The son of Turkmenistan's president has been appointed as governor of a key province, fueling speculation the leader of the energy-rich Central Asian nation is setting stage for a political dynasty.

Serdar Berdymukhamedov was named the governor of Ahal province in south-central Turkmenistan, territory that includes the country's capital, Ashgabat. He has served as the province's deputy governor.

Berdymukhamedov said in televised remarks on Tuesday that he would "work day and night to justify the head of state's trust."

His father, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, has assumed an all-encompassing power since taking office in 2006, styling himself as the former Soviet republic's Arkadag (protector). The president is frequently shown on state TV engaging in sports like horse riding, weightlifting and shooting.

His son has served as a deputy foreign minister.