Friday, May 06, 2005

Talking Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan has slipped under the radar as a horrid, tyrannic place under the iron first of resident nutter Saparmurat Niyazov. Here's a first hand account in life in the former Soviet state, sent by a well travelled friend of mine:

Turkmenistan was a lot of fun, they have a massive personality cult but nobody seems to take the Turkmenbashi seriously, however I didn't hear any direct criticism. A Guide I had at one time made a few jokes about the ways they control people's movement in the country with all the checkpoints but from what I could gather the people there accept their leader as he is basically the same as in all the other Stans, just a bit more idiosyncratic, they feel that this is the leader they are supposed to have, all the stans have authoritarian dictators who are the same guy who led them in the USSR period so this seems reasonable enough. Anyway I would describe it as 50% Russia and 50% DPRK, well worth a trip if you are ever in that area!


Check out the haircut!
Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Niyazov

3 comments:

FXH said...

Ari - I see you are semi famous now - getting a spray over at Landeryou's regurgitator. Not sure if congratulations or commiserations are in order.

FXH said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Love to know where he gets his hair done!