|WORLDCOOK'S TRAVELS - TURKMENISTAN|
|Travel to other countries||Travel to Uzbekistan|
"Halk, Vatan, Turkmenbashy!" One country, one people, one Turkmenbashy (leader of the Turkmen). This line you can read all over Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. Also, there are life size posters and statues of Turkmenbashy on every street corner, and sometimes he is even facing himself. It is whispered that, after he dyed his hair black, all the posters had to be taken off the wall and redone. Mister Niyazov, the president who calls himself Turkmenbashy, apparently has a egocentric streak. Many cities and streets are named after him, making it difficult to find a place. Luckily he was chosen by 99.2% of population in 1992, so most of the people agree with what he does...
he has decided that he must spread his fame a little more. Are there still
people who think they should read the Koran or the Bible for spiritual
guidance? They are absolutely mistaken! Now there is
Rukhnama, written by the great Turkmenbashy himself. Or, as he puts
it: "It was authored by a truly prophetic man." Don't get it wrong, even though
some people may think that reading this book suffices to give you entrance to
this interesting country, nothing is less true. Even if you are a Turkmen by birth, it does
not mean Turkmenbashy will acknowledge you as a compatriot. To be seen as a
fellow Turkmen, eligible for things like government jobs, you have to be able
to prove "three generations of pure Turkmen background".
of the famous statues in Ashgabat depicts a bull with a globe on its horns, and a golden baby on top.
This symbolizes the fact that Turkmenbashy was rescued from the earthquake
that his parents died in. The baby turns it face to the sun. On top of the 75
meters high Arch of Neutrality you can see a revolving golden statue of
Turkmenbashy, who points out to the sun where it should come up and where it
has to go under. The beautiful palace that Turkmenbashy lives in, forms a
contrast with the houses in Ashgabat in general. He has let out the word that
he would like to be president for his life time. As if anybody has any doubt about