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8 posts tagged with Turkmenistan. (View popular tags)
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Behold, I plunge my hands in fire! I feel no heat!

Forty years ago, a vast molten cavity known as the Darvaza crater – nicknamed the "door to hell" – opened up in the desert of north Turkmenistan, and has been burning ever since. Last year, George Kourounis became the first person to descend to the bottom of the crater. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Aug 3, 2014 - 29 comments

My Beloved Turkmen Nation!

In the capital of Turkmenistan stands an enormous statue of a book. Every evening at 8PM, the statue swings open and a recently deceased dictator's magnum opus, the Ruhnama, is broadcast throughout the square while a video from within the statue shows his image. Four years after the death of Turkmenbashi, the state continues to portray his book as a sacred text and has coerced foreign business partners to translate it into 22 languages. A team of Finnish filmmakers snuck into Turkmenistan to discover the continued presence of the Ruhnama. (YouTube, 10 parts, part 5 has no audio)
posted by shii on Apr 25, 2010 - 15 comments

The Door to Hell

The Burning Crater of Darvaza. [Via.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 26, 2008 - 31 comments

So, you represent a country whose leader renamed the month of January after himself? We'll take the job!

"Even the best-endowed regimes need help navigating the shoals of Washington, and it is their great fortune that, for the right price, countless lobbyists are willing to steer even the foulest of ships." Journalist Ken Silverstein poses as a representative of the government of Turkmenistan to see if Washington lobbying firms will take on the job of making a country with a considerably less-than-stellar human rights record more palatable. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials calls Silverstein's work disingenuous; others disagree.
posted by hifiparasol on Jun 23, 2007 - 14 comments

at the crossroads - a photographic journey through central Asia

Canadian photographer Christopher Herwig provides a fascinating glimpse of the people and places of 5 of the "-stan" countries of Central Asia. You can see more work and current projects on his flickr page. Noteworthy photo essays: Arsan Baths in Almatry, Soviet Roadside Bus Stops (seen here before), and his recent The Wheelbarrow Operators of Monrovia.
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 11, 2007 - 16 comments

Does this make Turkmenistan an orphan?

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?
posted by ardgedee on Dec 21, 2006 - 42 comments

Ice, ice, baby!

The President plans yet another silly boondoggle and introduces faith-based driver education. What President are we talking about? Why, Saparmyrat Niyazov, the president-for-life of Turkmenistan. Or, as he likes to be called, "Turkmenbashi"--the "leader of all Turkmen".

He's got a lot of spiritual ideas and 24/7 TV coverage. Hey--he's against gold teeth and circuses. If it weren't for his dismal human rights record, I might vote for him myself. Sometimes I have to remind myself that there are, in fact, much worse choices than the ones I have for November.
posted by Sidhedevil on Aug 27, 2004 - 13 comments

As President-for-Life, you have schools, cities, airports and even a meteor named after you. What is left?
Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan, intends to rename the calendar. January for himself and April may be reserved for his mother.

Crazy guy.
posted by i_cola on Aug 8, 2002 - 13 comments

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