Talk:Saparmurat Niyazov

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Leader or Father?[edit]

Leader of all Turkmens? Perhaps 'Father' is a better translation?

I have changed this, especially because he was consciously imitating "Ataturk", meaning "father of the Turks".--Pharos 23:31, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It does mean "Head" or "Leader". "Bash" definitely means "Head" in Turkic languages.--Amir E. Aharoni 13:16, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
I would favor "Head of the Turkmen" since this works both literally and figuratively. Interlingua talk email 00:14, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Again, I changed "Leader of all Ethnic Turkmens" to "Leader of Turkmens". There is nothing in Türkmenbaşy that means "all" or "ethnic", and these words should not be used as a translation of the title. They may certainly be used to explain the title, but not to translate. As I pointed out above, I really favor "Head of the Turkmen" since this is both a literal translation of the Turkmen and because "head" in English, as in Turkmen, also means "leader". Thus, with one, simple translation we convey the letter and the spirit of the original term. Interlingua talk email 14:36, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Name of predecessor[edit]

On the main page it stands Gapusov, but when we follow the link the name is Gapurov. What is correct, and what is this cotton-scandal? Thank you. --Esalen 10:07, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Corrected. His predecessor's name was Muhammetnazar Gapurow. Švitrigaila 23:39, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Separated at birth?[edit]

He bears a striking resemblance to Wayne Newton. CranialNerves 09:08, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Good call! I noticed that too. Well, he was raised in an orphanage, so anything is possible.

Family fixation[edit]

Removed statement that being raised in an orphanage could explain his fixation with family. Then again may be not. If someone has a reference to a biographer who mentions this, we can put it back with the reference. Otherwise, it really is just speculation that doesn't belong in the article. Roadrunner 04:54, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Niyazov Picture[edit]

There is a problem with Niyazov Picture in this article. It seems to be dislpaying a city instead of a portrait.

Aah, that's because Turkmenbashi is the port city on the Caspian Sea which he named after himself.--Stercus.caput 20:41, 14 October 2006 (UTC)


So is Niyazov a Sunni Muslim like most of the country?

It's only a speculation, but most probably he's an atheist, like most Communist leaders in the USSR and he only uses Islam to show that he "restores" the true identity of the Turkmen people, in the same time pocketing the same people's taxes.--Amir E. Aharoni 13:16, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes he is a Sunni Muslim like other Turkmens in Turkmenistan. To claim that he is atheist is nonsense. Read the book Ruhnama what he thinks about religion.

Mother Niyazov?[edit]

There are so many reference to things named after his mother and family, what are their names? --Kvasir 16:27, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Mother's name is Gurbansoltan. [1] Mike H (Talking is hot) 04:36, August 25, 2005 (UTC)
That source says March is the month named after her, but almost all other sources say April, so I won't change it in the article. Mike H (Talking is hot) 04:38, August 25, 2005 (UTC)


The article originally said “He was raised in a Soviet orphanage.” Cyberodin changed it to “He was raised in a family of his unkle.” The official Turkmenistan Embassy website states that “He was raised first in an orphanage and later in the home of his distant relatives.” [2] Assuming the Turkmenistan Embassy knows what they are talking about, I am going with them. --Kralizec! 11:51, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

The Turkmenistan embassy doesn't know what they are talking about. They are rather like the Ministry of Truth in Orwell's 1984. Anything that is written by official Turkmen sources is to be considered disinformation and propaganda until carefully checked.--Amir E. Aharoni 12:27, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
Anything that is not written unoficially is much more disinformation than official one.
so... many... negatives... I can't decipher that :P --Huffers 02:12, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

According to old Turkmen, and some Russian/Turkmen, his mother was still alive and no one knows when she really died. His 'distant relatives' would have included his mother. I was told by this small group that many older Turkmen insist that his mother was a prostitute and that his current accepted history was a Soviet product as well as some of his own design. --Sky007000 08:35, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Banned recorded music[edit]

I heard he banned music and car radios in his country, that sounds too stupid to be true, no one is that dumb.

AFAIK, he banned lipsynching with recorded music at live shows, which is actually a rather sensible thing to do, compared to most of the other things he had done. In most parts of the former Soviet Union (including Russia) almost all pop singers don't actually sing at their live shows and only lipsynch, which, of course, is a ripoff, so preventing that is not so bad. And banning car radios is unfortunately not too stupid - i heard that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan had done something like that.--Amir E. Aharoni 12:27, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Of course it is too stupid to claim that in Turkmenistan recorded music is banned. The ban is only for lipsynching.

Man, this guy cracks me up. They don't make this kind of cuckoo megalomaniacs any more.

  • snicker* Now, a ban on lipsynching I could support. Britney Spears must die. 04:03, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Items removed pending verification[edit]

The following was added to the article on 7 September 2005:

In September 2005, Niyazov also ordered that a large zoo should be built in the Karakum Desert, and Turkmenistan should import several species of penguins for the purpose.

Having searched the CNN and BBC News sites (among others), I cannot find any mention of this or anything even remotely similar to it. Pending independent verification of this claim, I am temporarily removing it from the article. --Kralizec! 15:27, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

Here ya Go. Now that he's dead, Reuters is reporting all the weird stuff he did. A CNN article citing this. I make no claim of veracity. 16:00, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Contested on 6 February, 2006:

"restricting the people to owning just one cat or dog"
"banning public smoking in 1997 when Niyazov quit smoking after major heart surgery"


"banning public smoking in 1997"

ballet and opera: "unnecessary" or "Not a part of Turkmen culture"?

"In August 2005, banning recorded music on television, in public places, and at weddings in order to protect "true culture, including the musical and singing traditions of the Turkmen people""

Also, did the medical personnel-versus-army conscripts decree take place in 2003 ("decrees") or 2004 ("foreign relations")?

Dysmorodrepanis 14:29, 6 February 2006 (UTC)


So, did he ban smoking, or chewing, or all forms of tobacco, or what? This page used to claim as much, but now it says smoking, and Smoking ban says it's smoking. Anyone know? Thanx 21:50, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

  • In former Soviet Republics they aren’t chewing tobacco, so this ban is only for smoking… Dreambringer 07:32, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

In Turkmenistan smoking is banned in public places. This ban occures in many European countries also.

Kim Il-Sung[edit]

Why revert? Their personality cult is really quite similar. While they were/are still alive they had their own statues erected all overthe place and their books turned into holy scripture. It's hard to think of any other similar personality in modern history, even Stalin didn't go so far (disclaimer: i grew up in Moscow).--Amir E. Aharoni 07:08, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Kim Il-sung was not particularly eccentric on a personal level, especially compared with someone like Enver Hoxha, whose personality cult I would say is much more like Niyazov's than Kim's. —Seselwa 07:46, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Good point. Put Kim reference back in, but referring to personality cult instead of eccentricity. Dysmorodrepanis 14:43, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I'd really prefer that it be attributed. Although Niyazov has expended a lot of effort to make his name and image ubiquitous, I've seen no reports that this effort has taken root among the people. No Turkmen mass games, parades, or state welcomes to compare with what happens in North Korea. Gazpacho 10:16, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, even Kim Il Sung did not gone so far with his cult of personality. Niyazov's cult of personality is unique for modern history. Also it looks very grotesque, especially with his Ruhnama and the Neutrality Arch —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:41, 17 August 2009 (UTC)


He first wanted to take the title "Atatürk" but Turkish ministery of foreign affairs told him that is impossible, so later on he adopted "Türkmenbaşı".

"Türkmen" means Turkmen as you may guess, and "baş" means "head" in Turkish (In all Turkic languages). So "Head of the Turkmens" is the true meaning.

There was a report that Niyazov also called himself 'Turkmenbashi the Great', which proves that he was a lunatic like Idi Amin and Robert Mugabe. - ( 20:19, 21 December 2006 (UTC))

Vandalism stating that his spouse was Al Gore reverted. Rmpfu89 01:31, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

He did not wanted to take name Turkmenbasi or Ataturk. The Turkmenbasi first called when he visited Turkmens in UAE.

According to his obituary, the Mejlis issued a proclaimation on October 1, 1993 giving Niyazov the title of Turkmenbaşı. This was done according to the wishes of the people.[3]. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 21:17, 22 December 2006 (UTC)


It is slander. It is just a slander against Turkmenbasi. Turkmens know who they are. They are the Russian puppets.

And what you just posted is slander against the Russians. What exactly is the difference? --Agamemnon2 09:22, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Diffrence is that I am a Turkmenistan citizen and I know who is who more than a BBC or a CNN zombie.
Now that is slander against me. Have a nice day. --Agamemnon2 16:05, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Dear anonymous Turkmenistan citizen - thanks for your contributions to Wikipedia. It would be nice if you would open an account on Wikipedia, so we would know you better.
I agree with you about the harem. That would be too weird even for an unusual guy like Turkmenbashi. The cited source is a Russian "news" source which is not very credible. I wouldn't compare it to BBC though - it's more like "The Sun".
However i restored other parts that you deleted. First, it is a fact that Turkmenbashi is criticized by many who say that he is a dictator. Whether he really is a dictator or not is a different matter. I also restored the part about only two recognized religions, but i added a "citation needed" mark.--Amir E. Aharoni 11:04, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Credible citizen or credible source? I am not sure about the credibility of the guy who deleted harem. However, the people who reported about this fact were former members of the government (at least, according to the news source). It was also reported that Niyazov brought young girls to the cabinet meeting and that he praised smoking pot because it improves "man's strength". I suggest we do more research especially that it would make a perfect sense for Niazov to keep a harem, given his love for antient traditions. --EncephalonSeven 12:31, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
The source is not credible. Come on, Compromat is a site full of wild rumors, which no-one can prove. It's less credible than Moskovski Komsomolets.
But i agree to the version you wrote - it is a fact that there were reports about the harem...--Amir E. Aharoni 15:01, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
An ex-pat Russian friend read the Compromat article for me and said it is filled with pretty unbelievable stuff. He likened Compromat's journalistic integrity to a supermarket tabloid that claims Jessica Simpson is pregnant with an alien lovechild. As wild and unproven claims (and accusations) generally are not included in wikipedia articles, I feel the harem section should be pulled pending independent confirmation from a (reputable) news source. Given the "too crazy to be fiction" nature of some of Mr. Niyazov's actions, we have to work extra hard to keep this article up to factual standards. --Kralizec! | talk 16:23, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Exactly my point. Unfortunately i'm not a true expert myself - i was born in Soviet Union, but never even visited Turkmenistan. At best, i can guess which news sources are more credible - Gundogar seems OK, but clearly biased against the Bashist regime, so it should be taken carefully too...--Amir E. Aharoni 20:57, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I've run a quick search, and this information appears on many sites. Compromat usually copies the articles from many sources, and they have a bias for compromising materials. I will try to check the other sources... --EncephalonSeven 21:28, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
He hates polygamous relations.
Publications about harem (all in Russian):
Again, logically, since his ministers had 4-5 wives, he must have had more. This makes perfect sense. --EncephalonSeven 21:40, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Request for audio pronunciation[edit]

Please. Thanks.

Lotsofissues 16:51, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Citing Sources...[edit]

This article has a list of things Saparmurat Niyazov has allegedly done, but most of them have no link next to them which would lead us to where the person who wrote them down got the information. I think this article could benefit from more links. I also am adding BBC News to the list of links, if someone would want to take the time to look at that site's profile on Turkmenistan, it has articles to the side that have info that could be incorparated into the Wiki post.

Similarly, the "Misc." section includes points that can just as well be incorporated into the prose, or put in the list of decrees. At least, each item in the "Misc." section needs a citation. -Fsotrain09 18:13, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Why not the original spell?[edit]

Hi, why don't you use the correct spell of the name "Saparmyrat Nyýazow" like most Wikipedias in other languages (Spanish, French or German for example)? "Niyazov" is not correct and "Saparmurat" isn't too. Best regards, Juhan, German Wikipedia

Because it is English-language wikipedia. See also —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikkalai (talkcontribs)
Also, it the English is spelled exactly the way I hear it from Russian/Turkmen citizens and on Russian Television. So I wouldn't change it. Sky007000 08:37 21 December 2006

Why are the Turkmen people putting up with this nonsense ?[edit]

This man is a serious lunatic ... Turkmen people, you deserve a better future ... rise up !

--The poor Turkmens put up with it because they are terrified. Any would-be revolutionaries would have their lives and the lives of everyone they care about destroyed if the revolution were to fail. Of course, the blasted West only cares about getting all their nice natural gas (or pissing off Russia) so they cozy up to that {expletive} Niyazov and ignore his crimes against humanity. Merciful God, Allah, Whoever......please take care of your dear Turkmen children and don't let this situation get any worse. Hold on, Turkmenistan, hold on for dear life!! 04:02, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

The Almighty, blessed his name be, has listened to the mounting complaints of turkmen people. It shall come as a stark warning to all ditators and mad politicians of the world, east and west that they are to pass away without dignitiy and their huge statues will be demolished. 08:40, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Anyone who would name bread after thier mother and build and ice palace is fine by me.--Crestville 13:39, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Are you by any chance US-American? Turkmenbashy 20:16, 21 December 2006 (UTC)


IPs and my brethren newbies keep adding things like Category:Dictators and List of dictators on this page. Is Wikipedia in any position to label a living person a dictator? - (), 02:39, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, he's a president for life, rules without consent of the governed, quashes all opposition, etc. Twinxor t 19:02, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Removed decrees[edit]

These removed as unreferenced.

  • banning lip syncing when performing songs
  • In December, 1999, that every school pupil, student, soldier and military officer in Turkmenistan is to be presented on New Year's Eve with a watch bearing the picture of President Saparmurat Niyazov
  • In June 2001, requiring foreigners wishing to marry a Turkmen national to pay a US$50,000 fee.
  • In 2002, renaming bread from chorek, the traditional Turkmen word, to Gurbansoltan edzhe after his mother
`'mikka (t) 03:07, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
OK, as for requiring foreigners wishing to marry a Turkmen woman, that's quite true...I could only marry mine in Russia. Sky007000 08:54, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Next, I notice that it is not stated that all Turkmen students in schools are to read his book and taught that the Turkmen people were the first humans on the planet. We might think about adding that somewhere. Sky007000 08:58, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I removed some as I sourced them. Rmhermen 15:21, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
References for the ban on lip synching are plentiful. For example, the UK newspapers The Times on the 25/08/2005 [4] and similarly the NY Times (Google for it). The origin of these reports is probably from AP. The Taipei Times referred to the ban in May in their article "Globe Trotting --- Turkmenistan" [5] Kommodorekerz 20:24, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Vile Slander![edit]

The people of Beyik Türkmenbaşy strongly reject this vile slander slung against Beyik Türkmenbaşy.

Halk, Watan, Beyik Türkmenbaşy! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:42, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm Italian, and I'm not related to Turkmens in any way. Nevertheless, I'm disgusted by the mean partiality of this article, which doesn't absolutely deserve to be deemed enciclopedically worth. It's a preposterous pamphlet against a widely loved by his people man, whose fault consisted only in not selling his country to Americans and Englishmen. After such an "article", I'm just compelled to highly doubt about Wikipedia's impartiality. Klava76

You seem to assume that the rest of us care. We don't. KazakhPol 00:13, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd care mildly, for a minute, if
a) this anonymous user ever once did a decent edit on this article, or had the guts to register, or for that matter to learn idiomatic English before posting on the English-language Wikipedia, or
b) the anonymous user was an actual Turkmen, instead of claiming to speak for them. I've never once met a single Turkmen who didn't think old 'Bashy was a sick joke or a plague or curse on their otherwise rich, beautiful and historic nation. None who "loved" him. His fault lay in being a sick nutbucket who let the promise of the post-Soviet era die so that his is one of the most backward, repressed states on the planet.
As it stands, the article is at least well-documented from multiple sources, and paints as reliable a picture as we can get at the moment. Chris 03:07, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Most of the articles I have seen painted Niyazov in a bad light, but from what my Russian friends told me, it is true. One said that it was "good riddence" that Niyazov is out of the political picture for Turkmenistan. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 04:02, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
There are few who did not rejoice at his death. Historians will not treat him lightly, if they mention him at all. KazakhPol 04:15, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree with that; people filed by his coffin left and right for 3 hours before the burial ceremony took place. I saw many wear the Turkmen and Soviet funeral amrbands and state television was showing the funeral. People still worn the armbands when the Congress took place today. Niyazov's photo still has the black band on it. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 05:01, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I repeat: this "article" is just a mean pamphlet, which has no enciclopedical worth. Even for such men as Hitler the enciclopedists are obliged to register only facts. All the more for such men as Niyazov: daring to add personal critic is not fair from the point of view of enciclopedic worth. The russian article is a good example of how you can exactly and fully grasp the politic meaning of that man without saying at every line that he was a worthless idiot. Klava76

I suspect this anonymous user's posts here are a bad joke and that he be ignored from here on out. Responding seems to have encouraged him. KazakhPol 09:05, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I'll soon fill my own profile, dear KazakhPol. So your mean claims will come to signify just nothing. I'm an honest Italian, who is getting sick and tired by such folk like you, who don't allow Wikipedia to be a respected source of objective data. You have to talk as impartially as possible about the political activity of Mr. Niyazov, but actually you're just slandering a dead man, who can no more defend himself. I repeat, it's not worth from an enciclopedic point of view, let alone from a human point of view. Best regards, Klava76

NYTimes Article[edit]

In a small mention in a [New York Times article] published Dec 16, 2006, Saparmurat Niyazov is listed as "a despot who requires all clocks to bear his likeness and renamed the days of the week after his family" -- is there any independant verification of these claims? 14:37, 18 December 2006 (UTC) (unregistered)

Xpehbam 07:24, 21 December 2006 (UTC) Inaccurate. I lived in Turkmenistan and the clock claim is false. Also, he named the month of April after his mother and January for himself, but none of the days of the week or the other months of the year bear his family's names.


Does Turkmenistan have a presidential line of succession? If so, who will it be? THese questions are assuming that Turkmenistan has more than a paper image of democracy. -Northridge07:42, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I would have assumed it would be one of his sons (as he was supposedly grooming one for succession according to an article I can't find now). My 'mother-in-law', a Turkmen-Russian who moved out of Ashgabat about 2 years ago, just pointed out that Russian news said something about his son being in Moscow and that there will probably be some other fairly powerful (money-wise) figures try to vie for power. "It seems that only time can tell," she said. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sky007000 (talkcontribs) 09:02, 21 December 2006 (UTC).
Succession issue: Our article claims that "according to the Turkmen constitution, Ovezgeldy Atayev, the chairman of the Turkmen parliament would assume the presidency."; however, the BBC says that the succession is uncertain because Niyazov, himself, held the position head of the legislative body, the People's Assembly.[6] Which is it? Rmhermen 14:45, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I believe the current leadership is listed at the Turkmen Gov't website's main page (all black with grey text). From what I saw at the english page "The joint sitting participants decided to appoint the Vice-Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Gurbanguly Myalikguliyevich Berdymuhammedov acting President of Turkmenistan and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the country until the presidential elections." [7]. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 20:23, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
One more addition, according to the page I cited, Atayev is facing prosecution from the GPO of Turkemnistan and is advising government ministers not to appoint Atayev to the Presidency. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 20:24, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Teacher thing[edit]

Does anyone have more info on the teacher thing? Turkmenistan has a population of about 5 million so assuming they have a teacher per capita of 0.2% which doesn't seem that unresonable to me, they would have 10k teachers which again doesn't seem unresonable. How would the 2 national papers cope with 10k letters? Nil Einne 11:32, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

How could an entire nation only have hospitals in the capital city - and those staffed by military conscripts? Letters to the editor are a minor issue. Rmhermen 15:28, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Xpehbam 17:23, 21 December 2006 (UTC)Well, keep in mind that all 5 million Turkmens aren't attending school at once, so a figure of 10,000 is not unreasonable. The letters issue, surprisingly, is true - most teachers asked themselves the same question.

Also, hospitals in major provincial cities are still open. There must have been a translation error at some point. As far as I know the smaller regional (that is, non-city) hospitals were closed though. There is so much information that comes out of Turkmenistan that is extremely inaccurate. There was never a ban on recorded music or gold teeth. And then there's the infamous "ice palace" story that ended up being a skating rink (which translated into Turkmen as an "ice palace"). Then again, Turkmenistan didn't do a good job of clarifying itself.

  • In most of south-eastern former Soviet Republics there are a lot of problems with education system after collapse of USSR, so it seems that no more than 50%(or even less) of youngsters of proper age are attempting schools… I think it could be less than 10k teachers there… As for ban on golden teeth – there are to many reliable sources claiming that to be true… Dreambringer 08:19, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't consider the BBC or the AP to be reliable sources at all, because they don't actually have people on the ground - it seems like they just interpret things that Niyazov says. Also, the quantity of sources doesn't make it reliable, especially since they often cross reference another. For example, foreign media reported that car radios were banned - if they actually went to Ashgabat and stepped 10 feet in either direction out of the airport they could hear 50 cent blaring out of old Ladas. As far as gold teeth are concerned, the president merely stated that he doesn't prefer them, but if you go to Turkmenistan, men and women alike are flashing them with impunity. As far as reporting from Turkmenistan is concerned, the IWPR has historically been much more accurate than traditional sources.Xpehbam 19:23, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
The BBC News regularly fabricates or deliberately misreports events about Central Asia. That outlet thinks it can get away with it because Westerners dont follow Central Asia closely. Cite sources other than the BBC whenever possible. KazakhPol 01:29, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Did the Turkmenbashi[edit]

Dye his hair?-- 15:30, 21 December 2006 (UTC){

Lunatic Policies[edit]

There is section 'Personality Cult'. But would it be better to make a separate section for Niyazov's lunatic policies. I think closing hospitals, libraries, theaters, 9 year secondary education and etc had far reaching consequences for turkmen people.


"Niyazov was orphaned at an early age; his PENIS IS SO SMALL THAT A MIRCOSCOPE WAS NEEDED TO SEE IT!!!! father died fighting against Nazi Germany in World War II."

The guy may have ben a wacko, but this inane statement debases the spirit of wikipedia.

It's on the Wikipedia main page, so any article linked to that page will be hit with a lot of vandalism. I am watching it, along with others, so we can revert quickly. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 19:25, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Personality cult[edit]

Well, they certainly don't make them like that anymore. (Thank God!)

I wonder whether anyone can confirm an anecdote I once heard that S Niyazov once succumbed to a whim to establish new time zones within Turkmenistan, so that the western portion of Turkmenistan was an hour later than the eastern portion. (Note: this is contrary to the normal practice anywhere else in the world and acts to exacerbate the natural difference in sunrise/sunset due to the earth's rotation).

A worthy entry, I think, if it can be confirmed..

--Philopedia 23:53, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Xpehbam 01:49, 22 December 2006 (UTC)Not true at all.

Ice Palace?[edit]

I vaguely remember something mentioned in the Times Magazine about a misconception regarding the 'ice palace'... I believe it was mistranslated and was not actually contructed with ice?

Google will not help me here, so any information would be greatly appreciated. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Zerofri (talkcontribs) 00:08, 22 December 2006 (UTC).

Here you go [8]. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 01:16, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Xpehbam 01:51, 22 December 2006 (UTC)The "Ice Palace" was the name of a skating rink that was built in Ashgabat. It was a mistranslation and another example of misinformation coming out of Turkmenistan. Also, beards and recorded music and car radios were never actually banned. The president must have just said something on a whim but was never made into law.

I also knew of a skating rink being built in the region, but my question is this: was the rink used by the general puopulation or was it used to train Turkmenistan's atheletes for international competitions? User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 01:54, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
The rink is open to the public. I don't think Turkmenistan has a winter athletic program nor the expertise to start one.Xpehbam 15:50, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Alright, thank you very much. May I ask if your from Turkmenistan, Xpehbam? If so, can you tell me how the mood in the country is? Are any of the funeral ceremonies starting (I know the burial is on the 24th according to the government of Turkmenistan, but I am not sure if there is a lying in state taking place). User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 20:20, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

news presenter make-up ban[edit]

Reading the cited source it sounds to me like he is joking about not being able to tell male from female. The mention in the article doesn't even hint that this could be a joke. So it sounds like he might have some kind of mental disorder if he actually can't tell them apart. I think that sentence should read more like "as Niyazov joked that he had difficulty telling male and female readers apart." Anyone know if he was really joking or not? -Diletante 02:15, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

In the article in the Sunday Times Magazine, linked in the section above, it says that Niyazov thought that Turkmen women were beautiful enough that they didn't need to wear make-up. I suppose that he would be able to tell the difference in this case. There's so much confusion coming out of the country it's hard to know what's correct and what's not. The magazine article I mentioned is very interesting though, and I would recommend it for those who want to find out more. --FearedInLasVegas 03:35, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
He was joking. KazakhPol 03:52, 23 December 2006 (UTC)


Western editors who have made it clear this the first time they've heard of Turkmenistan, much less all of Central Asia: Please refrain from adding ridiculous one-sided pov. Thanks, KazakhPol 22:26, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Granted I'm an American who's not been any closer to Türkmenistan than England, but I think some of that is going a little too far. For example, what's with removing the reason he didn't want the lipstick? It's in the quote. Nyttend 04:45, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
He was joking. Theres no reason for that being included. If you wish to criticize him, criticize him for Turkmenization - which is really the genocide of ethnically Uzbek Turkmen. KazakhPol 04:52, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't we mention international reactions regarding his death?[edit]

If any.--Greasysteve13 08:47, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, please do. Try RFE/RL. Search for Turkmenistan. They have documented several reactions. KazakhPol 09:09, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
I remember Turkmen State TV had a picture of Niyazov in a black frame, superimposed on a video of the Turkmen flag flying (limply with a black ribbon at the top). I seen photos of funeral preparations taking place and various photos of Niyazov are decorated with black mourning tape. The Turkmen flag is flying at half-staff. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 01:33, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
If you can find a source for that online, mention that in the article. KazakhPol 01:34, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
for the half staffing and funeral preparations. There are other photos from the AP and Reuters showing the TV references. TV reference. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:17, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Funeral has commenced as now Niyazov is buried in his familiy's tomb. A mixture of Soviet fanfare and Muslim religious rites from what I have gathered. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 20:08, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Politics of Turkmenistan[edit]

Are pundits talking about what this could mean for the situation there on the ground? Will Iran make overtures, will neutrality be exchanged for western or Russian or some other alignment, and so on...? Chris 21:35, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

There is a great article building for this at New great game, and KazakhPol has linked to a splendid op-ed at . Chris 08:00, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Family life[edit]

Russian media inteview Niyazov's wife who has been living in Moscow and have not seen her husband for years. There son is described as a pretty shady oil dealer living abroad. It is also said (Vesti, Vedomosti, etc) that Niyazov's likely successor, Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow, is widely seen as Niyazov's illegitimate son. I suppose some of this should be reflected in the article. I don't think that appropriate citations will be hard to find. --Ghirla -трёп- 09:16, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

I saw a picture of Berdimuhammedov the other day and really, he looks just like Niyazov (so maybe the rumors of his parentage are correct!) I'll look for a reference...K. Lástocska 16:37, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

More Unusual Laws[edit]

He forced his image ti be place on all bottles of wine made in Turkmenistan He forced TV anchors not wear make-up


Once the dust has settled, I would propose a "legacy" section to this article. Chris 03:07, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

That may take a while, whether or not the next Leader accepts Turkmenbashi's legacy. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:27, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Renaming the article[edit]

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was no consensus to move. At the moment, the prevailing idea among editors is that the current transliteration is the best, whether because of ease with keyboard characters, common usage in English, or the transliteration by Turkmenistan's own embassy. Patstuarttalk|edits 00:08, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

It's hard to keep the correct spelling of all those Turkmen names you see in the media since the death of Saparmyrat Nyýazow. All the sources used by journalists are in Russian, so Turkmen names have to be translitterated from the Latin alphabet used by the Turkmen language to the Cyrillic used by Russian, and then retranslitterated into Latin alphabet. You can see the result in the first footnote of the article Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow. Official Turkmen internet sites are themselves written in Russian, and sometimes translated in English, but they are not written in Turkmen, since the Turkmen people has no right to access internet. But I think we succeeded to keep on with the Turkmen spelling. The result can see here, for example: Turkmen presidential election, 2007.

There's still one black hole: Saparmurat Niyazov's article itself. It should be renamed into Saparmyrat Nyýazow at once. There is no reason to keep the English transliteration of the Russian transliteration of his name. I'm already hearing the usual argument I hear really too often on Wikipedia: "The custom is Saparmurat Niyazov. We can't go against the custom." That's a very week argument. Errors can be customs. Once a mispelling is made in one source, every media repeat the error again and again, and one day you discover on Google there are 2290000 articles containing "niyazov", 721000 containing "niazov", 33600 containing "nyazov" and only 20400 containing "nyýazow"!! Well, those 20400 are right, and the other are wrong. We can change the custom if we change the article's name.

Another bad reason to keep the "Niyazov" spelling is that "Nyýazow" is to difficult to spell because of the accent on the Y. This is not true. Every name of foreign origin with accents are spelled with their accent on Wikipedia. See John C. Frémont or Charlotte Brontë for simple examples. Or event Rudolf Slánský to find one with exactly the same letter. And don't tell me it's not English, I know it is not. Foreign names are by nature not English names. And if you write the name with a mispelling, the redirects are here to conduct you without any effort to the correct spelling. There is absolutely no drawback for the reader to rename the article.

That's why I propose to rename the article into Saparmyrat Nyýazow.

Švitrigaila 00:22, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Strongly Oppose, for all those lame tired arguments the poster mentioned above. This is the English language Wikipedia, most common transliteration should be used. If the Turkmen Wikipedia wants to use ASCII characters, they can, for all I care. When one looks up El Greco, one uses that, not Domenikos Theotokopoulos, because we know him by the first name. Chris 00:31, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Plus I just don't like your smug tone about majority opinion, and your unilateral changes without discussion. Chris 00:36, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
The difference is that El Greco was his pseudonym, like Tennessee Williams was the pseudonym of Thomas Lanier Williams. It's not because Thomas Lanier Williams is a foreign name with non English diacritics. And then, speaking about painters, nobody wants to rename the Joan Miró article into El Catalan because of the presence of the non English letter ó. Sorry for the smug tone. I've learnt a new word today. i didn't speak about "majority opinion" but about the majoroty of websites. That's not the same thing. Švitrigaila 00:41, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Turkmen is a language which employs the Latin alphabet, so I see no need *NOT* to use the correct name. Currently, we're using a name transliterated from a Cyrillic rendering which was first converted to Russian from Turkmen; in my opinion, it's obvious that the original Turkmen Latin alphabet spelling is preferable to this. —Nightstallion (?) 00:49, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose from what I see at, I believe we should use the name that official government bodies use. However, if it is moved, I will respect that and won't move it back. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 03:40, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
    I'm not asking you to change your vote, but just as an explanation in case that's the only reason for your vote: The English versions of the Kyrgyz web pages are heavily russified as Švitrigaila mentioned, just FYI. —Nightstallion (?) 03:54, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose We should use the most common English spelling since that's what people will search for. Also, using characters not found on standard English keyboards makes the article harder to edit. —Dgiest c 03:53, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
    ý is available on all keyboards -- simply press "´" followed by "y". —Nightstallion (?) 03:54, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
    That doesn't work on my keyboard. I'm guessing the majority of native English speakers with standard English keyboards have no idea how to produce a high-ASCII character. —Dgiest c 00:13, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose No. KazakhPol 05:14, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Although English media and books probably should use the Turkmen form, they don't yet. See Ho Chi Minh (Hồ Chí Minh) and Ilham Aliyev (İlham Əliyev) for similar examples. There is a long discussion of a similar (reverse) move proposal at Talk:Ilham Aliyev. —  AjaxSmack  06:08, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Speaking about Vietnamese names, what about Nông Đức Mạnh, Nguyễn Minh Triết or Nguyễn Tấn Dũng? Every living Vietnamese personnality has his name correctly written on the English Wikipedia. Why not Ho Chi Minh?... Customs, again. There is no reason other than "Because I've always seen it written like that", which is not a good reason. And about İlham Əliyev, the taken decision is unworthy for an encylopedia. Not because it was said the letter "ə" must be excluded (it was the main argument, and even if I'm against it, I can understand some people think that), but because the exclusion of "ə" was the only yardstick to decide the spelling of the articles' title. That is to say: "ə" is impossible in a title, so İlham Əliyev can't be called "İlham Əliyev" but since it's the only condition, there's no guideline for Azeri names, so Azeri names can be written with every possible spelling without any spelling constraint. And then, this article has been renamed already four times since the decision!! [9] [10] [11] [12]. There's no reason not to change names on again and again. Once you decide we don't have the right to use the only correct spelling, we can use every incorrect spelling without any limit. Another example is Rəsul Quliyev which was renamed successively into Rasul Quliyev, Rasul Gouliev, Rasul Guliyev and Rasul Quliyev (on his personnal website, he uses himself different spellings on the same page!) All that was to mean that if you decide by a rule you can't use the correct spelling of someone, either because there are strange letters or because his real name is rarely used in English texts, you must decide a clear rule for a translitteration as it exists for Wikipedia:Romanization of Russian and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles). And if you want to create a page Wikipedia:Romanization of Turkmen, you'll have fun to explain why a name naturally written in Latin alphabet like Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow must be translitterated into Latin alphabet by Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov! Švitrigaila 11:44, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
The rule I'm going by is not "correct" spelling (which doesn't seem to exist in this case) but the use common names rule, i.e., what would the average English-speaking user most likely reference. I personally think that Mohamed Farrah Aidid should be at the correct Somali Latin alphabet spelling of Maxamed Faarax Caydiid but this is largely unused outside of Somali-language sources and the article remains at the English spelling. (BTW, not every living Vietnamese except Ho Chi Minh have article titles at the Vietnamese forms -- see Category:Vietnamese politicians for examples -- and Niyazov is quickly cooling in his grave down in Kipchak.) —  AjaxSmack  04:45, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Support The governing idea should be to stick to the original spelling in the native language. Cretanforever 15:28, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
    Why not "Stick to the English spelling in common English usage"? This is the English Wikipedia after all. Use the Turkmen spelling on the Turkmen Wikipedia and keep article titles here in English since they will be used primarily by English speakers. —Dgiest c 00:13, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
    Just because there is no English spelling for a Turkmen name. Just as there is no English spelling for French names. No English spelling for Spanish names. No English spelling for Czech names. When you read the article about Miloslav Vlk, it's not the "English spelling" of his Czech name. When you read Krk's article, it's not the "English spelling" of this Croatian name. "English spelling" of proper names doesn't exist at all. But there are two existing things that create great confusion:
    1) Some places (countries, main cities) and some ancient historical names (f.e. Christopher Colombus) and christian European sovereigns (f. e. Charles XV of Sweden) have a translated name ("Germany" is the English translation of "Deutschland", it's not an "English spelling". "Charles" is the English translation of "Karl" in Swedish, it's not an "English spelling").
    2) Names from languages normally written with a non Latin alphabet are translitterated or transcribed in Latin alphabet, using different pre-established systems. And sometimes the transcription system gives a result that doesn't seem English at all. Transcription of Chinese with pinyin, or Transciption of Japanese using the Hepburn romanization are not "English spellings". Or even Serbian, which, when written in Latin alphabet, uses the Croatian alphabet (Is Zhang Chunqiao an "English spelling"? Is Slobodan Milošević more "English" than Слободан Милошевић?)
    "English spelling" is a myth when we speak about proper names. It can make sense for some common names (prefer judo to jūdō), but not for proper names. I have an accent on my family name, and I always write it, even when I am in English speaking country. Nobody has ever ask me the "English spelling" of my name.
    Turkmen names have only a Turkmen spelling and, for historical reasons, a Russian spelling. Nyýazow has only two spellings : Saparmyrat Nyýazow in Turkmen and Сапармурат Ниязов in Russian. Saparmurat Niyazov is not an "English spelling", it's only the trancription, using Wikipedia:Romanization of Russian of his Russian spelling. But Russian is not the official language of Turkmenistan, only Turkmen is. The choice to use Russian, the tongue of the former colonial power, instead of Turkmen, the only official language, is highly questionable, and it has something of the nature of a PoV.
    Švitrigaila 12:07, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
    No, there are English spellings of foreign names, you see them all the time, they're what you call a latin alphabet transcription. Nobody asks you for the English spelling of your name because they can simply drop the accent marks without asking you. I don't care anything about how we get to a particular romanization, but we should use one that is
    1. The dominant form in English-language reliable sources
    2. Typeable on standard English keyboards by the majority of editors
    3. Lends itself to a correct phonetic pronunciation by native English speakers.
    Dgiest c 19:03, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per WP:ENGLISH: "If a native spelling uses different letters than the most common English spelling (eg, Wien vs. Vienna), only use the native spelling as an article title if it is more commonly used in English than the anglicized form. I also urge everyone to have a look at the Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow article, which was unilaterally renamed bu user Švitrigaila. Óðinn 17:53, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
    And I also urge everyone to have a look at the first footnote of this article, about the several different spellings of that name you can find on the internet. Švitrigaila 12:07, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose Niyazov is clear English usage, which is more stable than official spellings; and it is policy to follow it. For all we know, the new government of Turkmenistan will institute a new spelling reform, or go back to Cyrillic. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:29, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
    Oh? What's your source? I've never heard about it and I'm interrested in it. Švitrigaila 12:07, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
    Sheer speculation; but it is possible, and much more likely than that established English usage will change soon. Hence the policy. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:23, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
    ...And considering that Turkmen has had at least 5 versions of 3 alpahbets in the last 100 years (and three under Niyazov) this speculation is not entirely idle. Niyazov was "Ныязов" until 1993, "Nyÿazow" from 1993-99, and now "Nyýazow." —  AjaxSmack  04:45, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
    To be fair, there have also been shifts in transliteration systems: Wade-Giles to pinyin, in Russian (e.g., tsar to czar, -eff to -ev), and a mess of spellings for Arabic, for example. --Groggy Dice T | C 04:36, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The Turkmenistan embassy in Washington uses "Saparmurat Niyazov" on its English webpage. -- SigPig |SEND - OVER 07:17, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 'Oppose', for all reasons stated above. As much as I would like to see all people referred to by their names in their own language, this IS the English Wikipedia. K. Lásztocska 18:49, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:UE, the principle of least astonishment and all the similar opinions above. - Evv 14:58, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. While "Nyýazow" may be an official Latin alphabet spelling, that does not automatically make it an English language spelling. Consider Yugoslavia. That country had people who used the Roman rather than Cyrillic alphabet, and they spelled it "Jugoslavia." Yet we spell it with a Y, because J does not have the same sound in English as it does in some other languages. In this case, take the case of the ending "w." Apparently, Turkmenistan has adopted a Romanized script, but follows a pronunciation of "w" more like that of German than English. It seems that the "official" spelling may not be friendly to English pronunciation, despite using the Roman alphabet. --Groggy Dice T | C 04:36, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


the economist does have men all over the world and is a fairly reliable source of information here is an article about turkmenistan TotallyTempo 04:57, 6 January 2007 (UTC) use for citing to replace stuff that has been removed.

About dictators[edit]

I see that ALL of the people here know soooo much about Turkmenistan, like have anyone of you fools actually lived there ?! How da hell do you know what happened there, are you telepaths ? Do you feel the people's sentiment there ?! When Niyazov died, there was barely a person in his home - men and women from all around the country went out to the streets, crying about him. If he was such a Satan you make him, there wouldnt be so much people crying !!! I'm sick of all the pseudohistorians and pseudoknowledge people here...the more you people here talk, the more stupid you look —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tangra680 (talkcontribs) 12:16, 1 April 2007 (UTC).

I think it only fair to point out that even though you claim the editors are biased and insulting to the Turkmen people and to Saparmurat Niyazov in particular, your edit itself can be construed as insulting to all of the editors who have contributed to this article. One of Wikipedia's core policies is assuming good faith, which means in plain terms that instead of accusing us of bias in the above manner, you should present us with the points of contention in a civilized manner with accompanying evidence so that their truth be known, and if necessary appropriate corrections made. --Agamemnon2 11:27, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Given the state of the section 'presidential decrees' (see below) I can seriously doubt the neutrality of whoever wrote it. I draw your attention to this. (talk) 14:14, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Request more info[edit]

Please add to the article

Specifically more info/rewrite on the hospital closures and health situation in this country, and Niyazovs influence on please.

Also foreign relations needs expanding -especially in terms of neighboring states eg russia, ther CIS especially, also turkey, iran etc.

More personal details might be appreciated eg when did he get married, ie stuff about the person, not the presdent...

Please check the factual accuracy of the sources please - the BBC has been shown (by me) to be innacurate in the reporting of this period of the countries history. Also if you must use "Radio Free American puppet" or "Communist stooges R US" as a source please provide balance in the article. If you don't or aren't able to recognise intrinsic bias in your sources then either

a. Please tell me about your great source.
b. Don't edit the article - you haven't got the brains to distinguish fact from fantasy..

Also if you find edicts on the shape of loafs of bread relevent to this article or fascinating please go and fuck yourself. The trivialisation of the 'presidential decree section' as well as it's lack of factual accuracy was disgusting. (talk) 02:53, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Please be civil — your recent series of edits are almost as inappropriate as your language. I think the article should be reverted back to this version. Jpatokal (talk) 10:07, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

more requests[edit]

A picture of him, the rhuhama (sic) (book), one of the statues etc would be good - if anyone is adept at finding and adding images. (talk) 03:00, 12 August 2008 (UTC)


In the article, pronunciation of "Saparmurat" is transcribed in IPA as θɑːpɑːrmɯːrɑːt

Is this correct, with θ?

It seems that the new Turkmen alphabet uses the symbol S for both /s/ and /θ/, which is weird considering it being a modern alphabet and all. Unless both sounds are cognate and exclusive in a single dialect, which is hinted to (but not stated) in the letter names' table in the page above, but not the consonant table, while also absent from the Turkmen language#Consonants table.

Also does anyone know the etymology of the name "Saparmurat"? How it relates to the Parsi صفرمراد?

In Arabic his name is popularly thought to be coming from the two names صابر and مراد and is rendered as such (the media..who else). So I'm trying to verify that.

--A. Gharbeia (talk) 19:38, 24 July 2009 (UTC)


Can we actually obtain a photograph of the person himself, and not a statue? Since he is no longer living, fair use can be argued. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 06:39, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Saparmurat Niyazov/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Needs info on apparatus of control and internal security. Minimal info on rise to power within Communist Party/USSR. Needs copy editing and reorganization of some statements. Fairly good citations but not complete. --Dgies 06:59, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 06:59, 23 December 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 05:27, 30 April 2016 (UTC)