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Saparmurad Niyazov

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January 3, 1997 | RICHARD BOUDREAUX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"I am not against the president or his government, but . . ." Thus began a critique that, in the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan, is liable to get the speaker in serious trouble. "We have an authoritarian regime," continued Marat Durdiyev, a prominent educator, historian and member of Turkmenistan's Academy of Sciences, over tea this fall in his cramped living room in the capital, Ashgabat. "Only one person does all the thinking."
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WORLD
March 21, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Turkmenistan's autocratic leader told his nation's youth to read his book three times a day in order to go to heaven, Turkmen television reported. President Saparmurad A. Niyazov said at a concert to celebrate a national spring holiday that young people should read the Ruhnama, a book that dispenses moral and spiritual guidelines for the country's citizens. "A person that reads Ruhnama becomes smart ... and after it, he will go straight to heaven," Niyazov said.
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WORLD
March 21, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Turkmenistan's autocratic leader told his nation's youth to read his book three times a day in order to go to heaven, Turkmen television reported. President Saparmurad A. Niyazov said at a concert to celebrate a national spring holiday that young people should read the Ruhnama, a book that dispenses moral and spiritual guidelines for the country's citizens. "A person that reads Ruhnama becomes smart ... and after it, he will go straight to heaven," Niyazov said.
NEWS
January 3, 1997 | RICHARD BOUDREAUX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"I am not against the president or his government, but . . ." Thus began a critique that, in the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan, is liable to get the speaker in serious trouble. "We have an authoritarian regime," continued Marat Durdiyev, a prominent educator, historian and member of Turkmenistan's Academy of Sciences, over tea this fall in his cramped living room in the capital, Ashgabat. "Only one person does all the thinking."
NEWS
October 2, 1991 | MARK FINEMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A line of brides, grooms, teen-agers and tourists formed in the downtown park called Lenin's Garden to wait for Viktor, the official state photographer who works at the base of the main Lenin statue here in the capital of Turkmenistan, the most remote southern outpost of the crumbling Soviet empire. "Mostly, they all want their pictures taken with Lenin," Viktor explained. "Here, you see, everybody still respects Lenin. Well, almost everybody, I guess."
NEWS
June 15, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
President Saparmurad A. Niyazov has ordered that any foreigner wishing to marry a citizen of Turkmenistan will have to pay $50,000 to the government. The money is to serve as a "guarantee" for any children of the marriage should the parents get divorced, according to the orders.
WORLD
May 31, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
CENTRAL ASIA Pakistani, Afghan and Turkmen leaders agreed to resuscitate a long-standing dream of a $2-billion pipeline from gas fields in Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan's Arabian Sea coast. The leaders said the end of decades of fighting in Afghanistan meant that conditions were right. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf signed the agreement with Afghan interim Prime Minister Hamid Karzai and Turkmen President Saparmurad A. Niyazov.
WORLD
February 14, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Turkmenistan's acting president overwhelmingly won an election pitting him against five other members of the country's only legal political party, the head of the central elections commission said. Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov won 89.23% of Sunday's vote, commission director Murad Karyyev said. It was the first time Turkmenistan held a presidential election with more than one candidate. Berdimukhamedov became interim president after the Dec. 21 death of Saparmurad A.
WORLD
August 19, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Turkmenistan President Saparmurad A. Niyazov has approved a contract with a French company to build a $22-million ice palace in his desert nation, official newspapers said. Construction is expected to be completed by February 2006. "Let's build a palace made of ice so that our children can ice skate," Niyazov said in July. Summer temperatures reach 122 degrees in the Central Asian nation.
WORLD
September 13, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Turkmen President Saparmurad A. Niyazov has released the second volume of his book, "Ruhnama," or "Book of the Soul." The book was launched at a parliamentary ceremony attended by government officials and foreign diplomats. In the first volume, published in 2001, Niyazov gave his interpretation of Turkmenistan's history. Schoolchildren are obliged to study Ruhnama every day and adults must read it and work on their spiritual and cultural development every Saturday.
NEWS
October 2, 1991 | MARK FINEMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A line of brides, grooms, teen-agers and tourists formed in the downtown park called Lenin's Garden to wait for Viktor, the official state photographer who works at the base of the main Lenin statue here in the capital of Turkmenistan, the most remote southern outpost of the crumbling Soviet empire. "Mostly, they all want their pictures taken with Lenin," Viktor explained. "Here, you see, everybody still respects Lenin. Well, almost everybody, I guess."
WORLD
August 9, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
Turkmenistan's legislators confirmed President Saparmurad A. Niyazov's decision to rename the months of the year in honor of national heroes and symbols, including himself and his mother, according to media reports. Niyazov, known as Turkmenbashi, or "leader of all Turkmen," also was confirmed in office for life, the reports said. January becomes Turkmenbashi. April will be named after Niyazov's late mother, Gurbansoltan, who was declared a national heroine by the parliament in July.
WORLD
November 26, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
Gunmen opened fire on a motorcade thought to be carrying Turkmen President Saparmurad A. Niyazov, but he said he already was at work and only learned of the attack later. Niyazov said political opponents -- four former government ministers -- organized the 7 a.m. attack in the capital, Ashgabat. In a televised speech, he said the gunmen were detained. The four ex-ministers face criminal charges and are wanted by police but have been hiding abroad, Niyazov said.
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