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Keyword: niyazov

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  • Golden Statues and Mother Bread: The Bizarre Legacy of Turkmenistan's Former Dictator

    02/06/2014 5:22:02 PM PST · by Pan_Yan · 3 replies
    Slate ^ | Feb. 6 2014 1:28 PM | Ella Morton
    Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world's hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook, Tumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura. In a plaza on the southern outskirts of Turkmenistan's capital, Ashgabat, sits a rocket-shaped monument called the Arch of Neutrality. Towering 312 feet above the ground, it is topped with a 40-foot golden man in a suit who stands with his arms outstretched, surveying the land as a flag ripples behind him. His body language and facial expression convey something along the lines of, "Bring it on. I've got this." The golden man is Saparmurat Niyazov, the...
  • Turkmenbashi aura casts a dark shadow [in Turkmenistan]

    12/22/2006 12:18:25 PM PST · by gleeaikin · 360+ views
    Financial Times (London) | Dec. 22, 2006 | Andrew Jack
    The palace of Saparmurat Niyazov, the "president for life" of Turkmenistan, gave the impression of a cross between the court of a medieval potentate, the office of a senior Brezhnev-era Soviet functionary and the home of a wealthy "new Russian". Green and gold trimmings were everywhere in the multiple rooms and corridors, large leather-clad chairs and the most modern microphone system in the auditorium. It created just the right air of anticipation, wealth and intimidation for when the leader himself appeared belatedly for an extremely rare audience in front of an invited group of journalists at the height of his...
  • Father of the Turkmens who failed to lead his people to a golden age

    12/22/2006 11:44:12 AM PST · by gleeaikin · 10 replies · 491+ views
    Financial Times (London) ^ | Dec. 22, 2006 | Obituary: Saparmurat Niyazov
    <p>1940 -2006 Turkmenistan dictator: Saparmurat Niyazov, the president of Turkmenistan who died on Thursday at the age of 66, was an idiosyncratic dictator who ruled the central Asian republic as a cruel and often capricious medieval khan for 20 years. Known as Turkmenbashi, the Father of the Turkmens, Mr. Niyazov fashioned an image as a munificent leader guiding the country to a golden age. But the Turkmenistan he leaves behind is even more culturally and economically impoverished than during the Soviet era in which he honed his ruthless authoritarian skills.</p>
  • Saparmurat Niyazov (Telegraph obit)

    12/22/2006 11:14:25 AM PST · by dighton · 2 replies · 257+ views
    Saparmurat Niyazov, the “President for Life” of Turkmenistan who died yesterday aged 66, led his country from 1985, when it was still a Soviet republic; after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 he turned it into one of the most repressive former Soviet states.Niyazov, who liked to be referred to as “Turkmenbashi the Great, Father of all Turkmen”, was the most eccentric of despots. He renamed a town, a meteor and the month of January after himself, and April (and bread) after his mother. In the rebuilt centre of the country’s capital, Ashgabat, he ordered the erection of...
  • Unexpected death brings uncertainty over gas supply (Demise of Turkmen President)

    12/22/2006 11:03:38 AM PST · by gleeaikin · 6 replies · 333+ views
    Financial Times (London) | Dec. 22, 2006 | Neil Buckley in Moscow
    For anyone attempting to secure supplies from Turkmenistan's abundant energy reserves there was one man to deal with: Saparmurat Niyazov. The Turkmen leader last year took personal control of the state oil and gas industry after sacking top managers for alleged embezzlement. He took on management functions himself, and signed contracts personally, often for more than the republic could actually supply. "Virtually nothing in oil and gas trading could be done without Mr. Niyazov's authority," says Michael Dennison, lecturer in former Soviet Union politics at the University of Leeds. His death at best leaves a vacuum at the top of...
  • Fear of instability after death of eccentric Turkmen leader

    12/22/2006 9:41:56 AM PST · by gleeaikin · 18 replies · 599+ views
    Financial Times (London) | Dec. 22, 2006 | Isabel Gorst
    The death yesterday of Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmenistan's autocratic and eccentric president, raised the threat of instability in a Central Asian republic that is an important energy supplier to Europe. Niyazov, known as Turkmenbashi or Ruler of the Turkmens, left the former Soviet republic he rulled for more than 20 years impoverished, internationally isolated and with no obvious successor. Niyazov died from cardiac arrest, Turkmen state television reported. He was 66. The president's death is expected to spark both an internal power struggle and a tussle for influence between Russia, China and the US over a country with the world's fifth-biggest...
  • Authoritarian Turkmen leader Saparmurat Niyazov dies at 66

    12/21/2006 4:44:05 AM PST · by Perdogg · 12 replies · 444+ views
    RIA Novosti ^ | 21/ 12/ 2006
    The president of the Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, died early Thursday after 21 years of authoritarian rule. The president-for-life passed away at the age of 66 after a cardiac arrest at 1.10 a.m. local time (8.10 p.m. GMT Wednesday), following several years of heart trouble, which had been kept secret from the desert nation's population.
  • Central Asia: 'Fathers Are Crying There, Children Are Crying Here'

    10/26/2006 2:29:32 PM PDT · by sergey1973 · 9 replies · 447+ views
    RFERL ^ | Oct. 25, 2006 | Bruce Pannier
    The government of Turkmenistan has for years practiced a domestic policy that can only be described as "Turkmenization." Most non-ethnic Turkmen officials have been purged, and authorities have gone further in insisting, unofficially, that residents speak Turkmen and dress in what is regarded as a Turkmen fashion. Even schoolchildren are subject to the unwritten policies, which have led to the emigration of ethnic Russians, Kazakhs, and Uzbeks. The latest manifestation is the arrival in neighboring Uzbekistan of young women who married Turkmen citizens but were rejected registration and tossed out of the country, along with their children. Ziyoda Ruzimova lived...
  • Dangerous liaisons: covert "love affair" between Russia and Hezbollah

    01/09/2006 5:20:47 PM PST · by Tailgunner Joe · 8 replies · 1,191+ views
    AIA ^ | Michel Elbaz
    The relations between Russia and the Shiite's religious leadership in Lebanon started to develop in the beginning of the seventies. The spiritual leader of the Lebanese Shia community, Imam Moussa Al-Sadr, visited Moscow in 1972 and asked Soviet authorities to issue humanitarian aid to his people. At the same time cooperation between the Marxist factions of the PLO that were active in Lebanon and Soviet military intelligence – GRU, intensified greatly. Several soviet officers (speaking fluent Arabic) even visited Palestinian terrorist training camps in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon between 1972-1975. Using their connections in PLO they managed to establish...
  • Gazprom Sees Action on Eastern Front

    07/01/2006 11:29:36 AM PDT · by sergey1973 · 18 replies · 340+ views
    Kommersant ^ | June 30, 2006 | Natalia Grib
    Relations between Gazprom and Turkmenistan have come to an open conflict over natural gas. Yesterday they annulled their agreements on gas supplies to Russia for this year and next. Gazprom's monopoly on Central Asian gas is thus broken. The conflict is to the advantage of Ukraine, which can now obtain 17 billion cubic meters of gas, more than half of its import needs for the second half of the year. It also strengthens Ukraine's position in negotiations with Gazprom that are to take place on July 1.
  • Turkmenistan: The Achilles' Heel Of European Energy Security

    06/30/2006 3:40:45 PM PDT · by sergey1973 · 3 replies · 1,012+ views
    Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty ^ | June 30, 2006 | Daniel Kimmage
    In the wake of the "gas war" between Russia and Ukraine in early 2006, and the brief interruption it caused in supplies to Europe, the world awoke to the increasing importance of Central Asian natural gas for European energy security. After all, the bulk of the natural gas that Ukraine imports through Russia comes from Turkmenistan. Now, with international ratings agency Fitch warning that the elements are in place for a "perfect storm" of an energy crisis, news comes on July 30 that talks between Turkmenistan and Ukraine over an independent agreement for gas supplies in the fourth quarter of...
  • Ruhnama (A book for "Moderate Islam" from Turkmen President for Life ?)

    06/29/2006 3:42:58 PM PDT · by sergey1973 · 14 replies · 728+ views ^ |
    Ruhnama (or The Book of the Soul from Persian: ruh (soul) and nâma (book), sometimes spelled Rukhnama) is the combination autobiography, historical fiction, and spiritual guidebook written by Turkmenistan's President for Life, Saparmyrat Niyazov. The text is composed of many stories and poems, including those by Sufist poet Magtymguly Pyragy. Niyazov issued the first part of the work in 2001, saying, "Ruhnama was issued to eliminate all shortcomings, to raise the spirit of the Turkmen." The second part, which covers morals, philosophy, and life conduct, was issued in 2004. The book is a substantial part of Niyazov's personality cult, is...
  • Turkmenistan Threatens Gas Cutoff To Russia After Talks Collapse

    06/29/2006 2:32:36 PM PDT · by sergey1973 · 6 replies · 469+ views
    Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty ^ | June 29, 2006 | RFERL
    PRAGUE, June 29, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry warned in a statement today after a suspension of talks on gas deliveries to Russia that supplies will be cut off in September if Moscow and Ashgabat fail to reach a new import deal. Russian gas giant Gazprom said today that it has been unable to reach agreement on price in a new import deal with Turkmenistan and that negotiations have been suspended. The announcement of the negotiations' collapse came after a meeting between Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov and Gazprom chief Aleksei Miller. Turkmenistan wants to raise the price of its...
  • Double Standard for Dictators

    04/13/2006 11:43:36 PM PDT · by vertolet · 5 replies · 361+ views ^ | Friday, April 14, 2006;
    The E.U. is isolating one dictator while proposing concessions for another. Guess which one sells gas. THIS WEEK the European Union took an important step toward sanctioning Europe's last dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, banning the Belarusan president and 30 of his aides and political collaborators from entering any of the union's 25 countries. Mr. Lukashenko staged a rigged election last month extending his term in office and arrested many of the people who tried to protest. While Mr. Lukashenko's regime is hardly likely to collapse under pressure from Brussels, the E.U. foreign ministers at least delivered the message that the union...
  • Annual List Of...The World's 10 Worst Dictators

    01/21/2006 7:10:22 AM PST · by vikingd00d · 66 replies · 15,263+ views ^ | 21 January 2006 | David Wallechinsky
    A "dictator" is a head of state who exercises arbitrary authority over the lives of his citizens and who cannot be removed from power through legal means. The worst commit terrible human-rights abuses. This present list draws in part on reports by global human-rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International. While the three worst from 2005 have retained their places, two on last year's list (Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya and Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan) have slipped out of the Top 10-not because their conduct has improved but because other dictators have gotten worse....
  • The Lord of the Pipes

    09/12/2005 3:03:52 AM PDT · by Lukasz · 168+ views
    Kommersant ^ | Sep. 11, 2005 | Mikhail Zygar
    Turkmenistan has pulled out of the CIS at the summit in Kazan timed to the city’s millennium. Unlike his neighbors, Saparmurat Niyazov was not afraid to break off relations with Moscow. And yet, the most notorious dictator of the former USSR does not risk isolation, a military invasion or another Color Revolution.Leaders of CIS countries-members were rarely so disciplined in arrive at the organization’s summits as they did in Kazan. Even “color” presidents of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova were there. Vladimir Voronin interrupted his vacation in Karlovy Vary to come the meeting, while Mikhail Saakashvili took his pregnant wife Roelofs...
  • Ashgabat Breaks Away from CIS

    08/28/2005 11:17:33 AM PDT · by Lukasz · 383+ views ^ | August 28, 2005 | Mirza Cetinkaya
    Another sign indicating that the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), founded after the collapse of the Soviet Union, is disintegrating emerged in the Commonwealth summit held at Kazan. Turkmenistan is preparing to leave the 15 year old CIS by changing its status. Georgian President Mihail Saakashvili revealed that in the last hours of the summit, Turkmenistan government communicated its request for a change in its CIS permanent membership status. In the case that Turkmenistan breaks away from the CIS, it will be the first time since the three Baltic republics that a Central Asian Soviet will have obtained full independence....
  • Turkmenistan bans recorded music (Dictatorships in Central Asia)

    08/27/2005 4:02:13 PM PDT · by F14 Pilot · 23 replies · 648+ views
    BBC News ^ | Tuesday, 23 August 2005
    Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has banned the playing of recorded music at all public events, on television and at weddings. In a decree, Mr Niyazov said there was a need to protect Turkmen culture from "negative influences". This is the latest move by the authoritarian president to minimise foreign influence in the isolated former Soviet state, analysts say. He has already banned opera and ballet, describing them as "unnecessary". 'True culture' Mr Niyazov's decree was published in the official daily newspaper Neitralny Turkmenistan (Neutral Turkmenistan). It banned sound recordings "at musical performances on state holidays, in broadcasts by Turkmen television...
  • Turkmen President Bans Lip Synching

    08/23/2005 8:39:16 AM PDT · by Southside_Chicago_Republican · 30 replies · 893+ views
    AP via Yahoo! ^ | August 23, 2005
    ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan - He has outlawed opera and ballet and railed against long hair and gold teeth, but now Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov is determined to wipe out another perceived scourge: lip synching. Niyazov has ordered a ban on lip synching performances across the tightly controlled Central Asian nation, citing "a negative effect on the development of singing and musical art," the president's office said Tuesday. "Unfortunately, one can see on television old voiceless singers lip-synching their old songs," Niyazov told a Cabinet meeting in comments broadcast on state TV on Tuesday. "Don't kill talents by using lip synching... Create...
  • Turkmen leader closes hospitals

    03/01/2005 12:43:42 PM PST · by Lukasz · 18 replies · 687+ views
    BBC ^ | Tuesday, 1 March | Monica Whitlock
    Reports from Turkmenistan say President Niyazov has ordered the closure of all the hospitals in the country except those in the capital, Ashgabat. The order, announced by a government spokesman, is part of the president's radical health care policies. Thousands of medical workers have already been sacked under the plan. Civil rights activists have accused the president of sacrificing public services in favour of vast projects that glorify his regime. President Niyazov apparently took the decision to close the hospitals at a meeting with local officials on Monday. "Why do we need such hospitals?" he said. "If people are ill,...
  • Turkmen leader opens up his soul

    09/15/2004 1:05:20 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 6 replies · 235+ views
    BBC ^ | 13 September, 2004
    The president of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, has issued the second volume of a book his people are obliged to read for moral guidance. Rukhnama, or Book of the Soul, is said to expound Mr Niyazov's thoughts on love, morality and neighbourliness. Part One, offering the president's philosophical interpretation of Turkmen history, is studied daily at school, and adults must read it every Saturday. Mr Niyazov has ruled with an iron fist since taking power in 1985. He has been named president-for-life, his portrait hangs everywhere in Turkmenistan, and streets and towns have been named in his honour. Beard ban The...
  • Turkmen leader orders ice palace in one of the hottest deserts on earth

    08/11/2004 8:48:50 AM PDT · by dead · 9 replies · 1,011+ views
    BBC News ^ | Monica Whitlock
    President Niyazov of Turkmenistan has ordered the construction of a palace made of ice in the heart of his desert country, one of the hottest on earth. It is the latest in a series of colossal building projects instigated by the all-powerful president that seem to defy the country's environment. "Let us build a palace of ice," said President Niyazov, "big and grand enough for 1,000 people." The palace will stand in the mountains just outside the capital, Ashgabat. President Niyazov made the announcement in a speech broadcast on Turkmen television, which in effect made it a presidential order. Environmental...
  • Turkmen drivers face unusual test

    08/02/2004 2:45:09 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 5 replies · 277+ views
    BBC ^ | 2 August, 2004
    In most countries passing a driving test is determined - unsurprisingly - by the candidate's ability to drive. But in Turkmenistan, knowledge of the highway code and control of the steering wheel are no longer enough. Candidates now have to pass an exam in President Niyazov's spiritual writings, contained in a book named the Ruhnama. "The exam in the Ruhnama is needed to educate future drivers in the high moral principles of Turkmen society," an official told the AFP news agency. Mr Niyazov, Turkmenistan's "president for life" whom correspondents say is at the focus of a flourishing personality cult, wrote...
  • Turkmen president asks not to praise him

    06/21/2004 8:53:51 AM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 10 replies · 518+ views
    AP ^ | June 21, 2004
    ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov, who has built a vast personality cult, on Monday asked government officials to stop praising him. "I have a request: don't praise me. I even feel uncomfortable appearing at various meetings and events," Niyazov told a Cabinet meeting. "It upsets me that I'm the only one who gets credit for all Turkmenistan's achievements. In fact, they belong to the entire Turkmen people," Niyazov said. Last month, in a surprise move, Niyazov ordered removal of his portraits from administrative buildings. No reason was given. But a new bronze and stone monument depicting Niyazov taking...
  • Turkmenistan - a land full of melons with a real banana as its President (An eccentric ally)

    04/15/2004 1:18:41 PM PDT · by Eurotwit · 33 replies · 431+ views
    The Times ^ | August 20, 2002 | Caitlin Moran
    Fans of nutty dictators with problem childhoods and frustrated artistic leanings have had a ring-a-ding August this year. Turkmenistan’s President, Saparmurad Niyazov — a name which, until a few months ago, would have meant little to the world save possibly someone trying to say “Vosene my trumpets” backwards — has, in remarkably little time, risen to be one of Earth’s leading exponents of cuckoo. Clearly discontent with the background madness of Turkmenistan —this is a country where the national flag has five carpets, rampant, in its design, and which lists its premier export as sulphur, and its prime crop as...
  • Build No More Mosques: Turkmen President

    04/04/2004 3:35:01 AM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 5 replies · 99+ views ^ | April 3, 2004 | Damir Ahmad
    Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov ordered building no more mosques in the predominantly-Muslim country, another controversial – if not weird – move by the life-long leader. "Religion is free. Do not build any more mosques. We have enough mosques already," Niyazov told officials of the government's Council for Religious Affairs March 29. The officials of the council - a government body which reports to the cabinet - must continue to appoint all imams and control mosque funds, he was quoted by the official Turkmen news agency as saying. "The mosques should not choose the imams themselves. Since you work here, you...
  • Avoid gold teeth, says Turkmen leader

    04/07/2004 7:01:18 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 15 replies · 543+ views
    BBC ^ | 7 April, 2004
    The president of Turkmenistan has urged his people to resist the fashion for gold-capped teeth. Gold-toothed music star Goldie: The wrong role model for Turkmen The central Asian state's self-proclaimed president-for-life, Saparmurat Niyazov, issued the dental directive at a televised ceremony on Tuesday. The president told a young woman at the ceremony to have her conspicuous gold teeth replaced with white ones by his health minister, "himself a dentist". Style tips from the president - who likes to be known as Turkmenbashi or "Father of all Turkmen" - tends to be interpreted as law in Turkmenistan. Gnawing issue When he...
  • Turkmen president bans beards

    02/26/2004 6:09:46 PM PST · by Land_of_Lincoln_John · 8 replies · 181+ views ^ | February 26, 2004 |
    Long hair or beards will no longer be tolerated in Turkmenistan, following a presidential decree. President Saparmurat Niyazov said on Thursday that the Education Ministry should be in charge of checking people's hair and facial arrangements. The self-styled "Turkmenbashi the Great" also announced the launch of a textbook on good behaviour to add to a school curriculum already dominated by his "philosophical" works. The volume, entitled Upbringing, is based on the "wisdom of the ancient traditions of the Turkmen people who through the ages developed clear-cut norms of behaviour and socialisation". Dictator Niyazov has clung to power since the end...
  • Turkmenistan's former foreign minister gets life in prison for plotting assassination of president

    12/31/2002 9:51:23 AM PST · by gubamyster · 2 replies · 181+ views
    AP ^ | Dec 30, 2002
    Mon Dec 30, 7:27 PM ET ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan - In a trial of less than a day, a former Turkmen foreign minister was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for plotting to assassinate the president. Critics said the proceedings were reminiscent of the purges under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. The government says President Saparmurat Niyazov's motorcade came under fire Nov. 25. He was unhurt but four police officers were wounded, officials have said. Niyazov has blamed ex-Foreign Minister Boris Shikhmuradov for masterminding the alleged attack. On Monday, the People's Council, an assembly of Niyazov loyalists, was shown a videotaped...
  • Turkmen coup suspect makes televised confession

    12/29/2002 12:58:50 PM PST · by HAL9000 · 169+ views
    Reuters | December 29, 2002 | Marat Gurt
    ASHGABAT, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Turkmenistan's state television showed a leading opponent of President Saparmurat Niyazov confessing on Sunday to plotting a coup attempt last month. Former foreign minister Boris Shikhmuradov, who said he planned attacks while taking drugs in Russia, was arrested on Wednesday. He is accused of planning a November 25 attack in which the president's motorcade was raked by machinegun fire. Niyazov, who has run the country since Soviet times and is the object of a flourishing personality cult, was not injured. Shikhmuradov appeared on state television's evening news bulletin wearing a dark suit and grey...