Celebrations took place last week in Dashoguz, Turkmenistan, as the city officially accepted the title of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) cultural capital.
30 March saw an opening ceremony on the city’s central square, which was attended by leaders and representatives of the CIS Executive Committee, the Interstate Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation of CIS member states and the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan, as well as figures from the spheres of journalism, culture and art.
Both the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, and the Executive Secretary of the CIS, Sergei Lebedev, addressed the audience, highlighting the positive impact of recent reforms in the preservation and promotion of Turkmen culture and heritage. The speeches were followed by a concert and the opening of a photography exhibition at the Dashoguz Regional Museum.
The celebrations marked the beginning of the cultural programme to be held in the city over its year as cultural capital. The programme is set to include conferences, events featuring prominent artists and writers, theatre performances, film screenings, concerts and exhibitions of art and archaeological artifacts.
The decision to select Dashoguz as the cultural capital of the CIS for 2016 was taken by the Council of Heads of the CIS member states in October 2015.
The CIS is a regional organisation made up of former Soviet Republics. The purpose of the association is cooperation in political, economic, environmental, humanitarian and cultural fields. Turkmenistan is an associate state of the CIS.
Source: Turkmenistan.ru (in Russian)