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Turkmenistan is one of the former Soviet republics, most notable for its famously crazy dictator, Turkmenbashi (née Saparmurat Niyazov). Turkmenbashi was well known for some very odd decisions, such as renaming months after himself (Ýanwar [January]) and his mother (Aprel [April]), creating his own religion (and holy book, along with an electronic billboard that constantly scrolled through the text), and even a golden statue of himself that turned to face the sun. As of 2008, the old calendar names were restored.

After Turkmenbashi's death in 2006, the new government has slowly demolished the cult of personality he'd built, but without much movement towards greater civil liberties.

See also[edit]