Turkmenistsan: President Produces Two More Books
In conjunction with Turkmenistan's 20th anniversary come more embarrassing excesses from President Gurbanguly Berymukhamedov, who has been awarding himself titles or arranging for others to give him various honorifics and honorary degrees.
A prolific author despite his busy life as the autocrat of the world's fourth largest gas-rich nation, now he's released two new books: Living Legend, on the artistry of Turkmen carpet-weaving and A Good Name is Imperishable, a work of "documentary fiction" about his father, Berdymukhamed Annaev, a soldier and teacher, with a foreward by his father, Myalikguly Berdymukhamedov, the State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH) reported.
The first book has chapters with titles like, "The Carpet is the Soul of the Turkmen" and the second, titles like "Waters Run Along the Old Riverbed" and "A Good Intention is Half of Welfare". Anna-aga, Berdymukhamedov's great grandfather, also appears as a hero-teacher in the book. The Turkmen leader contributed these works to a special display at the library, and introduced them at a cultural conference organized by the Academy of Sciences at the Mary Velayat Library about Turkmens' contribution to world culture.
The $36.4 million new regional library at Mary, the modern city located near the seat of the ancient Merv civilization, can hold 3 million books and 600 readers, turkmenistan.ru reported. It is equipped with Internet, rare book rooms, and even an observatory with a telescope.
Three world-renowned Russian scholars were on hand to praise the Turkmen leader's contribution to world culture: Viktor Sarianidi, a Russian archeologist of Greek descent who has specialized in research on the Bronze Age in the Karakum; anthropologist Nadejda Dubova and Dr. Viktor Piliko, a Russian historian.
Berdymukhamedov, a dentist by training and former health minister, is also famous for having written a two-volume encyclopedia of medicinal plants, and books on Turkmenistan's Ahal-teke race horses as well as on economics.
Gradually, Ruhnama, the cult book of past dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, is being replaced by Berdymukhamedov's own works on more practical topics, and becoming required reading at universities.