Accessibility links

Breaking News

In Turkmenbashi's Footsteps?

A huge portrait of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov beside the horse track in Ashgabat
A huge portrait of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov beside the horse track in Ashgabat
A new school in the Turkmen province of Akhal has been named after President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov's grandfather, Berdimukhammed Annaev.

The eponym came with privileges.

Annaev School's three-story building towers above neighboring homes in Annaev's birthplace, the village of Yzgant. Unlike many other schools in Turkmenistan's rural areas, it's equipped with modern computers. It also has its own museum of local history.

Naming various institutions and locations after presidential relatives is hardly a new practice in Turkmenistan.

Berdymukhammedov's predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, known as Turkmenbashi (Leader of All Turkmen) had renamed a city and two calendar months after himself and his mother. Not to mention the giant, rotating, golden statue of him in the capital, Ashgabat.

It remains to be seen whether Berdymukhammedov will follow Turkmenbashi's path, renaming streets and schools after himself and his family.

Berdymukhammedov clearly shares Niyazov's fondness for authoring books. In less than three years in office, the former dentist has published at least three books.

Turkmenbashi authored numerous books on a variety of subjects, from history to poetry and philosophy. His most prominent work, "Rukhama," was compulsory reading for all Turkmen students, including in driving schools.

-- Farangis Najibullah

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

Latest Posts