Batyr Berdiýew

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Batyr Ataýewiç Berdiýew
Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan
In office
July 28, 2000 – July 7, 2001
Preceded byBoris Şyhmyradow
Succeeded byRaşit Meredow
Turkmenistan Ambassador
to Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic,
and the OSCE
In office
Turkmenistan Deputy Foreign Minister
In office
Personal details
Born (1960-10-03) October 3, 1960 (age 59)

Batyr Ataýewiç Berdiýew (Russian: Батыр Бердиев, Batyr Berdiyev, born October 3, 1960) is a former politician in Turkmenistan, specializing in the country's foreign relations. During the course of his career, he was an ambassador and a foreign minister.

Political career[edit]

From 1990 to 1991, he was a correspondent for the Soyuz and Zhizn newspapers, which are publications of Turkmenistan's Foreign Affairs ministry. From 1992 to 1994, he served as deputy foreign minister.[1] From 1994 to 2000, Batyr Berdiýew was the ambassador of Turkmenistan to Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. From July 28, 2000 to July 7, 2001, Berdiýew served as foreign minister of Turkmenistan, but was dismissed for alcoholism,[2] poor knowledge of the native language Turkmen, a weakness for women, and failure to understand the problems of the Caspian and Aral Seas and Afghanistan. Later, he was replaced by Raşit Meredow at the request of President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov.[3]

On December 8, 2002, he was arrested for having a connection with an assassination attempt on President Niyazov. In January 2003, he was convicted of involvement in the assassination attempt and received a sentence of 25-year imprisonment.[4] Opposition members of the assassination reported that Berdiýew was either seriously ill or dead.[5] Nothing has been confirmed, and his death is now regarded as a rumor. In a publication by the Open Society Institute, Berdiýew is listed as an alleged victim of a human rights violation in Turkmenistan by being allegedly tortured while in custody.[6]

On September 19 of the same year, Berdiýew was given the Sakharov Prize[citation needed] for his efforts to bring democracy, freedom of the press, and the rule of law to his country. The same award was also given to three other Central Asian political prisoners: Mukhammed Bekjanov of Uzbekistan, Felix Kulov of Kyrgyzstan, and Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov of Kazakhstan.

Following Niyazov's death, his successor, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, was asked about the fates of Berdiýew and alleged co-conspirator Boris Şyhmyradow at a visit to Columbia University in September 2007. Berdimuhamedow said that he thought they were still alive.[7]


  • 1990 to 1991 - Correspondent for Soyuz and Zhizn, publications of Foreign Affairs Ministry
  • 1992 to 1994 - Deputy foreign minister
  • 1994 to 2000 - Ambassador to Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
  • 2000 to 2001 - Foreign minister


  1. ^ "BERDIYEV, Batyr Atayevich". Turkmenistan Votes 2004. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
  2. ^ "Turkmen President Fires Foreign Minister for Drunkenness". People's Daily Online. People's Daily Online. 2001-07-01. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  3. ^ "July 2001". Rulers. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
  4. ^ "Index Be-Bh". Rulers. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
  5. ^ Brown, Bess (2007). "Turkmenistan". Britannica Book of the Year, 2004. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
  6. ^ Turkmenistan Project, division of Central Eurasia Project, project of Open Society Institute (2003-01-24). "Human Rights Violations in Turkmenistan" (PDF). Open Society Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-13. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  7. ^ "Turkmenistan: Jailed opposition leaders Boris Shihmuradov and Batyr Berduyev are alive" Archived 2008-06-05 at the Wayback Machine, Vremya Novostei (, September 26, 2007.