Every country in the world has television, even in the depths of Africa or the Amazon it’s impossible to get away from the little (well really big these days) box (not really box shaped anymore either) that shows all your favourite tv shows and movies.
In Turkmenistan, there are no privately run channels, as the seven TV stations available are all owned and operated by the Turkmenistan government. The department that operates television is officially called The State Committee of Turkmenistan for Television, Radio Broadcasting and Cinematography .
Furthermore, the channels are all part of the national narrative and aim to promote Turkmen culture and achievements. This makes for interesting viewing.
Although there are only seven channels in Turkmenistan, most people living there have access to satellite TV, with the most popular stations still being from Russia, although Turkish television is a close second and strangely Bollywood from India is very popular.
Pictured to the right:
Top: Posing with our favourite Turkmen TV and social media personality, out the front of the Hippodrome after the Presidential Horse Racing event we were invited to, October 2019.
Bottom: Our very own Ben Crowley being interviewed in front of the Monument to Independence, September 2015.
The seven Turkmen TV channels are as follows:
Altyn Asyr, which translates to “Golden Century”, is the flagship television station in Turkmenistan. Showing primarily news and current affairs, you can expect to see full length programmes on events that in the rest of the world might be consigned to a 30 second slot on the news. If a new housing development is opened, expect to see the entire opening ceremony. If there is a government meeting, you might be lucky enough to see the entire thing. Altyn Asyr also shows light entertainment programmes highlighting Turkmen culture.
Launched in 2012, this channel is pretty self-explanatory. A channel dedicated to just sport, however other than football (soccer), in which they show a large number of matches from around the world, most of the viewing is sports that Turkmenistan compete in, so expect to see a lot of wrestling.
Turkmenistan is a multilingual channel, broadcasting in Turkmen, English, Russian, Chinese, Arabic and Persian. It primarily broadcasts news from Turkmenistan and covers major events.
Miras is only in Turkmen and focuses on art and culture. A lot of traditional music and shows showing traditional nomadic life, as well as cooking and art.
Aşgabat (pronounced Ashgabat) is much the same as Altyn Asyr, with the one main point of difference being that it focuses more on the capital city, Ashgabat, as you might expect. Often the programming on Altyn Asyr and Aşgabat will be the same.
Founded in 2009, Turkmen Owazy is the Turkmenistan version of MTV. This is a television station dedicated just to Turkmen music, predominately modern pop music. Although the music can be a bit repetitive, the music video clips do show amazing shots of Ashgabat and some of the natural beauty Turkmenistan has to offer. Like most of these channels, they’re brilliant to watch for a short while, but you can certainly get your fill of it!
The final station and newest on the list focuses on light entertainment. All government approved of course.
You can watch all these channels online, or better yet, come with us to Turkmenistan where you’ll get to watch until your heart is content. Even better you might get the chance to star on Turkmenistan television, as our groups have done multiple times in the past, in fact we’ve appeared on several of these channels!