ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — The Central Asian country of Turkmenistan has tightened entry rules as part of enhanced security for an international sports event.
The restrictions effective Thursday have been announced by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. They will last through the end of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games set for Sept. 17-27.
Athletes and sports journalists will be allowed to enter the country using their accreditation for the games, while fans will have to apply for visas through official tourist agencies. Other international events planned earlier will be postponed.
The ex-Soviet country, which has been largely closed to outsiders, sees the games as a key prestige event.
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Berdymukhamedov, who was re-elected in February with more than 97 percent of the vote, is frequently seen taking part in sports and fitness events, particularly horse-riding.