Turkmenbashi: Saparmurat Niyazov | Page 1

Ubiquitous images of President-for-Life Niyazov, or Turkmenbashi, Leader of the Turkmens. Note identical portraits with different backgrounds. These photographs were taken seven months before his recent death; it is unclear what will happen to his cult of personality now. Apart from naming the month of January after himself, Niyazov issued a number of decrees: he instituted National Muskmelon Day; prohibited political dissension, lip-synching, hospitals outside the capital, car radios, use of recorded music at public events, long hair or beards on young men, gold-capped teeth, makeup on female TV news anchors, importation of foreign literature, rural libraries, ballet, opera companies, orchestras, circuses, smoking in public, unapproved political gatherings.

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