Hazard's stuff

Turkmenistan - ex-USSR republic

— Posted by hazard @ 21-10-2005 03:54
"I'm personally against seeing my pictures and statues in the streets - but it's what the people want"
-- Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmenbashi, president for life of Turkmenistan since 1991.

From Wikipedia:

Niyazov's face appears on all Manat banknotes and large portraits of the president hang all over the country, especially on major public buildings and avenues. Statues of himself and his mother are scattered all over Turkmenistan, including one in the middle of the Kara Kum desert as well as a gold-plated statue atop Ashgabat's largest building, the Neutrality Arch, that rotates to face the sun. The logo of Turkmen national television is his profile. Institutions that cannot be named after him are named after his mother. All watches and clocks made must bear his portrait printed on the dial-face. The two books he had written are mandatory readings in schools, motorclubs, and homes. They are a central part in education from grade school to university, and knowledge of the text - up to the ability to exactly recite passages from it - is required for passing exams, holding any state job and qualify for a drivers license.

Some of Turkmenbashi's decrees:
  • Banning news readers from wearing make-up as Niyazov had difficulty telling male and female readers apart
  • Banning ballet and opera, describing them as "unnecessary"
  • Banning public smoking in 1997 when Niyazov quit smoking after major heart surgery
  • Banning lip syncing when performing songs
  • Ordering that young people not be permitted to get gold tooth caps or gold teeth, suggesting instead that they chew on bones to preserve their teeth.
  • Closing nearly all public libraries outside the capital
  • Dismissed 15,000 medical workers, replacing them with army conscripts

Impressive huh?

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