Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's lavish birthday celebrations last week, when many dignitaries beat a path to his door, are still the talk of the town. The president was star of his own show, crooning a song he said was an original, "For You, My White Flower," as we noted earlier this week.
Critics are now claiming he swiped the tune from an Uzbek folk song, says Radio Liberty's Kazakh Service Radio Azattyk, but unfortunately, the Turkmen television clip still hasn't surfaced on Youtube, so it's hard to tell. In yet another indication of the Turkmen leader's growing cult of personality, the guitar and accordion on which he played the tune were sent to a national museum as "state treasures." A new honorific title was conceived for Berdymukhamedov, "Arkadag," which means "Protective Mountain," says the State News Agency of Turkmenistan.
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