The first issue of the oldest national newspaper Turkmenistan, which is published until our days, has been first released in Ashgabat (Poltoratzk this is how Turkmen capital was called back then) 100 years ago on July 29, 1920. 600 newspapers have been printed in Turkmen language and Arabic script, which was used in our country until 1929. It was two-page party magazine, which main goals were a political propaganda and cultural and educational mission on the background of historical events of that time.
Gubaduylla Husayinov (1892 – 1948) was the first editor-in-chief of the newspaper while Yakub Nasyrly (1899 – 1958), which later has become a famous poet and translator, participant of the Great World War, was one of the journalists. Historian Ahmet-Zaki Validov took part in creation of signal release of the newspaper and graduate of Judicial Faculty of Petersburg University Kakajan Berdiyev, which was demanded lawyer and translator in Soviet time, has been invited as a consultant in literary Turkmen language.
Until the establishment of Turkmen SSR in 1924, the newspaper was official printing media of Caspian Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Turkestan and Regional Revolution Committee. Undoubtedly, century-old history of the newspaper has included many milestones in the history of our state, which cannot be laid out in one publication.
In 1923, Turkmenistan newspaper has reached a circulation of 1,000. It was a significant achievement. However, it was mostly urban citizens who read the news. Share of educated population was very low in rural areas. Free distribution of 80 percent of entire circulation in rural areas could not save the situation. Nevertheless, by the end of 1924, the newspaper, which previously has been published three times a week, become to be released on daily basis while the circulation has reached 1,500. From October 1929, the newspaper, which has been published in Arabic script, has started to be printed in Latin and from April 1941 in Turkmen Cyrillic script.
In 1932, the newspaper was renamed to Şuralar Türkmenistany (Soviet Turkmenistan) and in March 1936, more current writing “Sowet Türkmenistany” for that time has been adopted. In addition to the mission of ideological messenger of the time, the newspaper covered the events of cultural life, changes in economy, life in rural areas, development of science and education.
Historical event, which was highlighted in all Soviet news, the famous equestrian ride of 30 Turkmen horse riders along Ashgabat – Moscow route has happened 85 years ago in August 1935. The chronicle of the ride has been covered in details in «Şuralar Türkmenistany».
The final day of the ride has been announced as national holiday in Turkmenistan. On occasion of ceremonial meeting of the riders, celebration release of the newspaper was added with thematic line dedicated to this historical event. Coming a bit forward, it is worth to mention that another equestrian ride Ashgabat – Moscow, which was highlighted by journalists of the newspapers O. Nepesov, took place again across Karakum Desert in 1988. Same like many years ago in 1935, the separate column was dedicated to the final of the ride.
Circulation of the newspaper has been reduced in the years of the Great Patriotic War due to the increment of number of military front lien newspapers, shortage of paper, sending of financial, material and technical resources to the front’s needs, military mobilization of printing personnel. The format has been reduced and informational strategy of the newspaper has been changed. The main mission of the newspaper became to consolidate the society and raise patriotism, to make people believe in soonest victory over fascism.
The newspaper has published updates from the front, highlighted military feats and heroic work of workers and farmers in the rear front, reports about antifascist meetings, narrated about kindness of our fellow citizens, destiny of evacuated people who has got another motherland in our country. New section “To the Defense Fund”, which published information about financial resources and state bonds, jewelry, winter clothes and various agricultural production given for the front needs, has been opened.
From 1945, the newspaper has started to be printed on 4 pages and come back to previous format. Reconstruction of Turkmen capital, which was erased from the earth by devastating earthquake in 1948, fraternal help of Soviet people, rates of five-year plans, construction of Karakum Channel, development of natural reserves of our land, production of previous fine-fiber cotton and many other events were highlighted by the newspaper.
Correspondent network was forming up in the regions, political scientists, analytics, famous scientists, representatives of creative professions are invited for cooperation. Aspiring authors and journalists make their attempts in writing. News sections like Literary Page, Art of Young, Letters of Readers and other appear, contest and round table discussion are organized.
After declaration of the independence of the country, the newspaper received back its original name and now, it is the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, which is official founder of the newspaper. Total number of printing is close to 30,000 for the past 100 years.
Qualitative and timely information is one of the main values in any period of public development. Magazines, newspapers, scientific and popular, fiction literature are important means to keep and pass the achievements of human culture and thoughts from generation to generation.
The newspapers is not just a team of people united by common idea who try to make the reader aware of current information as soon as possible. Photojournalist Yuri Ivanovich Shkurin works Turkmenistan Newspaper in such dynamic rhythm for more than 43 years. He was awarded with the Order of Turkmenistan «Garaşsyz Türkmenistana bolan beýik söýgüsi üçin» (For big love to Independent Turkmenistan) and medal «Watana bolan söýgüsi üçin» (For Love to the Motherland) for many years of honest work and big contribution to popularization of large-scale achievements of the epoch of independence.
We have not had to look for special meeting with Yuri Shkurin as he works efficiently and for a long time with our internet newspaper making effective visual row and bringing live emotions to monotonous lines of articles. Each photo from Yuri Shkurin is not just a part of decoration but independent journalistic work… Is not it a reason to change usual dialog between newspaper and photo correspondent and simply to talk about the role of photographing in life of this professional.
The carrier of Yuri Ivanovich in photographing has started from the position of operator assistant in Turkmenfilm Movie Studio. This was a place when he took a camera first time in his hand. Probably, he would remain a movie-maker if not a family issues. Beginning operator has married, young family was waiting for the first child and Yuri Shkurin agreed with pleasure to earn some extra money as a part-time photo correspondent in Komsomolets of Turkmenistan Newspaper.
Vision of photo artist and experience of operator work, although not big, made his works to be live. They have emotions and style of talented portrait maker. Soon, he was invited to work in the newspaper as a full-time employee.
– I was quite slender when I was young, – Yuri Ivanovich says jokingly, – it was difficult to carry both movie camera and tripod while photo cameral is a different story and taking into account my active temper and great aspiration for traveling, the profession of photo correspondent has attracted me more.
Undoubtedly, Yuri Ivanovich is kidding. Owing to the newspaper, he has buried into atmosphere of changes and events, which made up a kaleidoscope of unforgettable meetings, bright impressions and valuable experience. Today, he remember the emotions when he was taking pictures of kulans’ migration, which were transported by helicopters from Badhyz to Gyaurs.
Once upon a time, a flock of sheep has been lost after the flood. It was found from the helicopter at small island despite thick fog and cold. The article in newspaper was named “ Aviation comes to held the flock” and emotional background of dramatic events with happy end were highlighted by expressive footages of Yuri Shkurin.
For him, each assignment was an opportunity for professional growth. Improvement of knowledge of composition rules, making of footage to be alive, bringing of shadows of artistic imagination to the reality, all of these require not only a talent but also special world outlook, the look of a person having bright individuality.
The readers of elder generation remember his photo reports, which are filled with energy of discovery, about reconstruction of Krasnovodsk Refinery (the flagship of national fuel and energy complex, Turkmenbashy Refinery Complex in our days) and construction of Shatlyk – Hiva gas pipeline.
The project of construction of secondary school no. 50 presented the dome of special construction. Bright moments of installation of two-ton construction, which was made using helicopter, captured by camera of Yuri Shkurin became a sensation of that time.
… The first vehicle with the trailer left for drilling rig and Yuri Shkurin went together with dentists to Karakum Desert to capture the first Turkmen patient who received medical aid at working place for the history. It is not us to doctors but doctors to us, the oilmen used to joke.
Photos signed by Yuri Shkurin have started appearing in central soviet press where colorful photo works pulsing with life, which style has non-trivial perception of the world, have raised big interest.
In 1977, the Editor-in-Chief of Sovet Turkmenistan Newspaper Begench Kerimi, who know the works of young photographer, has called Yuri to his office.
– I have offered you a job in our newspaper three months ago, – he asked him in a stern voice. – What disturbs you to make a decision?
– I don’t know Turkmen language, – Shkurin has tried to justify his hesitation. He was held back not only by the language barrier but also with the authority of Kerimi personality and realization of importance of the mission – to work in the leading newspaper of the republic.
– Knowledge of language is not the main thing is your profession. Your works will speak for you. Here is a piece of paper and if you do not have any other arguments to refuse I’m expecting for your work application. And if I am right or wrong, time will show…
Thus, 43 years ago, Yuri Ivanovich has become a full-time photo correspondent. The veteran of Turkmen photography works until today at this position.
In our days, Türkmenistan Newspaper is a big periodic of the country that has big army of readers and published in significant circulation. Starting from this year, it was represented in global network under the transfer of printing media to digital format. The newspaper is led by Kakamyrat Rejepov. The editorial staff is composed of young journalists who have their fingers on the pulse of events. Each of them would like that photos to their articles would be made by high-class professional and creative artist who knows the language of visual imagery, who has a talent to turn a picture into artistic document and sometimes into artistic imagination…
Source: Turkmenistan: the Golden Age Online Newspaper