While working on a post about countries with cheapest gas prices I came across Saparmurat Niyazov – the former president of Turkmenistan. He died in 2006 but before that he was probably the coolest guys to ever live. He was also one of the worlds most totalitarian and repressive dictators.
Here’s 17 things that Mr. Saparmurat Niyazov did while being a dictator
- He officially renamed the months after the members of his family.
- He made the media refer to him as “His Excellency”
- Mr. Saparmurat won a “democratic” election with 99,9% of the votes
- He changed the entire alphabet (it’s actually not as bad as it sounds – he replaced the Russian letters with the Latin alphabet)
- He closed down all companies providing internet access except for one (It’s easier to monitor 1 company than an entire bunch).
- Mr. Saparmurat banned ballet and opera in the entire country. “Ballet and opera are unnecessary”
- He forbade men from growing long hair and beards
- He made a law that everyone who had a driving license needed to take a morality test. Most American’s probably wouldn’t pass
- Mr. Saparmurat prohibited all TV newsreaders to wear make-up. You probably can’t see the difference from a black and white TV anyway…
- He closed down all the hospitals of Turkmenistan except for 1. “Sick people can come to the capital to treat themselves”
- He closed all libraries in Turkmenistan. “Ordinary Turkmen don’t read books”
- He took away old-age pensions of one third of all old people in Turkmenistan. A lot of old people died because of that.
- He systematically lowered salaries of teachers who didn’t praise him during classes.
- He changed the word bread to the name of his mother – Gurbansoltanedzhe. “I’ll take one Gurbansoltanedzhe with that milk”
- He prohibited car radios and recorded music
- He prohibited all dogs from the city he lived in because “They smell bad“
- Mr. Saparmurat put a picture of himself on every single bank note. No harm done when you look that good!
So here you go – a couple of ideas what to do as a dictator.
You know what they say – Good ideas never die!
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