chew on this

Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov (1940 – 2006) was President of Turkmenistan for sixteen years.

image found here

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 to the name of his mother.

Bread from the Gruesome Body Bakery found here

He renamed the town of Krasnovodsk “Turkmenbashi” after himself, and renamed schools, airports and even a meteorite after himself and more family members. In 2005 all hospitals outside Aşgabat were ordered shut, with the reasoning that the sick should come to the capital for treatment. Physicians were ordered to swear an oath to the President, replacing the Hippocratic Oath. All libraries outside of the capital were also closed, as Niyazov believed that the only books that most Turkmen needed to read were the Koran and his Ruhnama.

Ruhnama found here

Memorization of the book was even required for getting a driver’s license. Niyazov told his people that as a result of a pact made between him and Allah, anybody who read his book three times would automatically go to heaven. Then in 2005, Niyazov launched a copy of it into space for aliens to read.

alien tattoo found here

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. He banished dogs from the capital Ashgabat because of their “unappealing odor.”

dog found here

In 2008 Niyazov demanded that a “palace of ice” be built near the capital, even though Turkmenistan is a desert country with a hot and arid climate and in February 2004 he decreed that men could 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 after Niyazov suggested that the populace chew on bones to strengthen their teeth and lessen the rate at which they fall out.

order your gold caps here

The circumstances of Niyazov’s passing have been surrounded by some media speculation. His body lay in state in an open coffin in the presidential palace. Mourners and including foreign delegations passed by the coffin in a three hour period. Many of the ordinary citizens were dramatically weeping and crying as they walked, some even clinging to the coffin and fainting, though rumors were rife that they were “forced” to mourn in this way.

Published in: on April 17, 2011 at 7:23 am  Comments (46)  
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46 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I did like some of the baker’s goodies!

    • Intriguing aren’t they?

  2. I think men are somewhat required to wear beards in Islam. Women too. That why they cover their faces from what I am told.

  3. Fascinating – I’ve just met someone on his way to Turkmenistan, pity that Niyazov is no longer there

  4. Krasnovodsk… now that’s a name that trips off your tongue like butter fae a hot toasted slice.

  5. I think there’s a little method in his madness regarding lip syncing and good dental health.

    As to the rest, there is just madness in his madness.

  6. That dog would be ideal for mopping my kitchen floor.

    So Niyazov didn’t get round to renaming the planets, the stars and the weather system? Not much of a dictator if you ask me.

  7. Makes me feel grateful for the simple idiocy of homegrown nutters however the price of freedom is eternal vigilance as they say.

  8. Thank you, Myra – from the bottom of my heart – I don’t know how you come up with these posts, but you never fail to entertain. You truly are the highlight of my day.

    • *blush* thanks Cindy

  9. Given that various weekdays and months in the Gregorian calendar have been named after assorted gods and emperors, I think old Saparmurat was on to something.

    But if we made them phonetic and sequenced, what would be wrong with months named after your correspondents? Alois, Bearman, Cindy, Daisyfae…..mind you, we might also have to introduce a 13-month year so we could have a Myra!

  10. Sounds like a fun guy…wonder if it is worse under the new regime.

  11. I like his crown. He looks like a fat Q-tip.

    I thought Ruhnama was a singer who was socked in the eye by Chris Brown?

    Are you sure the mourners weeping? Or was that hysterical laughter? I can’t believe all this went on in 2005. So much for living in an enlightened age.

    • That’s what I was thinking, too. Why haven’t I heard anything about this nut in the news? I guess we are just more interested in celebrity gossip in the US… 😦

  12. the hat. all i ask for is the hat. no silly rules or regulations or banishing of facial hair, libraries and hospitals…

  13. Wow, this guy almost makes Kaddafi seem totally normal. I like the idea of the book you have to read three times though. All the Christians that say “why take the chance” should definitely read that book three times, because, you know, why take the chance?

  14. The bread is horribly realistic looking. I kind of like it, but I hesitate to see the rest of the clientele…

    Love the alien tat!

  15. Hmmmmm….. “super crusty penis bread” is not going to be a big seller.

  16. I wonder if that hat comes in chartreuse…

    • You would look very fetching in a chartreuse version Siggy

      • Hahaha…
        I think it would accent my dull-eyes and flat cheek bones…

  17. A dictator in the Stalinist mold. I remember him. Kim Jong Il is a lot like him.

  18. Some of those ideas seem perfectly reasonable compared to what our lot get up to…

  19. I read the book that the great being that you Earthlings call Niyazov wrote 18,672 times, so I am in a place much higher than your Heaven. But you can’t get a decent pizza here….

  20. I sense a cat-fight brewing between Daisyfae and I because I also want the hat! I will settle for the spaghetti-haired dog as second prize appeasement. Am certain Niyazov was put down humanely.

    • I wouldn’t get into a cat-fight with daisyfae if I were you Mitzi. She does 50 push ups before breakfast!

  21. Those bread heads are very much to my liking and the shaggy dog reminds me of Dougal from The Magic Roundabout. When I was a little kid I made a Dougal model from an egg and some thick cream coloured wool.

    • I like the bread heads too

  22. That Gruesome Body Bakery pic will haunt my dreams, or at least my meals.

  23. How is it that even in the 21st century we can still be producing these dictators?

  24. I have to send up one cheer at least for someone who banned dogs from his capital city. They do smell nasty. You can’t turn around in my home town without tripping over one of the nasty drooling SOBs, if you’ll pardon the literality.

  25. You take my library and my dog you better take this pair of tongue ripping out hands away from me too.

  26. Shut up! That’s bread? That would totally make me stay off carbs.

    I renamed a dance move after myself once. It used to be called “the drunken stumble”. I thought Bschooled sounded classier.

  27. Ærchie sounds like a great name for a month! And I agree about lip-syncing. Not about dogs or libraries, though.

    btw – there may be a chronological error (or perhaps an anachronism) in the section about the Palace of Ice.

    • You’re right – I hadn’t noticed that Archie. I checked the link back to wikipedia and they are the dates mentioned. Weird huh?

  28. That guy’s a dead ringer for Jonathan Winters, which would explain a great deal.

  29. It’s a dog with dreadlocks!

  30. I’m enjoying the vaguely Russo themed posts with tattoo bonuses. Old Turkmenbashi was a fan of his horses too, and of all the central Asians the Turkmens have some of the best hats- not unlike those dogs really.

  31. I like to think he banned facial hair so that hipsters wouldn’t grow those ironic beards and mustaches.

  32. What a wierdo, i can say that in safety here in england. lol

  33. I thought I had a pretty strong stomach, but the dead head bread makes me queasy.

    How could he force people to mourn after he was dead? I would think everyone would go, “Okay, now. Back to normalcy.” I hope I can still nag my children after I’m dead. I want to know his secret.

  34. And this politician is different how?

  35. Has the situation in the country improved after this barbarians passing? I hope so.

  36. I was with him till he banned beards… thats just going to god damn far.

  37. He banished dogs? I can’t wait to tell Teva and Isabel.

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