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Is Turkmenistan's secretive presidency becoming a family affair?

Son of Berdymukhamedov 'the protector' rises amid political and economic changes

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- In the closed world of Turkmenistan, one man dominates the political scene: Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the long-ruling president. Recent developments, however, are leading observers to wonder if the leadership is about to become a family dynasty.

Serdar Berdymukhamedov, the president's only son, is rising rapidly through the ranks of government. Over the last few years he has held a range of increasingly important posts, sparking rumors of a potential dynastic succession in this energy-rich former Soviet republic in Central Asia -- later if not sooner.

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