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ASHGABAT (TCA) — Radio Azatlyk, with reference to sources in the Turkmen government, reports that some 1,879,413 people left Turkmenistan for permanent residence abroad or for permanent jobs, Chronicles of Turkmenistan independent foreign-based news website reported.

One of the Radio Azatlyk sources said that the results of the census held in 2012 were classified for this reason. The results of the census turned out to be unexpected even for the authorities.

“When this data was presented to the President, he was furious as this greatly discredited his governance,” an Azatlyk source reports.

According to the sources of the Radio, no more than 3.3 million people currently reside in Turkmenistan. Sources of Chronicles of Turkmenistan reported that according to the 2012 census, the population of Turkmenistan amounted to 4,751,120.

The majority of those who left Turkmenistan headed to Turkey, Russia and Ukraine.

The sharp decline in the population led to a shortage of army conscripts, which might result in extending a term of the military service. The news outlet Turkmenyurt TV has already reported about possible extension of compulsory military service from two to three years.

In late 2018 Chairperson of Turkmenistan’s State Statistics Committee Khalykdurdy Gurbanov briefed President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov on preparations for the nationwide census, which is scheduled to be held in 2022.

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