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RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service: Radio Azatlyk

Azatlyk Radiosy is the only independent Turkmen-language media reporting from inside one of the world's most closed authoritarian regimes.


  • From Prague, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service relies on in- country networks to report news the government suppresses.
  • Despite censorship, reaches tens of thousands of subscribers in Turkmen and Russian-languages online; and via social networks, satellite, and shortwave radio.
  • Azatlyk’s reports about agriculture resource shortages prompted a national corruption investigation acknowledged by the President.
  • After hard-hitting reporting by Azatlyk, schools stopped an extortion scheme.
  • Medical workers’ salaries were reinstated after Azatlyk’s report on their wages being cut by as much as 20 percent amid economic hardships.
  • A report on corruption in a new hospital prompted local authorities to investigate.
  • Following Azatlyk’s report on dire conditions in the Turkmen army, including malnutrition of soldiers, former President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov visited a military unit for an inspection.


January – December 2022

  • Website: 15.7 million visits; 21.3 million video views
  • Facebook: 1.6 million video views; 184,000 engaged users
  • YouTube: 6.35 million views; 86,200 subscribers
  • Instagram: 47,000 video views; 9,300 followers

Updated: April 2023

Media Climate

  • Turkmen security services routinely track down Azatlyk’s social followers and call the Service “the West’s weapon against Turkmenistan.”
  • Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index​ ranks Turkmenistan 177th out of 180 countries.
  • Turkmenistan is second on Freedom House’s Worst of the Worst list.

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