Does this make Turkmenistan an orphan?
December 21, 2006 4:10 AM Subscribe
Saparmurat Niyazov is dead. The self-designated "father of the Turkmen" was the absolute ruler of Turkmenistan for fifteen years, a minor middle-Asian country which would completely escape the notice of the West if it wasn't for Turkmenbashi's unique form of excess and its oil. Along with the usual human rights violations and wallowing in wealth -- an estimated $3 billion cached in private accounts -- he dedicated himself to reshaping Turkmen's philosophy and cosmology on a scale to inspire Kim Jong Il. Among his accomplishments are redefining the ages of Man and renaming the names of days and months after neutrality, the flag, and Turkmenbashi's mother. Who now will speak up for Turkmen Melon Day?
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