As the Head of the State highlights, the culture is an endless source of power which promotes the formation of national peculiarities of every nation and serves as a spiritual bridge for unity.
The Ministry of Culture is functioning In Turkmenistan, whose activities are aimed at the accomplishment of tasks in accordance with the State Programme for the development of cultural sphere in Turkmenistan, which has a conceptual meaning for the formation of favourable cultural environment, which, in turn, will help to realize the cultural and spiritual potential of every individual, people and the country as a whole.
The cultural policy of the State is implemented through the organization of educational and promotional activities, various events, including those at the international level.
Consistent work is undertaken to widen the range and improve the quality of cultural services, increase their coverage by the population, renew the repertoires of art groups, as well as the museum and library funds and coordinate the activities of the cultural institutions. As of today, there are 10 state theatres (6 of them are in the capital), 1 circus, 2 cinema-concert centers and 36 state museums. State libraries: The State Library of Turkmenistan, the State Children's Library named after B.Amanov, Library for the Blind and Deaf (3 branches and 1 point for books delivery), Centralized Library Network of Ashgabat (1 center, 21 branches). Also in each region, there are major regional libraries and several libraries under the Ministry of Culture.
The tasks on improving and modernizing the library activities, coordinating them with other aspects of the country's life were determined by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov during his visit to the main building of the State Library of Turkmenistan on November 7, 2018 when one of the departments of the State Museum were transferred to it and where the book exhibition center is now located.
The Head of State focused on the establishment of electronic and internet services in libraries, further digitalization of the library activities and, in this regard, the provision of methodological assistance and scientific advices to libraries in the regions.
Under the Ministry of Culture, there are 3 higher educational institutions, 8 secondary specialized educational institutions, 1 specialized music boarding school, 12 art schools and 80 children's art schools.
As we know, the theme of the year 2019 is “Turkmenistan - the Motherland of prosperity.” In this motto, a notion presumes that posseses the energy of creation, inspirational work and striving for new horizons, discoveries and knowledge.
And the year 2018, which was held under the motto “Turkmenistan - the heart of the Great Silk Road,” became a history, one more leaf of it, telling about important events and achievements of the country. The events of that year reflected vast creative potential of national culture. Topical conferences, arts and book exhibitions, concerts, theatre performances and art workers’ gatherings marked the important dates and national holidays in the country.
On January 20, 2018, a conference was held in the Mukams Palace of the State Cultural Center. During the forum “Turkmenistan - the heart of the Great Silk Road,” special attention was paid to popularizing the phenomenon of this ancient caravan route as a factor of rapprochement of peoples and cultures. Also in January, the exhibition called “The Great Silk Road - the Road of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation” was organized in the Museum of Fine Arts.
In February, a thematic exhibition was held at the State Museum of the State Cultural Center. Also this month, an exhibition of reproduction paintings of the outstanding Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was organized in the Museum of Fine Arts.
The topical events of March include the following holidays - International Women's Day and the National Spring Holiday - International Novruz Day. An exhibition of paintings, drawings and applied arts were dedicated to these celebrations that were organized in the State Museum of the State Cultural Center, which included works by 43 artists of the country. And on March 9, a promotional action started - a campaign train left from the Turkmen capital on a four-day trip along the Ashgabat-Turkmenabat-Kerki route, which passed though the cities and historical places of our Fatherland. The program included a scientific conference "Historical and Cultural Monuments of Southern Turkmenistan – the Wonderful Samples of the World Art of Architecture," and a “round table” dedicated to one of the chapters of the President’s book “Turkmenistan is the heart of the Great Silk Road. A similar campaign was held at the end of March in the Balkan region.
The main festivities in honor of the spring holiday unfolded on the traditional site "Novruz Yaylasi,” (Spring meadow) where an edifice was established in the form of a huge national tent (once a national Turkmen household) which became a symbol of the boundless hospitality of the Turkmen, continuity of the national culture. Creative ensembles from Afghanistan, the Republic of Tatarstan of the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Iran presented their traditions and peculiarities of the Novruz celebration.
In 2018, the anniversary of the composer Nury Halmamedov was widely celebrated in our country and abroad, with such events as the concert “Music of the Heart” in the Mukams Palace, anniversary events in Russia, at the Moscow State Conservatory named after P.I.Tchaikovsky.
On April 18-19, the International Scientific Conference and Festival "Ancient Sources of Musical Art" was held in Ashgabat. The international forum brought together humanitarian scientists and art masters from the 13 countries of the world. On April 24, opening ceremony of the exhibition “Margiana: The Kingdom of the bronze Age on the territory of Turkmenistan,” organized by the Museum of Prehistorical Period and Early History, which belongs to the Berlin State museums Association took place in the New Museum of Berlin in assistance of the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan,. The presentation of the artifacts of ancient Margiana was organized. On November 1, this exhibition was transferred to the Hamburg Archaeological Museum, where the original pieces from truly exceptional ancient Turkmen kingdom will be present during the four months, and then will be on display at the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum Complex in Mannheim until June 2019.
In 2018, according to the Decree of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the professional holiday of art and culture workers celebrated on June 27 was united with commemoration of the great Turkmen poet Magtumguly Fragi. A week of culture dedicated to these celebrations was held in Ahal region from June 22 to June 27, while some of the events of the forum were held in Turkmen capital.
Events such as the concerts with the participation of stage masters, “bakhshi” musicians, demonstrations of works of fine and decorative arts, publishing products, as well as unique discoveries, and shows of premiere works of stage artists was organized. The final event of the action was a gala concert of art masters, including its grand opening that were held in the Ahal region, in the National Turkmen tent of Ahal meadow. The participants of the show creatively performed the transfer of the baton of the Week of Culture from Ahal region to Balkan, where this large-scale arts forum will take place in 2019.
In the second quarter of 2018, a series of book presentations took place. Thus, the new book of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, “Worshiping of Mother, Worshiping of Sacred thing” was presented in the capital’s Center for Public Organizations.
A panorama of events of the third quarter of the year was opened by the theatrical festival “The Silk Road of Cordiality,” held from July 1 to July 7. Also, an important event in July was the honoring with silver award of a representative of Turkmen circus Liliana Yusupova at the XI International Echo of Circus Art Festival held in the capital of Kazakhstan - Astana. For the original performance in the aerial gymnastics genre, our compatriot was awarded a prize in the nomination “For high performing skills and professionalism.” Also this month, in the National Tourist Zone “Avaza,” where the ancient Turkmen dance Kushtdepdi originated many centuries ago, a festival dedicated to this choreographic pearl of world culture was held.
On August 18, the results of the television competition of young amateur performers “Yaňlan, Diyarym! 2018 ".
In honor of the successful completion of the International Rally "Amul-Khazar 2018," the bike ride and the cross-country race along the route "The Great Silk Road" in the Avaza national tourist zone, a grand celebration took place.
On September 26, on the eve of the national holiday, foremost public sector employees of various industries were awarded state awards, who were invited to the concert in the Congress Center of the capital where a concert of art masters dedicated to the 27th anniversary of the country's independence was held. Among its participants were the winners of the National Children's Music and Song contest, the results of which were summed up in the first decade of September.
On September 29, the results of the competition for the best pictorial dedication to the Great Silk Road were summed up. The works of the winners were presented at the exhibition, positioned in the exhibition center of the Union of Artists of the country.
In the third quarter of the year, the continuation of the book by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov “Turkmenistan - the heart of the Great Silk Road” was published. On September 21, Ashgabat hosted the presentation of the monograph by the Head of State Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov “Turkmenistan on the way to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” which was presented on October 1 at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. Also in the third quarter of the year, the 10th volume of the encyclopedic work of the President of the country, Doctor of Medical and Economic Sciences, Academician of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan "Medicinal Plants of Turkmenistan" was published.
A special issue of the Foreign Business in Georgia International Journal was dedicated to the Turkmen state - Turkmenistan - the heart of the Great Silk Road, published in July with the assistance of the Embassy of our country in Georgia.
The achievements of the local publishers and printers are evidenced by the awards of the XV anniversary international contest “The Art of the Book” of the CIS member states, which was held in the Russian Federation at the 31st Moscow International Book Fair.
It is also important to list the books that were awarded prestigious awards: the work of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov “Turkmenistan - the heart of the Great Silk Road” was the first in the nomination “Dialogue of Cultures,” a prize in the nomination “My country” was awarded to the book “Teachings of Arkadag - basis of health and revival,” in the nomination “Book for children and youth,” the diploma of the second degree was received by richly illustrated “Turkmen folk tales,” and in the nomination “Educational literature and education” the diploma of the third degree marked the work “Gurgenj - medieval scientific and cultural center of the East."
In the beginning of October 2018, a new message arrived - the work of the Head of State, revealing the consolidating role of the ancient international highway, is now published in Korean.
In the first decade of October, a School Cultural and Sports Festival of the Caspian littoral states was held in the “Avaza” National Tourist Zone, bringing together more than 200 participants. Competitions were held in 6 kinds of sport.
The agenda of the UNESCO International Conference “The Significance of the Great Silk Road: Present and Future Development” held in Ashgabat on December 6-7 included a wide range of issues of expanding the interaction of the countries along this caravan route. On the eve of the forum, the fifth meeting of the UNESCO Coordinating Committee on the inclusion of the Silk Road nomination on the World Heritage List was held. In addition, an exhibition of works by the winners of the international photo contest “The Silk Road – as perceived by the eyes of the youth” took place. As part of the cultural program, the conference participants visited the National Drama Theater named after Alp Arslan, where the performance of “Gorogly and Agayunus” and the concert of the joint Turkmen-Austrian symphony orchestra “Galkynysh,” marking the 10th anniversary of the Austrian-Turkmen society, took place.
On the New Year's Eve, a number of creative contests were summed up, one of which revealed the winner among young pop singers - “Yylyň parlak yyldyzy-2018” (“Star of the Year”).
The content of international partnership in the cultural and humanitarian sphere also received its development. So, at the end of January 2018, within the framework of the Days of Culture of the Republic of Belarus, a delegation of artists and art masters from a friendly state visited our country. The guests of Belarus donated a facsimile 22 volumed edition of the “The Book Heritage of Francis Skaryna” to the State Library of Turkmenistan.
In February, the Days of Culture of the Islamic Republic of Iran were held in Ashgabat. The exhibition, film screenings of Iranian filmmakers were organized. Children's art groups performed on the stage of the Turkmen State Puppet Theatre, and Iranian folk and music ensembles performed at the Concert Center “Watan.”
The Turkmen-American project for the preservation of the “Big Gyzgala” architectural monument (in foreign literature known as Kyz-Kala), which has become the hallmark of the country's largest archaeological park, was completed. On May 16, an official ceremony was held in the State Historical and Cultural Reserve "Ancient Merv" dedicated to this event.
Also in 2018, the Ministry of Culture of our country, together with the diplomatic missions of foreign countries accredited in Ashgabat, organized concerts.
On May 22, a cultural event took place in St. Petersburg (Russian Federation), during which a solemn opening of the photo exhibition and presentation of the book by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov “Turkmenistan - the heart of the Great Silk Road” took place.
In the cultural capital of Russia in the last decade of May, the I International Festival of Circus Arts "On the Fontanka" was held, where Turkmen riders won the main prize - "Golden Gaetano" statue. This triumph of the combined team of the participants of the national equestrian games group “Galkynysh” of the Akhal-Teke equestrian complex and the group of “Turkmen horsemen” of the State Circus again gathered a wave of national pride for their compatriots.
On June 8, a cultural event “Turkmenistan - the heart of the Great Silk Road” was held in Moscow on the territory of the Roerich Museum (a branch of the State Museum of the East). The cultural dialogue with Russia was continued on June 14 at the Alp Arslan Turkmen National Drama Theater, where the play “Hello, Vladimir Vysotsky!” was shown.
The Days of Culture of Turkmenistan took place in the People’s Republic of China on June 23-25. The program included concerts of Turkmen art masters, an exhibition of works of decorative and applied art and museum valuables.
On June 25, in Geneva, at the 38th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, at the initiative of Turkmenistan, the Joint Statement “On encouraging the protection of cultural heritage along the Great Silk Road” was unanimously adopted. Co-authors of this document, along with Turkmenistan, were 23 more states.
In the first decade of September, the Korean Week was held, organized by the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in our country. Within its framework, a conference, a festival of Korean food, as well as film screenings and a concert were held.
Also in September, the delegation of Turkmenistan took part in the IV Caspian Media Forum held in Astrakhan.
In early October, for the first time, events were held in the Turkmen capital at the 55th meeting of the General Assembly of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU). In the days preceding the opening of the forum, an exhibition, a training seminar, and a meeting of working groups were organized. In addition, the 7th annual Women’s Forum “Women with the Wave” and a series of master classes were held as part of the ABU series “Broadcasting for All: Gender Equality and Diversity in the media”.
On 4 October, at the opening ceremony of the 55th meeting of the ABU General Assembly, Secretary General of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Javad Mottaghi announced the Organization’s decision to award the Certificate, an award and a commemorative badge to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for outstanding contribution to the development of the media in the region. And in the second decade of October, a large creative art delegation of our country took part in the Days of Culture of Turkmenistan in Tajikistan.
On October 19, the State Museum of Turkmenistan hosted a round-table meeting “The Silk Road: From Antiquity to Modernity”, organized by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Embassy of the Russian Federation in our country. From October 21 to 23, the Days of Culture of our country in the Russian Federation took place in Moscow and St. Petersburg. At the end of October, the Days of Culture of Croatia were held in Ashgabat, during which the photo exhibition “Intangible Heritage of the Republic of Croatia”, acquaintance with the works of Croatian cinema and a concert of pianists were held.
Also, on November 1-4, Days of Russian cinema were held in Ashgabat, Turkmenabat and Mary. And on November 10-14, the Festival of Japanese films was held in the cinema of the shopping and entertainment center "Berkarar." On November 18, the American documentary film was shown on the big screen of the Ashgabat cinema center, which was organized as part of the American Film Screening program, implemented by the State Department and the School of Cinematographic Art of the University of Southern California.
Another touch to the achievements of domestic artists in 2018 is participation in the International Orchestra of Folk Instruments TURKSOY in concerts in the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Kawasaki, Yokohama and Gamamatsu. Young musicians from Turkmenistan in the composition of the youth chamber orchestra TURKSOY performed in Europe.
In the last days of autumn, the Days of Culture of Kazakhstan took place in Ashgabat. Among the events are exhibitions of museum valuables, samples of arts and crafts and photographs, a joint concert of stage masters.
Thus, the events of the cultural life of 2018, forming a single whole, included a bright page in the chronicle of the country that entered the new, 2019 year under the motto "Turkmenistan - the Motherland of prosperity."