Primary Source

Turkmen Party's Niazov Discusses Ethnic Issues

Annotation

In this interview, published just days after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Communist leader in Turkmenistan, S. A. Niyazov, offered a stiff defense of the existing structure of the Soviet Union. Implicitly contrasting the "calm" that prevailed in his republic with the turmoil spreading from Eastern Europe through the Baltic republics and Ukraine into the rest of the Soviet Union, Niyazov's interview illustrates how "hard-liners" continued to believe that "Lenin's concept of nationalities policy" would make it possible to control the organization, expression, and impact of political views.

This source is a part of the Nationalities and the Breakup of the Soviet Union, 1989-2000 teaching module.

Text

Turkmen Party's Niazov Discusses Ethnic Issues

Turkmenistan has more than enough problems. Will we make progress in solving them if the people begin
to attend rallies? I must point out to their credit and as a tribute to their courage that the people do not
pour out onto the streets and the representatives of more than 100 nations and ethnic groups living in our
territory still live as a single harmonious family. Adversities are objectively a factor which bring the
people closer together, and I do not doubt that in those areas where the reverse occurs those people who
do not like renewal and perestroika have already been hard at work. . . . It is important to draw closer to
Lenin's concept of nationalities policy, to restructure the Soviet federation and render it full­blooded. The
task it to ensure that a totally healthy and constructive character is imparted to movements stemming from
the heart of the people. We must make the national factor the motive force of perestroika rather than an
obstacle and a brake on renewal.

Source: "Turkmen Party's Niazov Discusses Ethnic Issues," Pravda, November 17, 1989. Trans. Foreign
Broadcast Information Service (FBIS).

Credits

"Turkmen Party's Niazov Discusses Ethnic Issues," Pravda, November 17, 1989. Trans. Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS).

How to Cite This Source

"Turkmen Party's Niazov Discusses Ethnic Issues," in World History Commons, https://worldhistorycommons.org/turkmen-partys-niazov-discusses-ethnic-issues [accessed October 4, 2022]