Ashgabat, the Capital of Plentifulness, Beauty, Wisdom and Sublime

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This year marks the 140th anniversary of the founding of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. It is not possible to describe Ashgabat, known as the city of Love and White, with a single adjective. Because Ashgabat has a meaning and importance far beyond a capital city. Not just the past and the present; it is the capital of the future. Also known as the “Coral of Asia”, Ashgabat stands out with its seven main features.

The first is that Ashgabat is the “Capital of Beauty”. Seen as a white rose garden in the middle of the desert, Ashgabat is a green oasis where Akhal-Tekes and Alabays run around. In addition, Ashgabat is like a Simurgh reborn from the ashes of Asia and the world, after the natural disaster that happened in 1948. In this sense, it can be said that the city is an Akhal-Teke with a white mane. Ashgabat is an extremely white city. Thanks to this feature, it is a colpan star that continues to shine during the day and at night with its illumination. As a matter of fact, due to this feature, the city entered the book of Guinness World Records in 2013.

Ashgabat, which is a source of inspiration with its beauty, is a homeland that “one can take strength from its mountains,” as the President of Turkmenistan, Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow said. In addition to its beauty and naturalness, Ashgabat, with its dedication to its history and the talents that it showed, is the name of the trust to the future and contribution to peace.

The capital of Turkmenistan represents a return to roots in the vast Asian lands for the people. In short, Ashgabat is the capital of all beauties whose beauty has been registered by the whole world until the end of the world.

Secondly, Ashgabat’s prominence as the “Capital of Love”. It is already another name for the supreme love of the Turkmen and desert. It is the symbol of Turkmen’s “Love for the Homeland”. It is a symbol city where the dough of unity and togetherness is kneaded, where naives, love, friendship, and eternal peace come to the fore.

Third, Ashgabat is referred to as the “Capital of Culture, Arts, Sports, and Literature”. Another feature of Ashgabat is that it is a cultural capital that continues to keep alive the legacy of great civilizations such as the Nysa Ancient City and Ancient Part (Parthia), where beautiful melodies echo.

In addition, Turkmen carpets are popular in the world. Ashgabat, which has been a source of inspiration for handicraft Turkmen carpets, where love and emotions have been woven for centuries, reflects the literary love it inspires with the words of the great Turkmen poet Magtymguly Pyragy.

Also, Ashgabat hosts many events such as sports, culture, and science, especially the 5th Asian Games, World Weightlifting Championships, and bicycle races. Ashgabat, which has taken important steps in these issues, shows that it accepts wisdom and mind as the “light of fortune” with its investments in education.

Fourth, Ashgabat is the “Capital of Economy, Welfare, and  Understanding of Social State”. Solving infrastructure, energy, and water problems, Ashgabat reflects the modern and developed face of Asia to the whole world. Located on a historical route, like the Silk Road, the capital of Turkmenistan is one of the centers of transit corridors on the north-south, east-west routes where modern highways are built. Therefore, Ashgabat is one of the energy capitals of the region with its energy and transportation line projects such as TAPI, TAP and Lapis Lazuli.

Turkmenistan, one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural gas reserves, seamlessly fulfills its obligations on the subject of energy supply within the framework of agreements with other countries. In this respect, Ashgabat, which has turned into an energy center with its natural gas lines, is accepted as a respected actor by the international community with its security of supply.

In addition to its architecture reflecting modernity with Turkmen history and traditional culture, the health system, which is strengthened with high technology, is being established in Turkmenistan. Moreover, it is possible to say that Turkmenistan puts people at the center with its social activities encouraged under the leadership of Mr. Berdimuhamedow. From this point of view, Ashgabat; is the place of health, peace, happiness, and comfortable life.

Fifth, Ashgabat draws attention as the “Capital of Politics”. Undoubtedly, its egalitarian, neutral, and constructive attitude has transformed Ashgabat into a peace capital. Seen as the heart and mind of Asia, Ashgabat, especially at a time when conflicts are increasing in the world, offers the most beneficial medicine for humanity; that is, it offers “peace”.

The Statute of Permanent Neutrality adopted by Turkmenistan has made Ashgabat an international cooperation center. In addition, while the aforementioned feature further increases the prestige of Ashgabat; it has made the whole world accept the fact that it is an actor that should be taken into account in the geopolitical developments. Not only in its relations with states; Ashgabat, which has an important prestige in international organizations, is a valuable actor especially in the eyes of the United Nations (UN).

One of the latest developments confirming this issue is the declaration of 2021 as the “International Year of Peace and Trust” with the proposal of President Berdimuhamedow in 2019. Therefore, Ashgabat is the capital of peace politics.

The sixth is that Ashgabat is the “Capital of the Future”. There are certain periods, breaks, and cities, and capitals that come to the fore here in the history of humanity. For example, Istanbul, Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus, Paris, Samarkand, etc. These have been the capitals of the whole world, where world civilization, culture, science, art, technology, and politics have been shaped, guided, and given strength to humanity.

It can be said that White Ashgabat, which is reborn from its ashes every time, will be one of the important capitals of the near future. Because history attributes such a mission to the Turkmen capital.

The seventh is that Ashgabat is the “Capital of Wise Leadership”. The biggest factor underlying today’s “Miracle of Ashgabat” is undoubtedly President Berdimuhamedow. His knowledge, mission, understanding, experience, literary identity, thoughts fed by Turkmen’s history and culture, sportsman ethics, and most importantly, his visionary leadership identified with the spirit of Ashgabat, made Turkmenistan a respected country in the world and laid the foundations of Ashgabat, the capital of the future.

His strong team, who believes in him and acts in accordance with his vision and mission, once again confirms the prudent leadership of President Berdimuhamedow.

In addition, the Turkmen people, who are loyal to their leader, trust him to the end, and give their heart to the construction of strong Ashgabat, are the most important driving force in Turkmenistan’s breakthroughs. The faith, prayer, support, and trust of the Turkmens will continue to be the greatest source of motivation and strength for the development of Ashgabat of the future.

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin EROL
1969 Dörtyol-Hatay doğumlu olan Prof. Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, Boğaziçi Üniversitesi (BÜ) Siyaset Bilimi ve Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden 1993 yılında mezun oldu. BÜ’de 1995 yılında Yüksek Lisans çalışmasını tamamlayan Erol, aynı yıl BÜ’de doktora programına kabul edildi. Ankara Üniversitesi’nde doktorasını 2005’de tamamlayan Erol, 2009 yılında “Uluslararası İlişkiler” alanında doçent ve 2014 yılında da Profesörlük unvanlarını aldı. 2000-2006 tarihleri arasında Avrasya Stratejik Araştırmaları Merkezi (ASAM)’nde görev yapan Erol, 2009 yılında Stratejik Düşünce Enstitüsü’nün (SDE) Kurucu Başkanlığı ve Yönetim Kurulu Üyeliği görevlerinde bulundu. Uluslararası Strateji ve Güvenlik Araştırmaları Merkezi (USGAM)’nin de kurucu başkanı olan Prof. Erol, Yeni Türkiye Stratejik Araştırmalar Merkezi (YTSAM) Uluslararası İlişkiler Enstitüsü Başkanlığını da yürütmektedir. Prof. Erol, Gazi Üniversitesi Stratejik Araştırmalar Merkezi (GAZİSAM) Müdürlüğü görevinde de bulunmuştur. 2007 yılında Türk Dünyası Yazarlar ve Sanatçılar Vakfı “Türk Dünyası Hizmet Ödülü”nü alan Prof. Erol, akademik anlamdaki çalışmaları ve medyadaki faaliyetlerinden dolayı çok sayıda ödüle layık görülmüştür. Bunlardan bazıları şu şekilde sıralanabilir: 2013 yılında Çağdaş Demokratlar Birliği Derneği tarafından “Yılın Yazılı Medya Ödülü”, 2015 yılında “APM 10. Yıl Hizmet Ödülü”, Türkiye Yazarlar Birliği tarafından “2015 Yılın Basın-Fikir Ödülü”, Anadolu Köy Korucuları ve Şehit Aileleri “2016 Gönül Elçileri Medya Onur Ödülü”, Yörük Türkmen Federasyonları tarafından verilen “2016 Türkiye Onur Ödülü”. Prof. Erol’un 15 kitap çalışması bulunmaktadır. Bunlardan bazılarının isimleri şu şekildedir: “Hayalden Gerçeğe Türk Birleşik Devletleri”, “Türkiye-AB İlişkileri: Dış Politika ve İç Yapı Sorunsalları”, “Avrasya’da Yeni Büyük Oyun”, “Türk Dış Politikasında Strateji Arayışları”, “Türk Dış Politikasında Güvenlik Arayışları”, “Türkiye Cumhuriyeti-Rusya Federasyonu İlişkileri”, “Sıcak Barışın Soğuk Örgütü Yeni NATO”, “Dış Politika Analizinde Teorik Yaklaşımlar: Türk Dış Politikası Örneği”, “Krizler ve Kriz Yönetimi: Aktörler ve Örnek Olaylar”, “Kazakistan” ve “Uluslararası İlişkilerde Güncel Sorunlar”. 2002’den bu yana TRT Türkiye’nin sesi ve TRT Radyo 1 (Ankara Radyosu) “Avrasya Gündemi”, “Stratejik Bakış”, “Küresel Bakış”, “Analiz”, “Dosya”, “Haber Masası”, “Gündemin Öteki Yüzü” gibi radyo programlarını gerçekleştirmiş olan Prof. Erol, TRT INT televizyonunda 2004-2007 yılları arasında Arayış, 2007-2010 yılları arasında Kanal A televizyonunda “Sınır Ötesi” ve 2020-2021’de de BBN TÜRK televizyonunda “Dış Politika Gündemi” programlarını yaptı. 2012-2018 yılları arasında Millî Gazete’de “Arayış” adlı köşesinde dış politika yazıları yayımlanan Prof. Erol’un ulusal-uluslararası medyada çok sayıda televizyon, radyo, gazete, haber siteleri ve dergide uzmanlığı dahilinde görüşlerine de başvurulmaktadır. 2006-2018 yılları arasında Gazi Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nde ve Ankara Üniversitesi Latin Amerika Araştırmaları Merkezi’nde (LAMER) de dersler veren Prof. Erol, 2018’den bu yana Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nde öğretim üyesi olarak akademik kariyerini devam ettirmektedir. Çok sayıda dergi ve gazetede yazıları-değerlendirmeleri yayımlanan; Avrasya Dosyası, Stratejik Analiz, Stratejik Düşünce, Gazi Bölgesel Çalışmalar, The Journal of SSPS, Karadeniz Araştırmaları, gibi akademik dergilerde editörlük faaliyetlerinde bulunan Prof. Erol, Bölgesel Araştırmalar, Uluslararası Kriz ve Siyaset Araştırmaları, Gazi Akademik Bakış, Ege Üniversitesi Türk Dünyası İncelemeleri, Demokrasi Platformu dergilerinin editörlüklerini hali hazırda yürütmektedir. 2016’dan bu yana Ankara Kriz ve Siyaset Araştırmaları Merkezi (ANKASAM) Kurucu Başkanı olarak çalışmalarını devam ettiren Prof. Erol, evli ve üç çocuk babasıdır.