Preparations for celebrations of Turkmenistan’s Neutrality Day

Preparations for the celebrations of the Day of Neutrality, considered the second most significant national holiday after the Independence Day, are in full swing in Ashgabat.

Thousands of residents including students, public sector employees and staff of state-run organizations are involved in rehearsals.

Turkmenistan's law-enforcement agencies are actively engaged in preparations for the upcoming public holiday.

Celebrations of the Independence Day, a month ago, demonstrated that much more attention was being paid to security issues by law enforcement officers than before.

For instance, two weeks prior to the festive march, organizers were obliged to provide an accurate list of parade participants with references for all participants and a mandatory annex maglumat being included (maglumat is a bio profile listing all relatives, including those who have died, going back several generations). Such documents have long been required to be submitted even in kindergartens but this was the first time that the requirement was imposed on the parade participants. This is done to ensure there are no individuals who have untrustworthy relatives among the participants of the parade which the Turkmen President is scheduled to attend.

Apart from this recently-introduced requirement, participants had to go through specially installed metal detectors before the parade. As a result, according to eye witnesses, a huge pile of lighters, pens and other items with metal parts was formed, which, needless to say, were not returned to their owners. The ban on mobile phones for participants of large-scale events was introduced a few years ago.

Moreover, Ashgabat residents noticed that several hours before the event drones � unmanned aerial vehicles with video cameras installed in them � had been flying around the city to monitor the safety situation.

We have repeatedly received information that the widespread cutting down of trees in the capital is linked to the fact that they hinder the aerial monitoring activities to ensure the safety and security of the country's leader.

Our observers attribute tightened security measures at large-scale events to the heavily exacerbated social and economic situation in Turkmenistan.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan