The law provides for equal rights and freedoms for all citizens. Minority groups, including the Kazakh cultural center Elimay Turkmenistan, tried to register as NGOs to have legal status to conduct cultural events, but no minority groups succeeded in registering during the year.
The law designates Turkmen as the official language, although it also provides for the rights of speakers of minority languages. Russian remained prevalent in commerce and everyday life in the capital, even as the government continued its campaign to conduct official business solely in Turkmen. The government required ministry employees to pass tests demonstrating knowledge of professional subjects in Turkmen; employees who failed the exam were dismissed. The government dedicated resources to provide Turkmen language instruction for non-Turkmen speakers only in primary and secondary schools.
Non-Turkmen speakers noted that some avenues for promotion and job advancement were closed to them, and only a handful of non-Turkmen occupied high-level jobs in government ministries. In some cases applicants for government jobs had to provide information about ethnicity going back three generations. The government often targeted non-Turkmen first for dismissal when government layoffs occurred.
Race, Racism and the Law
Vernellia R. Randall
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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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