an exercise in miscellany

Saparmurat Niyazov

In history, people on March 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm

 

Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov; (19 February 1940 – 21 December 2006) was a Turkmen politician who served as President (later President for Life) of Turkmenistan from November 1990 until his death in 2006. He was First Secretary of the Turkmen Communist Party from 1985 until 1991 and continued to lead Turkmenistan for 15 years after independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Foreign media criticized him as one of the world’s most totalitarian and repressive dictators, highlighting his reputation of imposing his personal eccentricities upon the country, which extended to renaming months after members of his family, and recoining the Turkmen word for bread by the name of his mother.

Decrees and laws

  • Niyazov banned the use of lip syncing at public concerts in 2005 as well as sound recordings at “musical performances on state holidays, in broadcasts by Turkem television channels, at all cultural events organized by the state… in places of mass assembly and at weddings and celebrations organized by the public,” citing a negative effect on the development of musical arts incurred by the use of recorded music.
  • Niyazov banished Dogs from the capital Ashgabat because of their “unappealing odor.”
  • According to the Ashgabat correspondent of Turkmenistan right hand-drive imported cars converted to left-hand drive were banned due to a perceived increased risk in accidents.
  • Niyazov requested that a “palace of ice” be built near the capital, even though Turkmenistan is a desert country with a hot and arid climate. The palace was built in 2008 and located near the new Turkmen State Medical University.
  • After having to quit smoking in 1997 due to his resultant heart surgery, he banned smoking in all public places and ordered all government employees to follow suit. Chewing tobacco on Turkmen soil was later banned as well.
  • In February 2004 he decreed that men should no longer wear long hair or beards.
  • He also banned news reporters and anchors from wearing make-up on television, apparently because he believed Turkmen women were already beautiful enough without make-up.
  • Gold teeth were outlawed in Turkmenistan after Niyazov suggested that the populace chew on bones to strengthen their teeth and lessen the rate at which they fall out. He said:

    “I watched young dogs when I was young. They were given bones to gnaw to strengthen their teeth. Those of you whose teeth have fallen out did not chew on bones. This is my advice.”

via Saparmurat Niyazov – Wikipedia

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