The attached photo illustrates a typical Ashgabat residential building. Needless to say that the apartment block is packed with satellite dishes thanks to which the country's residents get information from abroad.
Let us remind you that satellite television is the only source of obtaining independent information. Subscription to foreign periodicals has been banned for the country's inhabitants and the much-promised Internet access has been limited to just a few Internet cafes which were opened all across the country.
Recently, the President spoke in favour of dismantling satellite dishes as they allegedly spoil the appearance of the buildings. Please have a closer look at the picture. Do you believe that the building would look nicer if the satellite dishes were removed?
The hanging linen and clothes, unpainted window frames of various shapes and dimensions, cracked and leaking roofs, missing whitewash on the walls damage the external appearance of the buildings, don't they?
However, the President is not concerned with these shortfalls. Moreover, it turns out that the satellite dishes seem to be deteriorating the exterior of residential buildings. It should be noted that the houses have not been renovated for over 20 years.
Obviously, the neighboring Iran has had a similar experience of the satellite antennae ban. However, the neighbour at least is not trying to conceal the reasons for the ban. The Turkmen viewers are now guessing whether the reformer-president (as Berdymukhammedov is referred to by the local press) would venture to ban individual satellite antennae? Turkmenbashi did not dare to take this step.