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Houses Demolished in Turkmenistan: Happy New Year!

Glaz | 16.01.2006 12:04 | Repression | World

New Year’s «house warming parties»
Turkmen authorities have arranged a "cheerful" new year to inhabitants of capital. On December 28-30th, 2005, in three days the two 30-room houses on Turkmenbashy Avenue and some houses on Garashsyzlyk Street have been taken down.

Next morning on December 31 on a place of the taken down houses the very young fur-trees have been planted. People from those houses were given two days to collect their belongings and leave.

From the story of one of inhabitants of the taken down house: - We did not even have time to pack our house utensils. Under our Constitution the property, no less than house, are inviolable. In the taken down house I had a three-room privatized apartment with all facilities. In exchange I have received a two-room apartment in which there are no doors, windows are broken, floors and walls are peeled. Moreover, the house is not privatized. Employees of hyakimlik of Kopetdag etrap (village) near Ashgabat suggest me to begin privatization all over again, meaning I have to pay for the paper work, for housing, go to all the authorities, wait in long lines and wait for the decision of the committee.

This guy is lucky – say the officials of the housing-operational trusts of the capital – many of those people are still living at relatives waiting for their new homes. There are so many of such people that we do not know where to settle them. Our etrap was given 20 families to find homes for. A part from them has received rooms at former music school #2, another part have rooms in a hostel of National institute of international languages. There are no facilities such as toilet and bathroom.

To continue about the above-mentioned music school #2, during the December (2005) session of the Cabinet of Ministers, the president has ordered to close all music schools in velayats (regions). However, as of January 1st 2006 the Ministry of Culture has closed 2 music schools in the capital as well. As a result 300 young musicians have lost the opportunity to receive education in music, and 25 teachers have been dismissed.

- They could have at least let those graduates finish school – comment indignant musicologists. There are only few months left till the end of the academic year. But the students who were in their final year will not receive their deserved diplomas, although they have spent 5 years studying and paying for their education.

There were 5 music schools in the capital - 4 city schools and one republican boarding school. The ministry of culture has decided to save budgetary funds. It appears, it has no funds to keep the buildings of former music schools. So now these schools are transferred to the authorities of hyakimlik (city hall). The authorities have found the best use for these buildings – school #2, which is in the area of the old airport, has now become a 17-room shelter for those people who were left without homes just before the New Year.