Turkmen citizens living abroad held a record number of peaceful demonstrations in 2020, demanding socio-economic and political reforms. Eurasia Lab fellow Rustam Muhamedov examined in his research how opposition activists have influenced protests on the ground through the use of social media platforms.
The results show that social media played a motivating role for protest actions. They also made protests more visible to the public and facilitated mobilisation and coordination of actions. Finally, they increased the political interest and engagement of Turkmen citizens at home and abroad. The analysis also identified a number of structural factors that limit the reach of the opposition movement to domestic target groups and consequently limit its ability to mobilise and link protests in Turkmenistan.