Turkmenistan: Family shake-up over Turkmenbashi cult of personality

EurasisNet News/April 29, 2009

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has sacked his brother-in-law, Dashdurdy Rozyev, apparently over the inappropriate dismantling of a portrait of the deceased former dictator Turkmenbashi - Saparmurat Niyazov - the opposition website chrono-tm.org reported April 29.

Rozyev served as head the city administration in Turkmenabat until March 10. The opposition website indicated that he acted to remove the Niyazov portrait out of the belief that he was conforming to an unwritten order to dismantle the departed despot's cult of personality. Niyazov references, including statues and posters containing his sayings, have been gradually disappearing in Turkmenistan in recent months. But Rozyev, it now seems clear, jumped the gun.

"Current leaders have an unenviable fate. If you remove Niyazov, it is bad; if you leave him as it is, it is not good either," the report said. "And the president any time can show his principles and punish even his close relatives. Maybe he [Berdymukhamedov] is acting by the principle - 'Beat your own, so others are afraid.'"

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