President Sacks His Cousin from Turkmengaz Following Barroom Brawl

The president of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdimuhamedov, has dismissed his cousin, Ahmet Geldimyradov, from his post as deputy chairman of the Turkmengaz state concern over a fight in a bar. In a state of extreme intoxication at the upmarket establishment in Ashgabat, Geldimyradov smashed a bottle over the head of a senior prosecutor. An informed source told that the incident took place around a month ago.

The fight was recorded by closed-circuit TV cameras inside the bar. The source reported that the recording was later shown to the president and his father Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The barroom brawler was dismissed soon afterwards, and is reported to have gone on holiday to Dubai with his family.

Ahmet Geldimyradov is not mentioned in the official record of decrees on appointments and dismissals, although there are many directives concerning other individuals in this post. has found, however, at least one reference to the former official. In October 2021 the sixteenth sitting of the Joint Turkmen-Iranian Commission on Economic Cooperation was held in Tehran.

Though there were no details about this in the Turkmen media, managed to get hold of a list of participants in the meeting, which includes the deputy chairman of Turkmengaz, Ahmet Geldimyradov. So, he was discreetly appointed by his uncle Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and (just as discreetly) dismissed by his cousin Serdar.

Geldimyradov is the son of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s youngest sister, Mahri Berdimuhamedova. Unlike her sister Gulnabat Dovletova, she does not often attract the attention of the independent media. A source reports that Ahmet Geldimyradov studied in Malaysia.

Serdar Berdimuhamedov, who became president in March 2022, does not display the same level of loyalty towards his relatives as did his predecessor and father. He forced his aunt, Gulnabat Dovletova, to resign from her post as head of the National Red Crescent Society of Turkmenistan. The Botanical Garden and Georgia restaurants in Ashgabat belonging to one of Dovletova’s sons-in-law, Ibabekir Bekdurdiyev, were demolished in fall 2022. The reason for the demolition was a stabbing at the Botanical Garden coupled with the fact that the restaurants had been built illegally in the botanical gardens.

Finally, another son-in-law of Dovletova, Rahymberdi Ishangulyyev, was sacked as deputy general director of Turkmenistan Airlines at the end of October. The reason for his dismissal is not known, though it’s reported that the decision “was dictated from the presidential administration.”