Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

Turkmenistan: Bye-bye Bashi

Publisher EurasiaNet
Publication Date 11 December 2008
Cite as EurasiaNet, Turkmenistan: Bye-bye Bashi, 11 December 2008, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


Turkmenistan is to ditch references to former president Saparmurat Niyazov in the national anthem. The new version of the anthem – which will omit four references to Turkmensbashi, Niyazov's self-styled title, meaning Father of the Turkmen – will be introduced on December 21, the second anniversary of the mercurial dictator's death.

The changes were announced by parliamentary chairwoman Akdzha Nurbadyeva at a government meeting in early December. Nurbadyeva said she had received "numerous appeals from the country's citizens" to amend the anthem and added that it would now meet "universally recognized international standards," according to a report distributed by the British Broadcasting Corp.

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov approved the proposal to alter the national song, the lyrics of which were written by Niyazov himself. A reference in the last verse to blinding cruel onlookers will remain.

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