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Thursday, 23 June 2005
Turkmen carpet weaving
Topic: Turkmen Traditions
Turkmen arts and crafts witnessed uneven development of various specialties. They had high esthetic and technical qualities, especially among herders. This included embroidery of clothing, especially wool leggings - jorab, purses and carpets.

Turkmen carpets are especially famous. They were produced by all tribes in present-day Turkmenistan with the exception of the non-Turkmen nukhurli tribes.

A Turkmen carpet is not only a work of art, but also a necessary thing for every day life. The carpets had their own uses: haly - carpets for decoration of dwellings; namazlyk - small carpets for prayer; and gapykilim, ensi - medium sized carpets used for curtaining of entrance and yurts. Besides that, carpet goods included different bags - torba, which people used to hang on the walls of buildings or yurts for keeping house utensils; other bags - chuval, maprach - for dresses, clothes and other belongings. At the same time these bags were used with a decorative purposes, such as saddle bags - horzuun, and finally, there were decorative ornaments - osmaldyk, halyk - for camel bale, as well as various carpet bands - akyup, golan (polam) 10-15m in length and 20-40m in width used for decorating inside walls of yurts and for fixing outside felt covers.

The carpets of separate large tribes were different in their patterns and manufacturing styles. The most popular ones belonged to tekins (Turkomen) and pendins (salyrs). Though yomut carpets were original and have beautiful patterns and colors, they were not so popular in the world market. All Turkmen carpets are similar in colorings and style, and differ from other national carpets. The major color of Turkmen carpets is red, and the color spectrum goes from dark-cherry (pendin carpets) to scarlet (tekins). Other colors used are black and white, and yomuts used blue color for carpets as well. White gradually becomes ivory, and red colors slightly fade, giving old carpets a specific lightness and coloring harmony.

By the end of the 19th c, the Turkmen used only natural, very strong dyes for coloring of wool. Later they started to use cheaper, weaker aniline dyes, which considerably affected the color range. The patterns had a geometrical shape, and each big tribe had its own distinctive type. Big carpets have a clearly visible division on the central part and borders. In the center one can see octagonal figures and rhombs filled in with patterns. Yomut carpets have patterns like cogged rhomb-shaped rosettes. According to the opinion of carpet expert Moshkova V.G the central pattern, called gel', represented the tribe emblem with the image of a totem in the old days.

The edging consists of ordinary conventionalized geometrical, and sometimes plant motives. The carpets produced at the end of the 19th c and beginning of the 20th c do not contain very many geometrical shapes of animals and plants. Old carpets manufactured hundred years ago were showing everyday life scenes. The yomut strips of carpet were especially interesting in this regard. They showed migration and other scenes. The museum of ethnography of the USSR in St Petersburg keeps an old yomut strip of carpet which reflects a return from a foray - alaman. The modern yomut carpets also contain geometrical plant patterns.

The Turkmen carpets can be divided into fleecy (chitme technique) and non-fleecy (kakma technique). Along with these main types, there are intermediate type, where fleecy patterns are made on a non-fleecy background.

In fact the carpets, carpet bags and decorations for camels are produced in a fleecy way. The Turkmen fleecy carpets are of a high quality; they have thick knots and a short nap. Yomuts are mostly non-fleecy. They include big floor covers, kit-bags - chuval, as well as carpet strips for surrounding wooden frames of yurts and outside cane mats (duzi, bilyup, etc.). However the most beautiful carpet strips, which are now very rare, had patterns on a non-fleecy background. This was the way yomuts produced golan and akyup carpet strips. Strips had very specific drawings: their geometrical pattern goes on white background and changes along the whole length several times. The main picture of this pattern reminds one of a branching tree, strongly conventionalized. These combined strips are very close to Karakalpak ones. Significantly often the Turkmen start using other type of strips for securing yurts: they have colored patterns on a white background. In spite of the variety of carpet forms, the manufacture techniques were not complicated. The carpets were produced on a horizontally installed loom, a very ordinary device.

Two pairs of stakes were hammered into the ground according to the size of the planned carpet. Behind the stakes there were fixed two beams for stretching the main part of the carpet. For thread shifting they used a stick with loops catching one part of the base, and a small board. A stick with loops was installed on forks hammered into the ground, or on handmade loam columns. In order to keep base threads immovable, they fixed them by loam to the stick. Woof thread was taken through by hand without a shuttle. For hammering the woof, people used a massive iron comb with a wooden handle. They cut the nap with scissors made by local craftsmen.

This delicate technique did not allow fast work. It took a month of hard work for a Turkmen woman to weave a 4-5 m carpet. For wide carpets, several women worked, sitting in a row.

During cold times the loom was installed inside a special yurt. In summer it was installed under a shed. Mainly, carpets were produced during the warm period of the year, as it was difficult to work in winters. Threads were made gradually, and mainly of sheep wool cut in spring.

Now carpet weaving is becoming more popular but is done in special artels. Weavers have learned new techniques (vertical weaving) and new patterns. The carpets are made to order.


Felt works are also made, but are not so outstanding as those of the Kazakhs, Kirgiz and Karakalpaks.

Reed mats are used as frames. Layers of wool are spread, soaked and rolled on them. The mat is tied round with a rope and the rolling continues, sometimes with the help of a horse. The felt is removed, turned over and rolled by hand.

The mats are used as bedding and cover for the lower part of the yurt, with the felt on top. They are woven on primitive devices with thick thread. This is different from techniques of the Uzbeks and Tajiks. Their nomadic lifestyle gave preference to felt ornament on carpets and purses - keche.

Ornamented felts - keche - have extremely interesting and peculiar patterns. The main pattern, which frames the central part, is called sary ichyan (yellow scorpion), saylan (election) or gochak (ram horn). The central field is usually occupied by 2-4 large circles, which have different names in various tribes. The central pattern's name is the name of the felt. Yomut-djafarbays and inhabitants of the Caspian Sea coast have two-sided ornamented felts - goshma keche. The local crafts women are considered to be the most skillful in making felts. Felt items by Turkmen-Saryks were especially prized. They are produced in settled areas now as well. Turkmen herders of sheep produced the most felt, both monotone and ornamented.

The manufacturing process is mainly the same like in other regions of Central Asia; felt production is only a women's occupation.

New ornaments are now used. Carpet making became an industry, but it is still done as a handicraft.


Posted by countryturkmenistan at 12:16 PM
Wednesday, 22 June 2005
Ukraine owes Turkmenistan nearly US $ 600 million dollars in goods for natural gas supplies
Topic: Economy & business
21 June 2005. Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov received Monday a delegation of the national joint-stock company Naftogaz-Ukraine headed by board chairman Oleksiy Ivchenko. A telephone conversation between the presidents of Turkmenistan and Ukraine took place during the course of the meeting at the request of President Victor Yushchenko, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry’s press service said in a statement.

At the meeting, the sides noted that Turkmenistan, being a reliable trade-economic partner, ensures strict and timely supplies of natural gas to Ukraine as provided in the relevant agreements and contracts, according to the Foreign Ministry.

At the same time, the Ukrainian side doesn't fulfill its contractual obligations. This, first of all, concerns barter payments for Turkmen gas supplies that exclude fixing of any rates, the statement notes.

In this connection, the statement emphasizes that Ukraine still owes Turkmenistan US $ 61.7 mln in goods for 2004 alone and US $ 500 mln in goods for the first five and a half months of this year as payment for Turkmen natural gas supplies.

During the negotiations, the sides especially stressed the fact that bilateral relations need to be built on a mutually-beneficial, civilized basis. It is with this in mind that Turkmenistan “leaves the door open” and, on condition of fulfillment of its obligations by the Ukrainian side, will continue to provide Ukraine with the requested amount of Turkmen natural gas.

In conclusion of the telephone conversation, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko assured his counterpart that the Ukrainian side would take all necessary steps to ensure the delivery of goods in Turkmenistan as repayment of a debt totaling nearly US $ 600 mln, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry statement says.


Posted by countryturkmenistan at 2:26 PM
Tuesday, 21 June 2005
Partnership "Under Ground"
Topic: Economy & business
Ukrainian specialists are laying down the unique communication and drainage tunnel

Most of the modern facilities in Ashgabat are either built according to the unique projects or have no match in the region with regard to their scale and applied technologies. This is the main peculiarity the country’s leadership adopted in its approaches to the development of the capital. Everything here is done with consideration of the long-term perspective and according to the highest international standards. It is not by chance that two years ago the program of Ashgabat’s water supply and sewage systems development until 2050 was worked out and adopted under the patronage of the head of state. The program provides for several stages of this large-scale project’s realization.

Indicators of this document were calculated based on the forecast that the Turkmen capital’s population would grow up to 1.100 million people by the end of 2010. By this time, the daily water consumption in the city is expected to rise to 400 liters per capita. The overall discharge of sewage is to reach 600 thousand cubic meters a day, up 25 per cent on the current level.

In the remaining period until the end of 2010, the municipal services will have to lay 350 km of water supply pipes, put into operation a new water supply facility, “Severniy”. Four operational sewage collector systems will be renovated and two more collectors will be built.

By 2006, the capacity of the city water supply networks is expected to rise up to 900 thousand cubic meters a day enabling it to serve the population of 1.700 million people. Thus, the problem of sewage as well as the water supply task are being solved taking into account the 50-year perspective.

One of the principal stages of such large-scale program’s implementation is connected with laying down a communication and drainage tunnel. This project is currently being implemented by the Ukrainian company, “Interbudmontazh”.

This facility is one of the areas of the investment cooperation between Turkmenistan and Ukraine. The problem of the longstanding Ukrainian debt for supplied Turkmen gas played a major role in resorting to such kind of cooperation. Since Ukraine had no cash to pay the debts Ashgabat agreed to the proposal to use investment projects in the territory of Turkmenistan as a solution of this problem. Thus, the Ukrainian specialists got new jobs, and the Turkmen side – a number of objects constructed by the partners for debts repayment.

Later, when Kiev succeeded in liquidating the arrears accumulated in the past, the sides decided to continue such model of cooperation beneficial for both countries. As a result, for instance, the agreement on Turkmen gas supplies in 2005 stipulates that 4.5 billion cub m of gas out of the general volume of 36 billion cub m will be delivered as a payment for investment projects implemented by the Ukrainian companies. These projects include construction of a number of compressor stations, a railway and motorway bridge across the Amudarya river and a communication-drainage tunnel in Ashgabat.

“There are a few such projects in the world,” says the Ashgabat office of Ukrainian “Interbudmontazh” company. “The 22-km tunnel with the diameter varying from 3 to 6 m, equipped with the drainage wells and horizontal self-discharging holes will be also used to lay trunk sewage and water supply systems, power cables and communication lines. The tunnel’s size makes it possible for the service personnel to move along it using special repair battery-driven vehicles”.

On August 31, 2001, the city’s administration and Construction Association “Interbudmontazh” signed a construction contract. The first line of the project shall be commissioned in mid next year.

The tunnel built 12-17 m under the ground with the total value of US $ 204 million will “hide” all communication systems and make it possible to operate them more effectively avoiding cases of trenching through the avenues to conduct repair works which is a natural scene in big cities. The multifunctional facility will accommodate the trunk power cables, water pipes, heating system, sewage and communication lines.

“Interbudmontazh” was awarded another contract to drain the sewage outside of the city. It deals with designing and construction of sewage treatment plants with the capacity of 300,0 thousand cub m a day with the 3.5 km long discharge collector and 10.5 km long end parts of the drainage collectors of the drainage-communication tunnel.

It should be noted that the Ukrainian company attaches great importance not only to the quality of works but also to the timely commissioning of the facility. Much is done to train local specialists who will be entrusted with maintaining this tunnel in the near future. Young men from Turkmenistan have the opportunity to get education in the educational establishments of Ukraine. As for those Turkmen citizens that are currently engaged in building this original “municipal metro”, they are also receiving the invaluable experience.


Turkmenistan Analytic Magazine

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 1:43 PM
Friday, 17 June 2005
Turkmenistan to Weave Countrywide Textile Network by 2010
Topic: Economy & business
Ashgabat, 27 May 2005 (nCa) --- Addressing the opening ceremony of a couple of textile mills Thursday, President Niyazov announced that by 2010 the remaining 26 districts of Turkmenistan would have at least one textile complex each.

His remarks came during the inauguration of two textile units, one in VekilBazaar district of Mary province and the other in Halach district of Lebap province.

At present 21 districts have got textile processing and production facilities, a quantum jump since independence when only Ashgabat, Mary and Turkmenabat (then Charjou) had some rudimentary textile mills and the rest of the cotton of Turkmenia SSR was sent by the red Kremlin to Ivanov industrial town near Moscow for processing.

Under the national development programme up to 2020, Turkmenistan is building its textile complex on the principle that any district that wants to have a textile unit should be able to produce adequate volume of cotton to keep the factory running.

The VekilBazaar textile complex built by Angin-led consortium combines spinning, dyeing, weaving and stitching felicities. Spread over an area of 20 hectares, it can process 10220 tons of cotton yarn annually to produce 63.7 million square meters of fabric.

Swiss and Belgian machinery has been used in the factory and it has opened 300 new job vacancies for the local population.

Angin Kaliy (phonetically spelled), Head of Angin was present during the opening ceremony. His group of companies has already built textile factories in TakhtaBazaar, TurkmenKalla and SakarChag districts of Mary province.

Another textile factory was opened in Halach district of Lebap province. This factory has been built by the Turkish company Norsel, one of the oldest foreign companies in Turkmenistan. First phase of the factory had been opened earlier and now the factory has been completed according to planned specifications. The entire project cost US $ 27 million.

The Halach factory is equipped with German and Swiss machinery. It is designed to process 10100 tons of cotton fiber annually. It can produce 9100 tons of quality yarn and a wide range of downstream products. Most of the products of Halach are expected to find an export market, with the likely annual profit of 60 billion Manats.

Based on the quality of Halach factory, President Niyazov asked the head of Norsel to start another textile project in the locality in January 2006. The new project would be a composite unit, taking in raw cotton and churning out garments and textile made-ups.

Niyazov also asked the ministry of textiles and Turkish company Gap Inshaat to design another textile project for Turkmenabat district. He also said that by 2010, all the cotton producing districts would have at least one textile complex each.

The Turkmen president went on to praise Turkmen-Turkish relations. "Relations between Turkmenistan and Turkey are unique and need no political back-up. These relations are based on mutual advantage and benefit. And no party or state leaders are involved in this process," Nyyazow said, adding: "Turkmenistan is ready to back up Turkey and to come to its assistance whenever Turkey has any trouble and needs assistance."

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 1:46 PM
British Ambassador Makes Farewell Call on Niyazov
Topic: Foreign Relations
Ashgabat, 7 June 2005 (nCa) --- Ambassador Paul Brummell made Monday farewell call on President Saparmurat Niyazov. His tenure as British ambassador to Turkmenistan is coming to an end.

President Niyazov thanked Ambassador Brummell for his exceptional efforts in promoting Ashgabat as regional peace centre where international community can join hands in finding solutions for global stability and development. He also thanked the British envoy for building on already excellent relations between the Great Britain and Turkmenistan.

Ambassador Brummell expressed his gratitude to Niyazov for extending all possible support in building the traditional ties between the two countries.

Brummell has been one of the most successful ambassadors in Turkmenistan. His stay in Ashgabat would be long remembered for the rich tapestry of cultural and social events that he kept going during the three years of his stay here.

Besides enriching the social life of Ashgabat, Brummell worked on a number of multifarious projects to integrate Turkmenistan into the international community.


Posted by countryturkmenistan at 9:21 AM
Updated: Tuesday, 21 June 2005 1:46 PM

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