ASHGABAT, October 25 (Itar-Tass) – A session of Yashularynyn Maslahaty, or the Elders Council, opens here Tuesday on the occasion of the 20th anniversary since the declaration of independence by the former Turkmenian Soviet Socialist Republic.
Turkmen society has a centuries-old tradition of asking the aqsaqals /elders/ for advice and getting their blessings for action.
That is why Yashularynyn Maslahaty, which the Turkmenistani government website says is less formal than Khalk Maslahaty, or the State Council, remains a consultative agency on matters of state importance in today’s Turkmenistan.
Yashularynyn Maslahaty is convened annually and it brings together the elders from all the regions of the country. The national President chairs its sessions and the list of invitees includes government members, military, senior officials of the Interior, officials from state agencies, and leaders of public associations
This session is a jubilee one and the main festive functions have been scheduled for October 27.
The past few weeks have been marked by innumerable housewarming parties. As part of the official celebrations, dozens of newly built general schools and sports schools have been commissioned in cities and townships across the country.
Also the authorities have commissioned the building of the central television studios in Ashgabat, the building of the Palace of Congresses, the regional library and observatory, a compound for winter sports, a marriage registration hall, and a stadium.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow is expected to address the Elders Council with a speech, in which he will highlight the results of the nation’s social, economic and cultural development over the twenty years of independence.
He is most likely to mention Turkmenistan’s growing international prestige and the prospective plans for further transformations.
Official sources also expect that the aqsaqals will reiterate their proposal, which they have already made public on a number of previous occasions, to award the title of the Hero of Turkmenistan to Berdimuhammedow.
Last year, however, the President said he thought an assessment of his occupational performance as high as that one was premature.