This good site devoted to Ruhnama, our spiritual guide for new age. See how good you do in quiz here. Some questions need much pondering, for instance: if a horse which can gallop when it is fat can also gallop when it is thin, it is a good horse, true or false? And can ants united can defeat a tiger or a lion? Hmmm, tough questions. I would be stroking my beard now had I not shaved it off like Turkmenbashi tell me to.
YOU CAN'T SAY FAIRER THAN THAT...
BBC News Wednesday September 3, 2003
Several Russian newspapers focus on a new ministry in Turkmenistan, comparing it to the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's novel 1984.What is this George Orwell? Only one book you need read - Ruhnama!
Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov recently announced that the Ministry of Justice would become the Ministry of Fairness and take on "extra rights and obligations" to maintain law and order.
"It is not known whether Nyyazow has read Orwell but the Ministry of Fairness is certainly very like a structure described in detail by the English writer," writes Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
A view echoed in Moskovskiy Komsomolets. "George Orwell can hardly have suspected that the country of the all-seeing Big Brother he invented which, in his story, was somewhere in Central Europe, is actually in the heart of the Orient - it is Turkmenistan."
THIS IS A NEUTRAL COUNTRY FOR NEUTRAL PEOPLE
From a Radio Free Europe report on Flag Day, February 19
To be sure, Turkmenistan has undergone many changes since gaining independence in 1991. The capital Ashgabat has new buildings and a scattering of largely empty five-star hotels. It also has the Arch of Neutrality -- commemorating the United Nations decision in 1995 to grant the country neutral status -- complete with a revolving golden statue of Niyazov that perpetually faces the sun.
And it has the artificial lake touted by the president. The project, being built in desert lands at an estimated cost of $6.5 billion, does not actually mean more water for Turkmenistan. It just means the same amount of water, in a different place.
It is unclear how such achievements have affected the lives of ordinary Turkmen citizens, who continue to struggle on an average monthly wage of less than $20.
Today's Flag Day celebrations -- which also mark Turkmenbashi's 64th birthday -- showed a public living in harmony with their leader. A children's chorus sang Niyazov's praises in Turkmen and English, and a magnificent chestnut stallion was presented to the president.
POGOPHOBIA- IT'S THE LAW
Young Turkmen Face Beard Ban BBC News Wednesday, 25 February, 2004
BBC News Wednesday, 25 February, 2004
Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Niyazov has passed a decree forbidding young men in the country to wear long hair or beards.
The president said the Education Ministry should be in charge of checking people's hair as the issue was most pressing among the young.
Mr Niyazov's rule in the central Asian state has always been authoritarian.
But his latest decree takes to a new level the degree of state intervention in people's private lives.
President Niyazov appeared on television saying that men can no longer grow their hair and that beards are not allowed, at least among the young.
He gave no reason - but that is not unusual in Turkmenistan.
In this part of the world, rulings on hair are generally connected to Islam in some way, but it seems likely that Mr Niyazov's decree is more broadly directed against individualism of any kind.
The goatee beard is currently in vogue in the capital, Ashgabat, and these will probably be the first to be shaved off.
Mr Niyazov's laws are becoming more and more personal.
It is forbidden now to listen to car radios or to smoke in the street; opera and ballet performances have been banned on the grounds that they are unnecessary.
The rules invite comparison between Turkmenistan and Albania in the 1970s under Enver Hoxha, who also made great lists of things illegal, including beards.
President Niyazov has moreover just brought in a ruling that public places and government ministries should have video monitors for, he said, the protection of the people.
Turkmenistan is ever more cut off from the outside world, and there are few checks and balances against Mr Niyazov's style of government.
On Sunday he is to fire 15,000 nurses and other health workers and replace them with army conscripts.
ONE GIANT STEP FOR TURKMENKIND
Inspired by the giant strides he sees his country as making, a shoemaker in Turkmenistan has created a huge shoe in honour of the country's president, Saparmurat Niyazov.
Erkin Nepesow, from Turkmenabat in the east of the country, used his garden to show off his creation to Turkmen television.
"I made this giant shoe because I was inspired by the enthusiasm of the Ruhnama, our independence and neutrality," Mr Nepesow said proudly.
The Ruhnama, launched by President Niyazov in 2001, is a semi-philosophical code aimed at promoting a spirit of national consciousness among Turkmens.
Mr Niyazov, who likes to be known as Turkmenbashi or leader of all Turkmens, is used to this sort of praise. In power since 1985, he has fashioned a considerable cult of personality around himself.
The shoe's dimensions are impressive - 6.2 metres long, 1.65 metres wide and 1.76 metres high, with laces nearly 10 metres in length. It took about 30 metres of leather to produce the shoe which weighs 250 kilograms.
Mr Nepesow, a master cobbler, worked intensively for 50 days on the project with the help of two assistants.
"By making this shoe we wanted to show the great and successful steps that our independent country has made," he said. "There are no limits to our gratitude to our leader for unlimited opportunities for young people."
"The giant shoe is a unique symbol of the great steps that Turkmenistan is taking in its Golden Age".
But it is not just the president's attention he wants to attract with his latest venture. Mr Nepesow hopes this will be a record breaking achievement to secure him an entry in the Guinness book of records.
Only then, he says, will he make the other shoe to complete the pair.
PROOF TURKMENISTAN IS NO BANANA REPUBLIC
Turkmen leader inspires devotion to melon
Turkmenistan has devoted a day of festivities to celebrate the country's muskmelon, a close relative of the watermelon.Ha! That showed Kyrgyzia and their pathetic plans for Holy Cantaloupe Day. Presidents of other countries merely dream, the Turkmenbashi makes dream become reality.
The holiday was inspired by President Saparmurat Niyazov, who prefers to be known as Turkmenbashi, or leader of the Turkmens.
"Do celebrate Muskmelon Day well, as a real holiday. Make sure that all associations and enterprises take part in it," the Turkmen television showed the leader telling state officials.
The television report on Monday about the holiday waxed lyrical over the fruit.
"This godsend has a glorious history that goes back centuries," it said, adding that its advantages were the product of Turkmenistan's "blazing sun, mild weather, productive land and tasty water, as well as peasants' kindness".
The fruit, which the report said was praised as a "miracle" in the middle ages, has been honoured with a national holiday since 1994.
"Since we became independent, our great leader, who has a great love of his nation and country, has brought the name of the tasty melons to the level of a national holiday," the TV said.
The day's celebrations featured a large display of the fruit in all its varieties, as well as a series of dance and music events, in the country's capital, Ashgabat.
Summing up the festivities, Turkmen TV said: "It made the love towards one's dear homeland, the great leader and kind nation grow even stronger."
COUNTRY I HAVE VISITED
create your own visited country map
or write about it on the open travel guide
As the Ruhnama says, travel narrows the mind.
Foreign disinformation from infidel blasphemer Wojiech Jagielski (Gazeta Wyborcza):
Turkmenbashi for Prophet
Turkmen youth are demanding that their lifelong president Saparmurad "Turkmenbashi" Niyazov be declared a prophet. And they have set a date - February 19 - which in desolate Turkmenistan is celebrated as the Day of the Holy Standard. The day is also their leader's birthday.
Speaking on behalf of Machtumkul - the Organization of Youth, the heir to the defunct Komsomol (the youth training wing of the communist party)- Jennetgul Pir Mohammedova has published an article in "Neutral Turkmenistan", the only legal newspaper in the country. In it she demonstrates that Niyazov, who was already calling himself Turkmenbashi - the Ruler of All the Turkmens- when he was a communist satrap, deserves to be recognized as a new prophet. "We ought to do this as a mark of respect for the great things he has done for the country, his far-sighted national policy and his incalculable role in educating its youth", wrote Jennetgul Pir Mohammedova.
The New Koran
Niyazov may be declared a prophet by the People's Council, an empty mutation of the parliament and the council of tribal elders which he summons when necessary. In 1999, it was this People's Council which declared the former communist secretary general Niyazov lifelong ruler. In the past year it has also declared him lifelong chairman.
Since then the Turkmenbashi has fallen into incurable megalomania and Turkmenistan has been reborn as a satrapy in which all possible human and civil rights are crushed. A satrapy all the more terrifying in that it is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world (the Turkmenbashi will not issue entry visas to foreigners and he tries to keep his subjects from leaving the country) and lying as it does on the margins, is no of interest and no threat to anybody.
Revelling in his omnipotence and absurdity, the Turkmenbashi has written- or rather has ordered his courtiers to write- a book "Ruhnama - the Book of the Soul", which he wants to become the Turkmen Bible, Koran and Torah. The mufti appointed by the Turkmenbashi as the spiritual leader of Turkmen Muslims, has compared the "Ruhnama" with the holy book of Islam in his sermons. Reading the "Ruhnama" has essentially become the one subject taught in Turkmen schools and even universities. But the Turkmenbashi, donning his prophet's robes, has decided to change the world - or at least that part of the world available to him- and has written two more works: "May the Turkmens be Blessed" and "Five Centuries of Turkmen Spirituality". The Turkmenbashi's thoughts and dazzling achievements contained in them have become known as Bashism, the official state ideology of Turkmenistan.
Thus speaketh the Turkmenbashi
He has almost casually changed the names of the days, the months and the seasons and has even set the passing of time in order. He declared that a young man is one who is over 25 but has not yet celebrated his 37th birthday. He has forbidden the use of the terms "old" and "old age". In accordance with the Turkmenbashi's wish the period between 61 and 73 is known as the prophetic age, and over 73 the inspired age. So the Turkmenbashi who will turn 64 on February 19 has recently entered the prophetic age.
January in Turkmenistan is no longer January but the month of Turkmenbashi and April is the month of Gurban Sultan in honour of the Turkmenbashi's mother who died in 1948 along with two of her brothers in a terrible earthquake which rocked Ashghabad. The Turkmenashi's father, Ata Murad, had already died in the Second World War (2003 was named the Year of Gurban Sultan in Turkmenistan and the Organization of Youth is demanding that 2004 be dedicated to the Turkmenbashi's father). The eight-year old Saparmurad was left all alone in the world and was raised in an orphanage. The name of Gurban Sultan has also been given to a women's organisation, a school and a women's hospital in Ashgabat. Everything else in this desolate country - towns, villages, squares, streets, schools and universities - bears the name of the Turkmenbashi.
That the title of Ruler of all the Turkmens and lifelong president might not be enough for the Turkmenbashi was hinted by the news bulletins of court television and the headlines in "Neutral Turkmenistan", which, reporting how the leader had spent the following days, called him not the Great Turkmenbashi but the Eternally Great Turkmenbashi. The People's Council has decreed that "any citizen who questions the rightness of the Turkmenbashi's policies will be declared a parasite and punished". Near the presidential palace work has begun on building a mint which will strike new coins and print banknotes with the Turkmenbashi's image. Until now the Turkmenbashi has been shown with dove-grey hair, but in the meantime he has dyed it raven-black as if to emphasize that he does not age in spite of the passing of time. The reason for issuing the new banknotes was also the fact the old ones show the signature of the former head of the central bank, Khudayberdy Orazov who fled the country and has become one of the Turkmenbashi's enemies abroad.
The first communist
February 19 promises to be fascinating. Saparmurad Niyazov, alias the Turkmenbashi may be the first communist to be declared a prophet and the Turkmens will be a chosen people (unfortunately chosen not by the Almighty but by their self-styled president - as Turkmens sarcastically remark). As far as the Turkmenbashi goes this is assuredly not the end - for years his subjects have been begging the Nobel Peace Prize on his behalf. It is not known how accredited foreign diplomats in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, will react. Last year, revolted by his tyranny, they refused to take part in the military parade organized to celebrate Holy Standard Day in front of the chief presidential palace.