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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 February, 2004, 13:30 GMT
Turkmenis faces CCTV scrutiny
President Saparmurat Niyazov
President Saparmurat Niyazov has built up a personality cult
Turkmenistan's President for life, Saparmurat Niyazov, has ordered the government to intensify video surveillance in the Central Asian state.

Closed circuit TV cameras will be installed in industrial facilities, like oil refineries, as well as banks and stations.

"We should know if a fly quietly buzzes past," President Niyazov said.

"This is not due to a lack of trust, but to avoid disorder," he told a government meeting, which was shown on television.

"As is practised in all developed countries, we must take measures aimed at maintaining order on Turkmen soil and ensuring our citizens' peace," President Niyazov said.

President Niyazov has ruled Turkmenistan since 1985 when it was still a Soviet republic.

He has built up a personality cult around himself and crushed opposition.

Video cameras were installed on main streets in the capital Ashgabat after a failed coup in November 2002 and soldiers are often posted on street corners.

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