Events in the Arab world erupted in early 2011 now attract the attention of the world community. This is not surprising: today almost every country in the world - from Britain to the Republic of Chad - the Arabic script is not only quite possible, but under certain circumstances it is practically implement. The reason for this is the prolonged financial crisis that gradually develops into a crisis of modern capitalist civilization. The inability or unwillingness of the "global elite" to begin the real search for ways out of this impasse causes the accumulated tensions translate into a social protest, degenerated into a regional military conflict.
Local and regional conflicts, as well as during the Cold War, are now breaking out in the areas of conflicts of interest of major international players. And now it is not the countries, having an important geographic position in the region, but the areas of concentration of energy resources - oil and gas. This factor is now the main stimulator of escalation of different conflicts in various parts of the world. Of course, such "natural" conflicts and social protests always evolve in a careful and developed scenario, as clearly evidenced by all the "color revolutions" of recent years.
In this case Central Asia is not the exception, but the opposite. Recent events in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have clearly shown that all these scenarios in terms of regional specificity are quite realizable. Experts believe that the basic "revolutionary" events are still ahead and will be linked to two former Soviet republics - Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan - that have a strategic location and impressive reserves of energy. Turkmenistan, for example, is the fourth country in the world on natural gas reserves, but for various reasons it has serious problems with its energy exports to foreign markets.
It should be noted that Turkmenistan still retains its status as a sort of "oasis of stability", despite a certain tension in the region with periodical local conflicts. Ashgabat was always proud of its "wise and prudent" policy of "good neighborliness" with neighboring countries, as well as "constructive" policy in its relations with the West, with whom the country's leadership has recently been significant convergence on a number of key issues. All of this was supposed to continue to guarantee political stability in the country. However, the events of recent months in the Middle East and North Africa clearly show that even very close cooperation with the West does not guarantee the realization of the country's revolutionary scenario.
The indicator of impending danger is the ratings of Western human rights organizations. Here Turkmenistan, despite its rapprochement with the U.S. and the EU, has serious problems. In April, American human rights organization Human Rights Watch, on the eve of a visit of the European parliament to Turkmenistan, prepared an analytical report, in which the situation of human rights and democratic reforms in the country was called as "very unsatisfactory". A similar assessment of the situation was given in the recent report of international human rights organization Freedom House, in which Turkmenistan was among the ten "worst of the worst," conceded to only North Korea. All this suggests that Turkmenistan doesn’t feel secured against the realization of its "democratic revolution", especially since, as it is evident from the reports of Western human rights activists, all the elements of the "pre-revolutionary" situation is obvious here: the dictatorship, oppression of the opposition, the oppressed people. But this picture would be incomplete without the essential element in the launch of a revolutionary situation - a network of pro-Western non-governmental organizations of humanitarian orientation.
In recent years a lot is said about the role of NGOs in the organization and financing of "natural" mass disturbances of current political regime. Strategy and tactics, and the format of funding mass action through these organizations "locally" was run-in during the implementation of the "color revolutions" in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. For example, USAID funds for "programs related to the elections" in Ukraine in 2004, according to information from the representatives of the organization in Kiev, were 18.3 million. They were sent mainly through the International Republican Institute - IRI, the National Democratic Institute - NDI, the human rights organization Freedom House, and also through the Washington Eurasia Foundation and other funds.
It is noteworthy that a number of "humanitarian" programs in three main areas - "Economic Development", "Development of Democratic Processes and Institutions" and "Development of Health and Education Systems" are actively implementing in Turkmenistan today through the USAID. Only in 2010, 16.6 million dollars was allocated for these programs from the State Budget of the United States (USAID, as it is known, is an agency of the U.S. federal government). Among the educational projects Washington especially supports those, relating to the preparation of young leaders in the USA that are capable to involve youth in decision-making by public authorities. About $ 1 million was allocated for these projects last year. As it’s shown in, in particular, the experience of Arab countries, graduates of these educational projects in the future form social groups that could potentially support any "democratic" initiatives in their country. They profess American value system and tend to move American political institutions to their homeland; also they try to reform separate spheres on the American counterpart.
It is characteristically that in the field of education in Turkmenistan there is the highest number of NGOs funded by USAID: American Councils for International Education, International Research and Exchanges Board - IREX, Junior Achievement, Creative Associates International. However, all these organizations are not as harmless as they seem at the first glance. So, in 2003, the Belarusian authorities refused to extend the accreditation of IREX, because the organization was seen in the export of "orange revolutions", for the same reason in 2005 its operations were suspended in Uzbekistan.
Of course, it would be naive to believe that in Ashgabat they do not realize the danger of pro-Western NGOs. However, there are at least two reasons why the Turkmen authorities continue to be forced to close their eyes to the Western "humanitarian" projects in their territory, being afraid to worsen relations with the United States and the EU. Firstly, it is the support and funding for projects in Turkmenistan on the diversify energy supply, bypassing Iran and Russia, and secondly, the previously mentioned concerns about the implementation of the Arab script. It’s paradoxically, that the concessions to the West do not reduce the likelihood of such developments, but rather contribute to this process. However, as it was shown by the scandal about the left of "Doctors without Borders» (MSF) out of the country in 2009, the situation with the NGOs to the government of Turkmenistan can only be named as stalemate - any move will certainly be a losing one.
Let’s recall that in 2009 the world-famous international organization "Doctors without borders" after a serious conflict with the leadership of Turkmenistan, according to some information related to the issue of control over financial flows, in April 2010, published a controversial report on the situation in Turkmenistan in the sphere of health. The report, in particular, said that "ten years of work on health care in the country, MSF witnessed how people's lives were at risk everyday because of medical malpractice and widespread use of dangerous medical practices, for example, when blood transfusion is often performed without testing for HIV or Hepatitis C». Apart from the purely professional assessment of the health system of Turkmenistan, the report had political evaluations. In particular, it was noted that health workers work in conditions that are determined by the culture of fear, gravely sick patients are not accepted for treatment in order not to worsen the statistics of maternal and infant mortality or the rates of the spread of infectious diseases. Moreover, because of political expediency, residents of Turkmenistan "were abandoned by the country's health system, which is more concerned about its image abroad than the solution of the problems and the elimination of the real threat to public health related to infectious diseases".
To say that this report had a serious response is to say nothing. It swiped the image of the President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, a former doctor, who headed the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan for ten years under Niyazov. In Ashgabat, the report was perceived so painfully that after a fortnight the State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH) issued a counter-report, in which MSF staff were accused of incompetence, tendentiousness and political bias. However, at that time Turkmenistan suffered a serious loss of international reputation. The incident with the "Doctors without Borders" demonstrated to the Turkmen leadership that it has to accept the activities of pro-Western NGOs, regardless of any proof of their shady activities.
It should be noted that not only the United States and the European Union work in Turkmenistan in the field of humanitarian development. Ever since the 90s Israeli and Turkish NGOs successfully work here. The Turkish one firmly occupied the educational niche, developing a range of cultural and religious projects. With the help of the means of Turkish NGOs there are funded a network of Turkmen-Turkish schools across the country, the training center "Bashkent" in Ashgabat, the International Turkmen-Turkish University with branches in all provinces, the Turkish multi-center on staff training, where the teaching is conducted by the Turks in Turkish, and also Anadoliysky Lyceum. It's no secret that these institutions are controlled by the Turkish religious center "Nurdzhular". The same as in the case with Western educational programs, the most talented students of Turkish schools in Turkmenistan are sent for further education to Turkey, where they fall under the full psychological and ideological control of "Nurdzhular". Back home, these young people become the agents of Pan-Turkic and Islamic fundamentalism, as well as good staff for the formation of "opposition forces" in case of implementation of the Arab script.
In general, today the situation in Turkmenistan is developing according to its worst-case scenario. The reason is also in the fact that Russia, which for the past 150 years has been the guarantor of stability here, is gradually disappearing from the region, leaving behind a vacuum effect. Of course, the most influential geopolitical players today - the USA, EU, China and Turkey try to occupy its place. All this does not bode well for Turkmenistan and its people, whose interests are the least important to the new partners. The situation is getting worse by the fact that a huge proportion of the population really feels aggrieved by the current regime. These are non-titular ethnic Turkmen and Russian-speaking minority, mostly immigrants from Russia, the Caucasus and other Central Asian republics. The last mention group amounts about 100 thousand people in Turkmenistan today. Organizations of Russian-speaking citizens of Turkmenistan, in contrast to the pro-Western NGOs, in fact, are prohibited in the country for more than 10 years, and any attempts to reverse this situation are severely suppressed by the authorities. This means that in the case of implementation of the Arabic script in Turkmenistan, it’s unlikely to count on the support of this fairly large and traditionally loyal part of the population, as well as on the Russian assistance.
In short, recent tendencies in Turkmenistan and around it in the context of the current situation in the Arab world forced us to say that in the nearest future before the present regime in Turkmenistan there will be a question not about maintaining absolute power in the country, but about the escape routes and maximum preferences after the regime change.
Ruslan Babanov in the article called "Non-Governmental Organizations, the "Arab Revolution" and Democratic Freedoms" introduces a thorough analysis of the activities of NGOs in Turkmenistan to the reader, making the conclusion about the excessive, destructive activity of Western organizations. However, he notes that the gradual "withdrawal of Russia from the region" forms a "vacuum effect", and the countries that want to take its place, such as China, USA, Turkey, can not and do not want to take on Russia's commitment to maintain stability. The author anticipates the negative trends of the inner life of Turkmenistan, in the case of continuing the policy of humiliation of national minorities in the country. The article has a pro-Russian character and represents an unequivocal message to the reader, reflecting the interests of the Russian-speaking population of the republic of Turkmenistan.