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  • Writer's pictureThe Red Line

Episode 18. The Geopolitics of Turkmenistan

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Often referred to as the North Korea of Central Asia, Turkmenistan is simply a desert of contradictions. A nation where you memorize poems to get your driver's license, where the president raps on TV, and where many Guinness world records are broken; but more importantly a nation of starving people on top of the 4th largest gas reserves in the world. We go deeper into this reclusive society and talk about their abandonment of Moscow and their newfound masters in Beijing, as well as how this country tries its best to stay neutral in a very dangerous geopolitical neighborhood.



Peter Leonard

  • Eurasianet

Naz Nazar

  • Radio Free Europe

Alexander Cooley

  • Harriman Institute


The Red Line's Turkmenistan Reading List:

We’ve put together some further reading for those of you looking for more resources to help you get across the geopolitics of Turkmenistan.




For episode transcripts, monthly geopolitics Q&A’s, member-only videos and to support the show, check out our Patreon here:

This episode is dedicated to Patreon member Stephen Schaber.


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