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Turkmen Coins Honor Niyazov's Writings

Turkmen President Niyazov turned 66 on 19 February (file photo) (RFE/RL) 20 February 2006 -- Turkmenistan's central bank has issued six gold and silver coins honoring President Saparmurat Niyazov's writings.

The bank said on 20 February that one side of the coins depicts Niyazov's six books -- four collections of his poetry and two volumes of his "Rukhnama" (Book of the Soul). The other side features a five-headed eagle, the president's emblem.

The coins, each worth 1,000 manat (5 U.S. cents), were issued to mark Niyazov's 66th birthday, which was celebrated on 19 February.

Last year, the central bank issued coins depicting the president's family tree to mark his 65th birthday.

The Turkmen leader, on whom parliament conferred the title "Turkmenbashi," or "head of the Turkmen," has ruled the country since 1985, and secured a presidency-for-life for himself in 1999.


RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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