More Honorifics for Turkmenistan's President Berdymukhamedov
The former dentist and deputy health minister has operated on a patient -- in a gleaming new medical institute flanked by prominent German surgeons. He has been awarded the title of "academician" in Turkmenistan's Academy of Sciences. Tajikistan's Abuali Ibn Sino State Medical University has awarded him the title of honorary professor of medicine.
He has written not one but two books on medicinal plants, and another on Turkmenistan's famous Akhal-Teke horses, and still others on health and history. His picture is on every state building, and every time he comes to town, little children must rise at dawn and practice dancing and waving balloons and flags and bringing him flowers, and wait for his motorcade for hours along the highway from the airport.
At a ceremony in Trenton, New Jersey, the International Informatization Organization has awarded him its annual prize for world leader who has done the most to promote the Internet and information sciences.
And now Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has been awarded the academic degree of Doctor of Economic Sciences, the semi-official turkmenistan.ru reported.
This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Hydyr Saparliyev on July 9 at the enlarged meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan on the results of the socio-economic development of the country in the first half of 2010. As the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out, the decision was unanimously approved by members of the presidium of the Higher Attestation Commission (HAC) of Turkmenistan at the request of the Academic Council of the Turkmen State Institute of Economics and Management and the Institute of Strategic Planning and Economic Development of Turkmenistan.
We would expect nothing less.
The president's honor comes just in time for him to meet with officials from Deutsche Bank, at a time when Turkmenistan financial reforms have been under scrutiny and it has been graduated from a "high-risk" country for investors to one "improving" but with "strategic deficiencies".
The Turkmen leader's new degree is not the sort of honorary degree that other world leaders pick up by the boatloads (or not) while in office. According to the State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH), President Berdymukhamedov has earned his academic title:
In accordance with a special provision, the high academic degree has been awarded to President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on the basis of a set of his fundamental scientific works, including the internationally recognized scientific paper "The Economic Strategy of Turkmenistan: Relying on People, for the Sake of People", as well as practical work as the head of state, which were rated by scientists of the country as a significant contribution to the development of the economy of independent Turkmenistan, improving the welfare of the Turkmen people.
President Berdymukhamedov wasted no time in putting his new degree into action. Two days after his award, he decreed that Turkmenistan should begin a new national accounting system.
The Turkmen Initiative for Human rights has listed other honorary titles picked up by the Turkmen leader:
Honorary Academician of the Academy of Emerging Markets (U.S. 2007), Honorary Doctor of Economics of the Higher School of Privatization and Entrepreneurship (Russia, 2007), Honorary Doctor of Kazan State University (Russia, 2008), Honorary Doctor of Tashkent Medical Academy (Uzbekistan, 2008), Honorary Doctor of Baku State University (Baku, 2008), Honorary Professor of Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry (Russia, 2009). He is also the recipient of the the Golden Avicenna Medal of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNSECO) (2009) and has an award " for outstanding accomplishments in the growth of IT society by the International IT Academy (U.S., 2009).
There's still hope to distinguish the current Turkmen leader's cult of...degrees from the strange antics of his predecessor, past dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, who renamed the days of the week for his relatives. So far, President Berdymukhamedov has left the calendar alone.