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06ASHGABAT138 2006-01-27 11:56:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ashgabat
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1. (SBU) President Niyazov announced 23 new
appointments and 18 dismissals in the course of three
meetings on January 25. Former presidential favorite
Aganiyaz Akyev was relieved as Chief of the Presidential
Apparatus and appointed the new hakim (governor) of
Dashoguz Welayat (province). Chief of the State Customs
Service Alexandr Grishin was demoted to Deputy Chairman
of the State Fisheries Committee. There were further
notable changes in the Ministries of Education and
Agriculture, and the administration of Dashoguz Welayat.
End Summary.



2. (SBU) The most dramatic occurrence during three
successive presidential meetings on January 25 was the
dismissal and arrest of Dashoguz Welayat Hakim Kakamyrat
Annagylyjov, Dashoguz Hakim since December 2004. (Note:
Four out of five welayat hakims were replaced in the last
five months. End Note.) Niyazov made a point of
charging Annagylyjov, on television, with embezzlement of
over 7.5 billion manats (USD 1.3 million), and of having
four wives. Replacing Annagylyjov is former Chief
Officer of the Presidential Apparatus Aganiyaz Akyev.
Akyev was dismissed as Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of
Ministers in December 2005. He has served an extensive
part of his career in the President's bodyguard service.



3. (SBU) Chief of State Customs Service Alexander Grishin
was demoted to Deputy Chairman of the State Fisheries
Committee. Grishin was one of the last ethnic Russians
to hold a high-level position in the GOTX; embassy staff
considered him a solid and constructive interlocutor.
Head of the Mary Welayat Department of the Ministry of
National Security Myratberdi Annalyev was appointed the
new Customs Chief. (Comment: Embassy suspects the 29-
year-old Annalyev will be much more reserved in dealing
with international partners, as is typically the case
with newly appointed officials with security/military
backgrounds. End Comment.)

4. (U) Meretgeldi Mammedov was dismissed as Chairman of
the State Fisheries Committee for grave shortcomings and
misuse of office. The Minister of National Security gave
a detailed account of his crimes. Mammedov was escorted
from the meeting by law enforcement officers.

5. (U) MFA First Deputy Yklymberdi Paromov was appointed
Chief Officer of the Presidential Apparatus. Prior to
his appointment with the MFA, Paromov worked in the MNB.
While with the MFA, Paromov participated in the GOTX
religious minority group roundtable and was a member of
the Commission on the Registration of NGOs and Religious



6. (U) Former deputy Hakim of Ashgabat City Shemshat
Annagylyjova was appointed Minister of Education.
Annagylyjova is the second female minister currently
serving in the cabinet and was previously employed as a
preschool teacher, elementary school teacher and high
school principal. Other changes in the education sector

-- Appointment of Gurtmyrat Posykov as the new Rector of
Saparmurat Turkmenbashi Agricultural University.

-- Dismissal of Chary Yazlyev for grave shortcomings from
his positions as Rector of the Seidi Pedagogical
Institute and Chairman of the president's High Council on
Science and Technology.

ASHGABAT 00000138 002 OF 002

-- Transfer of Rejepmyrat Galayev from Rector of Turkmen
State University to Rector of the Seidi Pedagogical
Institute. (Note: A de facto demotion. End note.)

7. (SBU) Changes in agricultural-sector leadership

-- Minister of Agriculture Begench Atamyradov was
dismissed for grave shortcomings. Atamyradov is a former
Counterpart Consortium grantee and trainer, and was
generally supportive of farmers' programs, specifically a
Counterpart Consortium water users association.
Atamyradov retains his position as Chairman of the Grain
Products Association, but Niyazov threatened this job as
well. Former Turkmen Agricultural University Rector
Esenmurat Orazgelidyev was appointed Minister of

-- Niyazov also criticized several other officials in the
agriculture sector for not being proactive, including
Water Minister and Cochran alumnus Tekebay Altyev and
Turkmen Agricultural Services Association Chief Sherip
Tajov. Tajov's job was threatened, and he was warned by
Niyazov that law enforcement investigations were

-- Niyazov also announced many changes to the
agricultural curriculum (septel).



8. (U) Durnabat Ashyrova was appointed as the new "Diyar"
Magazine Editor-in-Chief.

9. (U) Purges extended to lower level GOTX officials as
well. In Dashoguz Welayat, two etrap hakims, three
deputy etrap hakims and one deputy city hakim were
dismissed by the president, and two etrap hakims, four
deputy etrap hakims and two city hakims were appointed.
In Mary Welayat four deputy etrap hakims and one deputy
city hakim were appointed.

10. (U) 2006 personnel changes prior to January 25:

-- Appointment of Esen Aydogdyev as Turkmenistan's
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to the
Republic of Austria. Aydogdyev was a recipient of the
Benjamin Franklin Public Administration Fellowship to
pursue graduate studies in 1993.

-- Appointment of Serdar Durdyev as Advisor to the
permanent representative office of Turkmenistan at the
United Nations.

-- Appointment of Hojamuhammet Muhammedov as the Head of
the State Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange.

-- Dismissal of Head of the State Commodity and Raw
Materials Exchange Gurbanmurat Gulov for shortcomings.



11. (SBU) Niyazov made a record 41 appointments and
dismissals during these three meetings. Although his
reshuffles are incessant, replacing experienced officials
with inexperienced, albeit loyal, security officers like
Akyev and Annalyev is becoming a new trend. It looks as
if Niyazov is seeking out subordinates who are not just
absolutely loyal but also have the background to wield a
strong hand, rather than any claim to substantive
knowledge in their new field.