It has become a tradition that a few autumn days preceding Turkmenistan's main national holiday are always filled with very impressive and significant events that are of special importance for the Turkmen society.
This year, on the eve of the 28th anniversary of the country's independence, the Khalk Maslakhaty (People's Council) of Turkmenistan convened in Ashgabat for its second meeting under the chairmanship of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The meeting brought together government officials, leaders and members of the Mejlis (parliament), heads of regional, district and city administrations, elders, employees of public organizations, delegations from the regions of the country, heads of Turkmenistan's diplomatic missions abroad, representatives of political parties, public associations, journalists and guests of Ashgabat.
The meeting reviewed a wide range of issues relating to the socio-economic development of the country, improvement of the work of public authorities and the constitutional framework of the country.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov delivered a keynote speech at the People's Council meeting. The head of state briefed the council on the pace of the socio-economic development of the country in 2019. According to him, over the nine months of this year, Turkmenistan's GDP is expected to exceed 110 billion manat, while the GDP growth rate will reach 6.3 percent.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted the steady growth of the industrial sector, accounting for 32.6 percent of the GDP. According to the head of state, investments are the key tool for development of the Turkmen economy through diversification. He noted that the total investments in the country would amount to 29 billion manat (26.2 percent of the GDP).
The Turkmen leader also said that some 66-68 percent of investments in the manufacturing sector help Turkmenistan to maintain a strategic focus on the industrial-innovative model of development.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov put forward an initiative to establish a bicameral parliament by merging the Khalk Maslakhaty and the Mejlis into one system of representative and legislative bodies.
According to the head of state, such transition to a qualitatively new bicameral system will make it possible to meet the interests of all sectors of the Turkmen society by creating conditions for supervision in the law enforcement practice. This measure will give impetus to a closer interaction of members of parliament with their constituencies and greater control over the implementation of laws and national programs.
The President of Turkmenistan signed a decree on the establishment of the Constitutional Commission charged with development of proposals on introduction of relevant amendments to the Constitution of Turkmenistan. The Mejlis of Turkmenistan was requested to establish a working group under the Constitutional Commission that would review and synthesize proposals on amendments and changes in the country's constitution. The head of state suggested that the Constitutional Commission should submit proposals on the establishment of a bicameral parliament at the next meeting of the Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan in 2020.
At the meeting, the President of Turkmenistan conferred state awards - orders, medals and honorary titles - on a group of citizens of the country for their contribution to the development of Turkmenistan.
Among other documents, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed a decree conferring the title of Hero of Turkmenistan along with Altyn A (Golden Moon) medal on Permanent Representative of Turkmenistan to the UN Aksoltan Atayeva. The head of state praised her diplomatic activity, noting her services to the Turkmen state and people, as well as her great personal contribution to the strengthening of the country's international reputation.
The head of state also signed a decree conferring the title of Hero of Turkmenistan along with Altyn A medal on Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, a native of Turkmenistan. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov spoke with great respect of his fellow countryman's highest professionalism, who made four expeditions to the international space station (ISS) and walked into open space five times.
For his part, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was awarded the title of Honorary Elder of the People. A relevant resolution of the Mejlis (parliament) of Turkmenistan was passed at the Khalk Maslakhaty (People's Council) meeting. The document was read out by Parliament Speaker Gulshat Mammedova.
The title of Honorary Elder of the People was awarded to the head of Turkmenistan for his enormous personal contribution to the strengthening of the country's independence and permanent neutrality and his outstanding services to the state and society.
Stressing that the title of Honorary Elder of the People places even greater responsibility on him, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said he would continue sparing no effort, knowledge and experience in the name of prosperity of Turkmenistan and ensuring a peaceful and happy life for citizens of the country.
During the autumn celebrations, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov held a series of meetings with heads of several foreign companies operating in the Turkmen market, who congratulated the head of state on the 28th anniversary of Turkmenistan's independence and updated him on the pace of implementation of projects entrusted to them.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met with President of alik Holding group of companies Ahmet Chalyk; President of Rnesans Holding company Erman Ylydzhak; Chairman of the Board of NATA Holding group of companies Namyk Tanyk; Chairman of the Board of ALTKOM financial and industrial group Alexander Tislenko; and Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian construction association Interbudmontazh Vladimir Petruk.
On the day of main celebrations, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov participated in a flower laying ceremony at Independence Monument in honor of the 28th anniversary of Turkmenistan's independence. Thousands of residents and guests of Ashgabat gathered in the square in front of the Monument. Soldiers of the guard of honor lined up along the alley. Following the national anthem, the head of state laid a wreath of flowers at the foot of Independence Monument.
Following the President of Turkmenistan, wreaths and bouquets of flowers were laid by the government officials, leaders of the Mejlis (parliament), military and law enforcement agencies, heads of regional administrations and the Ashgabat city administration. They were joined by Turkmen and foreign diplomats, representatives of political parties and public associations, ministries and departments, honorary elders, students, residents and guests of the capital.
On the same day, the military parade and festive procession celebrating the 28th anniversary of Turkmenistan's independence were held in Ashgabat with participation of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Columns of various branches of the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan carrying modern military equipment, as well as law enforcement units marched past the central stand. The air show aroused great interest of the parade participants. Combat aircrafts and helicopters flew over the central square of Ashgabat.
The exhibition performance by the Separate Honor Guard Battalion of the Ministry of Defense of Turkmenistan and the Model Orchestra of the Armed Forces in front of the central stand wrapped up the military parade. The military men demonstrated impeccable skills in performing firearms handling techniques.
The military parade was followed by the festive procession of parliamentarians, elders, representatives of political parties, public associations, various sectors of the economy and spheres of life of the state and society. The procession included the delegations from all regions of Turkmenistan.
By tradition, the best artists of Turkmenistan prepared colorful performances for the main national holiday. For example, a concert of artists was held in Ashgabat in celebration of the 28th anniversary of Turkmenistan's independence. A variety of genres and premieres reflecting the great potential of Turkmen art became a distinctive feature of the concert under the 2019 motto "Turkmenistan - Homeland of Prosperity".
Popular art groups, famous folk and opera singers, pop stars and folklore groups of the country demonstrated their artistry. The warmth of hearts and talent of the artists were well received by the audience.
The concert concluded with all folklore groups' joint performance of the composition that was full of creative energy of art, symbolically emphasizing the continuous spiritual connection of the times and generations.
Celebrations in honor of Independence Day continued in the evening at the central stadium of the multifunctional sports complex "Ashgabat" with the colorful performance reflecting a large-scale prospect of Turkmenistan's modern achievements.
In the evening, Independence Day was celebrated with a festive variety concert in the square in front of lem (Universe) cultural and entertainment center. The pop stars' performances concluded with fireworks in the evening sky of the Turkmen capital. Celebrations in honor of the 28th anniversary of Independence Day were held in all regions of Turkmenistan.
Horseracing was held at the International Akhal-Teke Equestrian Center in celebration of the 28th anniversary of Turkmenistan's independence. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov attended the event as a guest of honor.
It featured seven races with twelve Akhal-Teke horses per race. In six races, jockeys competed for cash prizes worth 15 thousand US dollars per race that came from various sectors of the national economy of Turkmenistan. And the main prize in the final race totaled 30 thousand US dollars from Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in honor of the 28th anniversary of the country's independence.
Famous singers and musicians performed for spectators between the races. The horseracing event concluded with a cash prize awarding ceremony for race winners.
A special exhibition marking the 28th anniversary of the country's independence that opened on the eve of the holiday vividly demonstrated Turkmenistan's economic achievements. The exhibition reflected the progress made in modernizing and diversifying the national economy as part of state programs and innovative projects. This year, more than 70 exhibitors, including dozens of private companies and individual entrepreneurs, presented their capacities, high quality products and services.
Turkmenistan's economic achievements were demonstrated in special pavilions represented by line ministries and departments, state concerns and associations, banks and the Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange, regional administrations and individual enterprises.
The achievements of the country in the humanitarian sphere, including education and science, were also widely reflected in the exhibition. The stand of the Turkmen State Publishing Service representing modern printing industry also attracted the increased attention of visitors.
The commissioning of two high-rise residential buildings in Ashgabat, as well as a plant for production of sunflower oil and flour was another festive event to celebrate Independence Day of Turkmenistan. On this day, 162 families moved to new luxury apartments in two high-rise buildings surrounded by the landscaped territory with lawns, walking areas, children's playgrounds and sports grounds.
The new plant for production of sunflower oil and premium flour boasts the production capacity of 7200 tons of sunflower oil and 20 thousand tons of flour per year. The plant is equipped with automated filling and washing lines, advanced laboratory equipment, computer control and fire safety and sanitary control systems.
The plant created dozens of new jobs. It will not only produce sunflower oil and premium flour but also supply waste products to livestock and poultry farms.
On the eve of the national holiday, stateless persons, who were granted Turkmenistan's citizenship under President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov's decree, received passports at a festive ceremony in the conference hall of the State Migration Service of Turkmenistan.
The event was attended by representatives of the Turkmen ministries and departments, international organizations accredited in Turkmenistan, elders and journalists. Participating in the ceremony head of the UNHCR Regional Office for Central Asia Yasuko Oda, head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalia Gherman and UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan Elena Panova noted Turkmenistan's contribution to addressing situations of statelessness.
Speakers at the ceremony emphasized that Turkmenistan's example is important not only for the Central Asian region but also for the whole world. Over the years of independence, about 23 thousand people have been granted Turkmenistan's citizenship.
Just one calendar week featuring so many important events has become a symbol of the fruitful political, economic and social life of the country that moves towards prosperity with confidence.