Saturday, November 13, 2010

Aşgabat, Turkmenistan

It's amazing how many nice and kind people ive met in the past few years since i got seriously involved into this postcard exchange stuff and since Ive opened this postcard blog....I dont know if id ever be able to thank them all appropriately enough!

This time the big thank you goes to Alvin, who came across this blog and kindly enough offered me to send me several cards he had from Turkmenistan...and you know me, modesty at those times doesnt seem to exist in my dictionary and I cant say, no thanks...but say, YES PLEASE THANK YOU!!!! And eventually an envelope arrived with not one but FIVE Turkmenistan postcards!! Ahhhhhhhhhh

Alvin says that it was really hard to get cards in Turkmenistan due to lack of tourism...well, Im not surprised honestly...cards and people exchanging cards from Turkmenistan, have always been a real rarity...

This card here show the Mosque of spirituality of Saparmurat Turkmenbashi the Great, in Turkmenistan's capital, Aşgabat. (you read that as Ashgabat)

If im not mistaken, and I might be, this should refer to Turkmenistan's former President, Niyazov....and when I read a few words about him, I must say I was rather surprised...I didnt really expect to come across something which would sort of remind me of North Korea's regime...I extracted a number of examples, which I dont know if I should call bizarre or what....but they certainly can leave one speechless, wondering, what the hell?!!.....

- he was known for renaming renaming the days of the week and of the months to Turkmen heroes, poets, historical events, his family members, and himself, and recoining the Turkmen word for bread by the name of his mother.

- all hospitals outside Aşgabat were ordered shut, with the reasoning that the sick should come to the capital for treatment.

- 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.

- Dog and cat ownership in the capital is restricted to one animal by a law restricting the keeping of herds of animals in Ashgabat

- Niyazov requested that a palace of ice be built near the capital, though Turkmenistan is a desert country with a hot and arid environment. The palace was never built.

- In February 2004 he decreed that men should 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


Yeah, Im having a number of question marks banging against my head....for the end, here is one BBC video about the above mentioned Ruhnama....




Thank you again Alvin. Apart from getting such a rare country, I also got to learn some totally new things.
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