Turkmenistan is playing Turkmen songs on the radio frequencies that, until three days ago, were used by the Russian radio station Mayak (Beacon), which is very popular in this Central Asian country.

National radio channels “Vatan” (“Motherland”), “Miras” (“Heritage”) and “Chartaran” are broadcasting the songs.

“The worn out radio valves have failed, they were first installed back in 1964; it is necessary to mobilize 120,000 U.S. dollars to restart broadcasting,” an official of the Turkmenistan Communication Ministry told ITAR-TASS.

The official added, “The Russian side has not been contributing to the organization of broadcasting on its channel.” “It will take not less than 12 months to restore the Mayak channel,” according to the radio and television department of Turkmenistan’s Communication Ministry.

The Turkmenistan Communication Minister reported to the president of Turkmenistan at the end of June that the Vatan, Maras and Chataran channels began broadcasting their programs using two modern radio transmitters installed in the city of Turkmenbashy (former Krasnovodsk) and the press service of the government had released a publication devoted to that event.

“Work continues to further expand the areas in which quality reception of national radio broadcasts can be ensured. At present, analogous radio transmitters are being installed in other regions of the country, which will make it possible to cover a large part of the country’s territory and to provide listeners with reliable access to the broadcasts of the national radio stations,” the publication reads.

With the disappearance of the Mayak programs from the air, the newspaper “Neutral Turkmenistan” remains the sole information source for the Russian-speaking population of the republic.

Russian television broadcasts are only available in Turkmenistan through space television. The ORT broadcasts were discontinued by Turkmenistan in the 1998. All subscriptions to Russian newspapers and magazines ended in 2002.

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