hold a
thousand people, according to the president, who previously
has a number of traditional palaces.
In November, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan presidents
signed a declaration of friendship with the intention of
ending years of mistrust between the two neighboring
countries. Relations have been particularly tense since
Turkmenistan a few years ago accused Uzbekistanis of
participating in an assassination attempt on President
Nijazov. The two leaders came now, among other things.
agreed on the distribution of water resources between the
countries which has been highly contested.
In December, elections to the virtually powerless
parliament were made. No opposition candidate was allowed to