Turkmenistan’s TV shows Berdimuhamedov on holidays

 

President Berdimuhamedov  - TDH

President Berdimuhamedov – TDH

Ashgabat: Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was shown driving a rally car in circles near a 230-foot wide fiery pit in the first footage of him since rumors of his death last month.

Last month, reports emerged that Berdimuhamedov died while on vacation abroad. The reports started with a foreign-based medium run by Turkmenistan regime opponents. It was then picked up by Russian-language websites that referred to businessmen in Turkmenistan with acquaintances in the security services who confirmed the death information. Turkmenistan officially denied the allegations.

On Monday, state television showed the president engaged in several activities throughout his holiday that culminated with the spectacular driving outside flaming ‘Gates of Hell’, the pit located in the Karakum Desert of central Turkmenistan that has been on fore for almost half a century and has attracted hundreds of tourists each year.

“At the sundown, when it became darker, the President came to unique attraction of Turkmen desert, the Light of the Karakums. Having driven around the flaming crate, the Head of the State enjoyed its unusual view, which is very effective in the darkness,” the official news agency, TDH, reported.

“This place attracts the attention of numerous tourists from all over the world and scientists as well. Wonderful place “The Light of the Karakums” is a phenomenon that has to be studied and is able to reveal the secrets of Turkmen land and its subsoil.”

According to the news agency, Central Karakums is one of natural heritages of Turkmenistan, unique in the world with its landscape, zoological and botanical, ecological researches for study of plain and desert ecosystems and nature.

During the holidays, the 62-year-old president engaged in sport exercises, music, writing and scientific work “despite his tight working schedule filled with important government affairs and events, visits and high-level meetings.”

Literary work included the book dedicated to Turkmen alabays, the breed of dogs, that “can be easily called a part of historical heritage of Turkmenistan alongside ahalteke horse and man-made carpets.”

Sporting activities included cycling with the president making a run in the Olympic village, bowling, exercising and riding horses, the news agency said.

He also tested new weapons supplied to the national army and made shooting on targets, it added.

Berdimuhamedov has been president since February 2007. A dentist by profession, he served in the government under President Saparmurat Niyazov as Minister of Health in 1997 and as Vice-President in 2001.

He became Acting President following Niyazov’s death in December 2006 and subsequently won the February 2007 presidential election. He won by an overwhelming margin (89.23%).

In the February 2012 presidential election, he was re-elected with 97% of the vote. In the February 2017 presidential election, he was re-elected to a third term with 97.69% of the votes.

 

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