Turkmenistan: A Model Kleptocracy

The new report by Crude Accountability focus­es on cor­rup­tion and klep­toc­ra­cy in Turkmenistan, one of the world’s most closed and repres­sive countries.

Turkmenistan: A Model Kleptocracy

Crude Accountability is proud to present the new report, Turkmenistan: A Model Kleptocracy, which attempts to fill the void in report­ing on cor­rup­tion in Turkmenistan by look­ing at how much the Turkmen gov­ern­ment is earn­ing, how the rev­enue is man­aged, and what the mon­ey is spent on. 

The com­pre­hen­sive report exam­ines the cor­rupt lega­cy estab­lished under the country’s first pres­i­dent, Saparmurat Niyazov, who cre­at­ed the sys­tem of klep­toc­ra­cy that con­tin­ues under his suc­ces­sor, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. The report traces key gov­ern­ment offi­cials and indi­vid­ual mem­bers of Berdymukhamedov’s fam­i­ly in an effort to fill in the blanks about those who prof­it from the country’s vast nat­ur­al gas reserves. 

The report also looks at west­ern busi­ness­es that prof­it from one of the most repres­sive regimes in the world by estab­lish­ing per­son­al links with Turkmen gov­ern­ment officials.

Finally, the report ana­lyzes the impacts of cor­rup­tion and klep­toc­ra­cy on human rights, includ­ing one of the most heinous human rights abus­es com­mit­ted by Turkmenistan’s gov­ern­ment, the crime of enforced disappearances. 

Turkmenistan, in part because it is so closed and dif­fi­cult to research, has long been viewed as a sort of fief­dom of eccen­tric leaders—laughable, ridicu­lous, absurd. The truth, how­ev­er, is much more insid­i­ous and trag­ic,” says Kate Watters, Executive Director of Crude Accountability. 

The Prove They Are Alive! Campaign, of which Crude Accountability is a found­ing mem­ber, has doc­u­ment­ed over one hun­dred cas­es of enforced disappearances.

As our research shows, the human rights abus­es tak­ing place in Turkmenistan are not hap­pen­ing in a vac­u­um. International actors—corporations, gov­ern­ments, finan­cial insti­tu­tions, and inter­gov­ern­men­tal bodies—engage reg­u­lar­ly with the Turkmen lead­er­ship. Whether by turn­ing a blind eye or by par­tic­i­pat­ing in the cor­rupt and klep­to­crat­ic prac­tices that enrich and empow­er the country’s elite, these inter­na­tion­al bod­ies are com­plic­it in the con­tin­u­a­tion and strength­en­ing of cor­rup­tion, klep­toc­ra­cy, human rights abus­es, and impov­er­ish­ment in Turkmenistan,” says Kate Watters. 


Crude Accountability is an envi­ron­men­tal and human rights non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that works with com­mu­ni­ties in the Caspian and Black Sea regions, who bat­tle threats to local nat­ur­al resources and the neg­a­tive impacts on their health. Crude Accountability works on the local, nation­al, region­al, and inter­na­tion­al lev­els in part­ner­ship with active com­mu­ni­ties and orga­ni­za­tions com­mit­ted to a just and envi­ron­men­tal­ly sus­tain­able world. 

Since 2013, Crude Accountability has been a found­ing mem­ber of the Prove They Are Alive! cam­paign. The cam­paign works to pro­tect the rights of a large num­ber of detainees serv­ing long-term sen­tences in Turkmen pris­ons, about whom no infor­ma­tion is avail­able since their sen­tence, and to halt the prac­tice of enforced dis­ap­pear­ances in Turkmenistan´s prisons.

The report is avail­able online to view and down­load HERE (PDF)

Additional Information:

Kate Watters

Tel./Fax: 540.749.2034