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Turkmenistan: National Council Renames Days, Months

Turkmenabad, 8 August 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The Turkmen National Council voted on the first day of a two-day session to change the names of the days of week and months of the year. By a unanimous vote, some 3,000 delegates approved changing the name of January to "Turkmenbashi," the title bestowed on President Saparmurat Niyazov by parliament. December is now "Neitralitet" (Neutrality) reflecting Turkmenistan's UN-recognized status as a neutral country, given to the country in December 1995.

The names of the week were changed to such new names as "first" or "main" day, Monday, and "Rukh" (spirit), for Saturday.

The council also dismissed any future talk of presidential elections with Safarmarmed Voliev, the head of the state gas and oil company, saying there was no need for any leader but the "beloved eternal President Saparmurat Niyazov."