Is President’s Privacy Behind Demolition of Ashgabat District?

Residents of Ashgabat’s old airport district are packing up, as their houses are soon to be demolished. They are taking down window frames, doors, and anything else they might sell or use in future when building their own homes.

Homes being demolished in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

The mayor’s office is planning to create an avenue in the cleared area. Some sources think, however, that the real reason for the demolition of the houses is that they overlook a separate road used by the president to get to his VIP terminal, which is built in the shape of a small falcon.

The whole northern part of Cosmonauts’ Boulevard has to be cleared of buildings by the start of spring, a source told The authorities have allowed pupils at School No. 21 to complete the academic year, but after May 25 the school will be bulldozed too.

Homes in Ashgabat to be demolished. Swap right for more images
Homes in Ashgabat to be demolished. Swap right for more images
Homes in Ashgabat to be demolished. Swap right for more images
Residents pick up their belongings

It’s not clear if the residents of the demolished houses will be provided with alternative accommodation. In early January published a letter from residents of a hostel at 263, Cosmonauts’ Boulevard which said that 47 families would be left without a roof over their heads. Almost all the residents work for Turkmenistan Airlines, but the company is refusing point blank to provide alternative housing and threatening protesters with the sack.

“We’ve nowhere to go and no one to ask for help. At work they don’t like people who make complaints. If anyone makes a complaint, they are harassed and hounded out of their job. After New Year the Turkmenistan Airlines leadership stepped up the pressure. They started to work individually on every resident of the hostel. They are called in one by one and put under considerable pressure. We have all had to give a written undertaking to leave our rooms. But we gave the undertaking under threat of the sack. Where can we go in winter?” the residents write in the letter.

Before the Asian Games in Ashgabat in 2017 residential blocks in the district were covered in alucobond cladding, a material resembling marble.