President Saparmurat Niyazov (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
October 20, 2006 -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov today admitted for the first time that he has a heart condition.
Niyazov told a world congress in Ashgabat of ethnic Turkmen that he cannot fast during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan because he has to take medication prescribed to him "after a heart ailment."
Niyazov's health is surrounded by the utmost secrecy. Twice this year, however, state-controlled media said he had to undergo medical checkups.