Monday, September 05, 2011

Berdymuhammedov Replaces Niyazov

Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov has obviously been President of Turkmenistan for several years, but is now taking more visible steps to develop a personality cult similar to, though hopefully not as extreme as, his predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov. Last week came news that the Council of Elders, a government advisory body, was planning to declare him "Arkadag," meaning "Protector," and also suggest that as the name of a new capital city. Now RFE-RL reports that he is producing a replacement for the Rukhnama:
"Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov will soon release a new 'spiritual guidebook' for the country that will replace the long-used 'Rukhnama' (Book of the Soul) of his predecessor, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.

"Well-placed sources in the Turkmen intelligentsia told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that the book will either be called 'Turkmennama' (Book for Turkmen) or 'Adamnama' (Book for Humanity)...

"Gutliyev had written about the need for a new guidebook that will be essential for a 'new period in Turkmen history' -- since Berdymukhammedov came to power -- which state ideology describes as 'an era of Great Renaissance...'

"Meanwhile, Berdymukhammedov has ordered his cabinet to mark the 10th anniversary of 'Rukhnama' on September 12, the day it was launched in 2001.

"The guidebook was made a compulsory part of the curriculum at all levels of the country's educational system and it was expected to be prominently displayed in public places and kept in every home."

Again, we have to hope that Berdymuhammadov will be content with a more limited role for his own book.

(Crossposted to American Footprints)



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home