Sunday, May 04, 2008


Long time readers of Flares will know that I've long had a fascination with the Turkmenbashi, the previous ruler of Turkmanistan who is currently pushing up daisies. Among his many eccentricities, he busily worked at creating a Cult of Personality surrounding himself. Naturally, this included giant statues of himself -- the most famous being the Neutrality Arch, which featured a gold played statue of the Turkmenbashi which rotated to always face the sun.

Recently, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the new President of of Turkmanistan, has decide to move the Neutrality Arch from downtown Ashgabat to the suburbs. Man, will the indignities never end? Next they be changing the names of the week back to what they were before.

Hmmm... if they're getting rid of those statues, I wonder if my neighbors would mind if I bought one an erected it in my front yard?


vnjagvet said...

Not if you have to deal with your friendly condominium or home owners' association. If one of them has anything to say about it will never happen.

Can't have cults of personality there, can we?

I think the gold plating and revolving features are particularly attractive, though.

Doug said...

Gas is 14 cents a gallon!

"Turkmenistan has the second largest reserves in the gas-rich former Soviet Union, generating high revenue for the state. The government has used central planning, such as state control of production and procurement, direct bank credits with low interest rates, exchange rate restrictions, and price controls, since it existed as a Republic within the U.S.S.R.[4]

In 1991 Niyazov's government put forth a decree granting "the free use of water, gas and electricity by the people of Turkmenistan."[2] In reality, the population receives the lowest possible minimum wage and then the state distributes free water, gas and electricity.[4]