If you read this site often (or even once in a while), you may know that I’ve been reading, as well as recommending to everyone I know, Adventure Capitalist by Jim Rogers. One of the chapters, which covers Central Asia, talks about the almost unknown (to us in the US) country of Turkmenistan. The chapter focuses on the incredible hubris of its dictator, Serdar Turkmenbashi.
Turkmenbashi. Funny how the name of Turkmenistan’s leader is TURKMENbashi, right?
For the record, the name is no coincidence. The dictator changed his name from Saparmurat Niyazov to Turkmenbashi after the country gained independence from the former USSR. Serdar Turkmenbashi, by the way, means “Great Leader of all Turkmen.” Top that with a 100-foot tall gold rotating statue of himself placed in the middle of the city of Turkmenbashi, at the center of the cross country road Turkmenbashi, and the river and lakes now named Turkmenbashi, and you have yourself a good old fashioned megalomaniac!
If you thought that was bad, check this out (from Pravada.ru, and corroborated by CBS and Jim Rogers):
Anyway, the head of all Turkmens gave a present to himself. He decided to rename months and days of the week. January will now be called Turkmenbashi, in honor of the president; February will be called in honor of the Turkmen flag; March will become Navruz; April will be called in honor of the presidentâ€™s mother, Gurbansoltan-eje; May in honor of the Turkmen poet Makhtum Kuli; June will be called Oguz, in honor of one of Turkmen military leaders; July, Gorkut, in honor of the Turkmen epic hero Gorkut-Ata; August will change to Alp-Arslan, in honor of the ancient Turkmen commander; September will be renamed in honor of the presidentâ€™s book, Rukhnama; October will be called Independence. However, the new names for November and December are not known for some reason, maybe Niyazov has not had time to make the new names up.
Days of the week will also be renamed. Monday will become the Major Day; Tuesday, Young Day; Wednesday, Favorable Day; Thursday, Blessed Day; Friday will remain Friday; Saturday will become the Spiritual Day; and Sunday, Rest Day.
Hubristic megalomania at its finest. And to think, $300,000,000 a year of our tax money goes to this guy under the guise of developing new energy sources. I’m sure Mercedes-Benz has something to say about that, at least a chunk of it.