Vendors Rebel in East Turkmenistan
On November 1, a group of approximately 30 vendors from the local market in Lebap region protested the orders issued by the head of the local administration, Khasan Metkuliev, to limit the bazaar’s working hours during the cotton gathering campaign. According to the official’s instructions, the bazaar is open only in the evenings from 18:00 till 22:00, and during the Kurban Bairam celebrations, until21:00. Special police patrolled the bazaar, prohibiting people from working beyond the set hours. There was a lock on the gates of the bazaar, but on November 1, traders broke it, brought their goods and started selling them. It should be noted that the policemen did not interfere, and gradually the market filled up with customers and more traders entered.
Given the extremely high rate of unemployment in Turkmenistan, selling goods and food at bazaars is main source of income for many Turkmen citizens. As of September, when the bazaars working hours were significantly shortened, many families suffered financial losses. Traders said that on November 2 they plan to come to work at 6am (the usual time for bazaars to open), and if somebody tries to stop them, they “will protest against the mayor’s office.” Before the Independence Day celebrations, the authorities officially announced that all of Turkmenistan’s regions met the quota for cotton gathering. The reality is, the local authorities made this announcement too soon and the cotton gathering is still underway. This announcement angered traders, who decided that since the quotas were met, it was time to drop the limitations on the bazaar’s working hours.
Source: Turkmenistan Chronicles
Turkmenistan Announces Contest for President’s Prize in Literature, Art and Culture
President Berdymukhamedov signed a decree to hold a contest among writers, poets, artists, culture workers, amateur singers, and gifted children for the prize of the President of Turkmenistan. The art contests dedicated to Independence Day of Turkmenistan are held in the country every year. The results of the current contest will be announced next October, on the eve of the holiday.