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Turkmenistan Celebrates President's Birthday

Turkmenistan is marking the 58th birthday of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov with celebrations around the country.

State television dedicated most of its June 29 programming to events honoring Berdymukhammedov.

In the capital, Ashgabat, authorities unveiled a new park filled with sculptures and built at an undisclosed cost.

June 29 was also the last day of a weeklong cultural festival during which two new books purportedly written by Berdymukhammedov were released -- Turkmen Culture and Bakhshi: Harbingers Of The People's Happiness.

The opening of the new park comes a month after a 21-meter high equestrian statue of the authoritarian leader, known as Arkadag (Protector), was unveiled in Ashgabat.