80 of one, 13 of the other

by Nathan Hamm on 10/27/2004

Not only is today the 80th anniversary of the Turkmen SSR, but it is also Turkmenistan’s Independence Day. It was, of course, celebrated in true Turkmen style with a huge parade in Turkmenbashi’s honor.

Turkmenistan has been celebrating its independence holiday with a huge parade in honour of President Niyazov, also known as Turkmenbashi.

Mr Niyazov, who is president for life, watched as the military, Turkmen horsemen and others paid tribute in the main square of the capital, Ashgabat.

The assembled crowd shouted: “Great leader, great leader”.

There had clearly been months of preparation for Wednesday’s parade.

In bright sunshine, the Turkmen army marched through the marble square, shouting “Turkmenbashi, Turkmenbashi”, saluting at the balcony where the leader was just visible.

Rows and rows of identical black horses came next, their hooves painted gold, and their riders in gold sashes and traditional white lambskin hats.

Behind them danced hundreds of school children around a huge model of Turkmenbashi’s book of sayings, the Rukhnama.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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