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Turkmenistan's Capital Named World's 'White-Marble' City

Ashgabat, the capital of energy-rich Turkmenistan, has been recognized by Guinness World Records as having the world's highest density of buildings made from white marble. The city boasts 543 new buildings clad with white marble, covering a total area of 4.5 million square meters. The Guinness website says that if the "marble was laid out flat, there would be one square meter of marble for every 4.87 square meters of land."

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov was also honored by the Turkmen parliament on May 25 with the honorary title of "Distinguished Architect of Turkmenistan" for his "titanic efforts put into the political, economic, and cultural development of our beloved Motherland."

Meanwhile, according to a new report by Amnesty International, Turkmen citizens are deprived of basic human rights such as freedom of movement and freedom of the press, while the political opposition is routinely harassed, political freedom is limited, and elections are anything but free and fair.

A general view of Ashgabat
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A general view of Ashgabat

The Turkmen Health Ministry
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The Turkmen Health Ministry

Turkmen State University
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Turkmen State University

A row of white-marble apartment buildings
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A row of white-marble apartment buildings

Alisher Navoiy Street in Ashgabat
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Alisher Navoiy Street in Ashgabat

One of seven public buildings recently built in Ashgabat
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One of seven public buildings recently built in Ashgabat

The Hotel Oguzkent in Ashgabat
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The Hotel Oguzkent in Ashgabat

The interior of the Hotel Oguzkent
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The interior of the Hotel Oguzkent

The National Press Building
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The National Press Building

The parliament building
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The parliament building

A new building is dedicated for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' university in 2011.
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A new building is dedicated for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' university in 2011.

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov attends an inauguration ceremony for the presidential palace complex in Ashgabat in 2011.
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President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov attends an inauguration ceremony for the presidential palace complex in Ashgabat in 2011.

The Palace of Happiness marriage registry office
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The Palace of Happiness marriage registry office

An imam issues the call to prayer from the marble minaret of a mosque.
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An imam issues the call to prayer from the marble minaret of a mosque.

The Gold Star culture and entertainment complex
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The Gold Star culture and entertainment complex

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