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Turkmen Officials Ordered To Shave Heads After Death Of President's Father

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has appeared at recent official events in mourning garb and travels in a black car.

Senior male Turkmen officials and managers of major private companies have been ordered to shave their heads and wear a traditional Turkmen skullcap as signs of mourning following the death last month of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov's father.

Myalikguly Berdymukhammedov, a retired police lieutenant colonel who held positions in the Turkmen government during Soviet times, died on April 18 at the age of 88.

Women working in state agencies must wear mourning shawls trimmed in black, RFE/RL correspondents say.

The order lasts for 40 days.

Following his father's death, Berdymukhammedov did not appear in public for seven days, missing the celebration of National Horse Day on April 23. The president's son, Serdar, who serves as deputy prime minister, hosted the celebrations.

In more recent days, the president has appeared at official events in mourning garb and traveling in a black car, although he has previously ordered only the use of white cars in the country.

The government has reportedly been collecting money from state-sector works to pay for various commemorations.