20 Years of Turkmenbashi

by Nathan Hamm on 12/21/2005

Turkmenistan celebrated twenty years of Turkmenbashi the Great on Wednesday.

Solemn functions have been held in the capital Ashkhabad and regional centres.

Members of the government and public representatives have visited the Turkmenbashi Mosque of Spirituality in Niyazov’s home village located 20 kilometres from Ashkhabad.

They laid flowers at the Mosque in the grounds of a mausoleum of the Niyazov family.

Turkmenistan.ru has the following from a Turkmen newspaper.

“By historic measurements 20 years are just a moment in the continuous sequence of centuries and millenniums that change each other according to the eternal law of the universe, the commentary says in particular. It happened that, apart from this law, there is also a humane dimension with its own reference points and peculiar parameters. By the will of the same fortune this seemingly short period of time can be compared to the epoch by its importance for the Turkmen people, for it was during these years that our life changed once and forever. Twenty years have been enough for a new generation to grow and get firmly established on the Turkmen soil, and for a new state, independent Turkmenistan, to appear on the world map.”

And from RIA Novosti,

“Today marks 20 years since the great son of the Turkmen people came to power, and his name has been linked to the country’s difficult, but amazing history. The great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi!”

Although the president objects to being lavished with rewards, he was decorated with almost all the possible state awards. He was given the title of a six-time hero of Turkmenistan.

As Niyazov says, he “cannot withstand the people’s will.”

Another sign of general acclaim are Niyazov’s portraits hanging on the walls in every administrative building.

“I was destined to lead the people of Turkmenistan at the junction of two centuries. I took on the responsibility to lead my people away from the failures and hardships of the gloomy period in its modern history to the pinnacles of the third millennium,” Niyazov wrote in his book.

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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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