Murad Kurbanov (middle of back row) and members of Turkmen opposition. (Photo Credit:Murad Kurbanov)

Turkmenistan has just elected a 125 member parliament with no opposition members. Before you read the wire stories, read the interview in the Kyiv Post with Murad Kurbanov, leader of the Opposition. The Turkmenistan debacle is a slap in the face to the Summit of Democracies.

Immediately before Kyiv Post met with Mr. Murad Kurbanov with in person at an Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) conference in Warsaw, Poland, Mr. Kurbanov’s security had already been endangered. Appearing uninvited, a man, apparently a diplomat from the Turkmen Embassy, sought to enter the conference hotel’s lobby while screaming threats at Mr. Kurbanov, in front of multiple, high-level, international attendees, stating that Mr. Kurbanov was “not even safe in Europe.” Mr. Kurbanov is, in the eyes of the Turkmen Government, clearly a threat. 

Could you say a few words about yourself?

My name is Murad Kurbanov. I am 57 years old and have four children. I graduated from the Turkmen Polytechnic Institute with a degree in civil engineering, and later graduated from the Dutch Business School with a Master’s in Business Administration, where I studied economics and management. I then graduated from Mirai University in France, receiving a diploma as a French teacher.