Ashgabat - white marble garden city and the capital of Neutral Turkmenistan

The author writes: In the former Soviet Union is no country more colorful and at the same time closed to prying eyes than Turkmenistan. About him go wildest rumors - and the universal veneration of Turkmenbashi, and the mad scale of construction in Ashgabat, and the total domination of the security services, and all sorts of conflicting laws. And last week, I had a unique chance to go there, at what not just a tourist who does not leave the "elephant trails." but in a slightly different role, which allows you to see a little more.


Naturally, being a great lover of travel in the post-Soviet territory, I could not miss such a chance, took a couple days off and decided on the spot to see what kind of a country and how there lives a simple working people. Looking ahead, I must say that this trip is just completely strip the threads in the head - so many surreal experiences I did not expect. But first things first. I warn you once - I'm not going to give any assessments, and will not talk about politics. As in the case of Georgia, try to only show pictures and tell what I saw there, and the reader is already decide for himself what was really going on. Of course, in the "wrong side" of the country, I did not look, it was not possible and that there is - nothing more than a "facade" through the eyes of an outsider. And once I apologize for the quality of many photos - especially not walked on foot, and photographed, mostly on the run from the machine at the maximum ISO. On the plane, "Turkmenhavayolara" at the entrance hangs a portrait of the current President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov Melyakkulimovicha. Immediately on takeoff declare that we do not just fly the airline, and "Turkmenistan Airlines behalf of President Saparmurat Turkmenbashi the Great." Along the way, the food is excellent pilaf or kebab, and you at this time stunned the type of endless desert under the wings. Upon arrival, local go in one direction, the other foreigners. Furthermore, all foreigners entering Turkmenistan must pay a fee of $ 12. By the word "tourist" visa costs $ 140. Customs slow, but quite calm, in contrast to Uzbekistan, Belarus and Russia. It is also said that on August 1 for all visiting foreigners established surveillance. Honestly, it was never noticed, especially when went into the desert for 250 kilometers from the capital to look a hell of a burning well Darwaza. In general, everything was very friendly and relaxed. The first trip was in Ashgabat night. And I can tell you that it's mind-blowing. This city and this country represent a completely crazy mix of Dubai desert, scoop, petrodollars, capitalism, and the Central Asian flavor. After the Cold Moscow offices and flight happening around seems complete fiction. 649786a203.jpg

1. b7fe6e69c8.jpg

2. The first impression - a city of luminous buildings, fountains and monuments of Turkmenbashi. 4e932a279d.jpg

3. 52,744,460

4. The same day street a420fe1b4f.jpg

5. Turkmenbashi ("father of the Turkmen") - is the official Vartanyan TA former President Saparmurat Niyazov. The main attraction of the city, until recently, it was a golden statue on a huge tripod that revolved vosled the sun (or the sun revolved after her?). 71e0e36f02.jpg

6. All in all it was called "Arch of Neutrality." Turkmenistan - the second in the world after the Swiss government, which declared neutrality ruling principle of its foreign policy, and even national newspapers called "Neutral Turkmenistan". Turkmenbashi has always said that he never liked so many of his portraits and statues, and now the new president began gently to translate this desire into reality. Today Arch already "does not fit the vision for the city," and the whole thing to understand. I regret that I did not have time to look. Former tripod on the right and on the left the monument to the terrible earthquake of 1948, which completely destroyed the city. f775b8a7da.jpg

7. The bull symbolizes the power of the earth, the people on the ball of the left - the victims of the earthquake, and a small child - a Turkmenbashi fell under this earthquake child and lost him his mother and two brothers. He was a complete orphan, as his father had previously died during the war in the Caucasus in 1943. 38c0564455.jpg

8. In "trehnozhki", there is "vosminozhka" - not less than a monument to Independence, which is depicted in all the money. 64758c2544.jpg

9. But the monument "Rukhnama" - a sacred book written by Turkmenbashi. 5fc8a90762.jpg

10. Each Turkmens studying "Ruhnama" from school Lu and should know it by heart. It describes the history of the Turkmen people, biographies of great President, as well as basic precepts and moral principles. Now this whole area for Reconstruction and behind the fence, and at a certain hour earlier book was opened, and the pages of the great history of Turkmenistan came to life with the help of modern technology multtimediynyh. As an aside - that's one of the exhibits of the National Museum, which deserves a separate story. The map shows the countries whose language was translated "Rukhnama". 1c9ed5200e.jpg

11. In continuation of the "night" photo - a fountain dedicated to Oguz Khan, the "father" of all Turkmens, according to the same "Rukhnama". 263f33d89c.jpg

12. It is alleged that on this square fountain complex is the largest in the world. 66eec78f96.jpg

13. Around the Oguz - six of his sons, who became a father of the main branches, further dispersed on the territory of modern Eurasia (including the area to the north of the Urals and the Volga). c2450fcc47.jpg

14. An interesting detail on the arm of one of the sons. 96ea43a45e.jpg

15. In fact, the emblem of an eagle on the Turkmen not double-headed and five-domed, that is more wise than his Russian relatives. c41edba2fe.jpg

16. To be more precise, this is not the emblem and symbol of the presidency, and the head - that's five Vilayat (regions), which is divided Turkmenistan. The coat of arms is depicted Akhal-Teke stallion, eotorym now replaced by portraits of Turkmenbashi on the facades of public institutions. 10a6899799.jpg

17. Still, monuments, portraits and bas-reliefs of Turkmenbashi a lot - people remember his good deeds and hold sacred the memory of it. ef2b51f314.jpg

18. The Police Academy ... 0f3267ae99.jpg

19. Olympic Complex ... 235a5791f3.jpg

20. The Ministry Zdravoohreneniya ... 05ae0fa8bd.jpg

21. Drama Theatre ... ce45e60869.jpg

22. Just monument ... 57ef2ee309.jpg

23. Even the city now called Turkmenbashi Krasnovodsk. b898bc3f05.jpg

24. The bas-reliefs and monuments, mostly standing, but the portraits of old president is gradually replaced by a new one. ad2789bf24.jpg

25. A new medical school (the current president of the Education and former profession - doctor). 6a5d2fe65b.jpg

26. 6,095,080

27. Previous Turkmenbashi once decided to have hospitals across the country - is a luxury, and closed hospitals everywhere except in the capital - if people should be treated, they will arrive in Ashgabat, at the same time and look at all the splendor. Well, the Transportation Development also an incentive. This is not to say that the Turkmenbashi did not care about the health of the nation - he built the so-called "path of health" - the 20-kilometer trekking route along the ridges of Kopet Dagh, which should take place regularly every Turkmen to stay healthy. The road is illuminated at night. On the way we went through it, I will tell separately. Innovations when it was generally a lot - for example, all the months of the year have been renamed in January became the "Turkmenbashi", some months are named in honor of his mother, father, etc. It was also forbidden to have gold teeth, as unbecoming to flaunt their wealth, and, in general, have to live modestly. Unique frame - old president faces new. 6853c22a3c.jpg

28. Screens central squares report on the achievements of the Turkmen neutral state. ab8bc30ccd.jpg

29. They are echoed patriotic posters 16,994,681

30. Local advertising has a national flavor. Nothing more, even words. 91829b1ab7.jpg

31. Traffic lights and also with ornaments. At what traffic lights and LED countdown timer. a99f562316.jpg

32. The traffic police are on every street corner of the city and go to a whole new "Mercedes". 92a3623827.jpg

33. A lot of people in uniform. Serve in the military or security structures prestigious. After 10 hours of almost no cars. It looks like a suburban highway at this time. 1f38265030.jpg

34. So - Downtown 24,694,556

35. And so - the center of the city in the afternoon. 3fe8f5f6b4.jpg

36. Fences on the sides - a reconstruction or building, in one way or another is almost the whole city. fe287eee11.jpg

37. I was surprised that the streets are not so many people. For example, in the same Tashkent where crowded. Whether all the work, or prefer to sit at home in the heat, or the machines move. Basically, walk the streets schoolchildren, students, military, and middle-aged women. a2c47c3e98.jpg

38. One of the three "gates" of the city (I think the West). 7db1baf457.jpg

39. In the middle - another golden statue. adcca8a5dd.jpg

40. But "northern" gate. Too, with the profile. 6bb273e8d7.jpg

41. In general, the volume of construction is simply amazing. The whole city in new buildings, lined with marble, all of them well-lit. 6a4661d727.jpg

42. At what all the marbles imported, its not. ef0e06e469.jpg

43. Plain Street. All homes - residential. 026b16347b.jpg

44. 4a3b9ae548.jpg

45. National Library 64,732,732

46. ​​The Ministry of Oil and Gas Industry, hereinafter referred to people as "lighter". 7d6ec86ab7.jpg

47. It is the third on the right. 4226e4efda.jpg

48. And in this complex of buildings have employees of the Ministry. 6d52d1bdad.jpg

49. The same complex houses. Ceilings of 4 meters. bddd6f16d3.jpg

50. Local "Leaning Tower" (also some ministry). 5bdf035050.jpg

51. Puppet Theatre. 1ee1056830.jpg

52. cb7093f000.jpg

53. During the jump, which made the country over the last 15 years, thanks to oil, gas and wise leadership of Turkmenbashi, the 21st century is called "the Golden Age of Turkmenistan." This "Altyn Yasyr" is now everywhere - on posters, signs, on banknotes. The largest flagpole in the world, on which hangs the biggest flag in the world (confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records). e9071fe5e9.jpg

54. Even where there is the world's largest carpet and the world's largest dome of the mosque, which will also be in the following stories. "Soviet" area. Painfully familiar sockets. f1a2fed336.jpg

55. Old quarters with the private sector demolished cleaned, and built new - in a single urban concept. 6d23cb0880.jpg

56. It is interesting that all students wear uniforms - green school student, student - blue. Must be tyubiteyka and pigtails. If braids not, then sold tyubiteyki a fake. 25189e75f9.jpg

57. A lot of people are engaged in restoring order and cleanliness - almost every traffic light someone something shears, watering or sweeps. All in charge. c8426ab5a1.jpg

58. Because of the pervasive dust woman wrapped in shawls, for what is popularly referred to as "Ninja". 0c8a0cab64.jpg

59. Very pleased that the law on the streets of Ashgabat completely non-smoking. If Sobyanin will do the same in Moscow, I agree to the installation of his golden monument Zurab Tsereteli with fountains. Something like that. 7d9c56974b.jpg

60. The Turkmen people seemed to me, on the whole, helpful and welcoming. During the whole trip for two we spent only $ 35 for entrance to the National Museum and shoot there - and then only because it strayed from the accompanying for some time and went there on their own. In all other cases, you almost hit on his hands when trying to pay at the restaurant or at the market - you're a guest, and in the East is one of the most respected species Homo Sapiens. For Russian tourists no discrimination or hostility is not present - all willing to speak Russian, all of them excellent command. As for the Russian-speaking people living there - honestly do not know, it was not possible to communicate everyones talking, including about the abolition of dual citizenship, but airport officials with Russian names and surnames badges come across. The city is absolutely safe, Crime zero, the machine is not closed, even the executive class. At night, in contrast to the same Tashkent can walk quietly. A far greater danger is posed by the machine - do not brake before moving on, can easily crush. And the people and not steamed - all go where you want. c9c52c6c43.jpg

61. In general, the people set up friendly and hospitable. No extremism, fanaticism or aggression. Secular state, in Ashgabat only about 5 mosques, people are not very believer, and especially not talking about any fundamentalism. Everything is under control, everything is calm. 8ae7931c91.jpg

62. Another striking - in absolutely no beggars, vagrants and other anti-social elements. In the same Uzbek cities "Silk Road" (Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand) or Cambodia you attack a crowd of children and beggars. Immediately all people are provided with food, gas, petrol and a roof over your head. Monument to Lenin. Naturally, too, with its fountains. 71fd1c035f.jpg

63. It is interesting that it was built at the dawn of Soviet power, during the struggle Comrade Sukhov Bassmachis. 7f318c205b.jpg

64. Pushkin also held in high esteem - there is a street named after him, the theater, the Russian school as well as a monument to the king's still time. 2642c7241e.jpg

65. Strange Fruit on the pavement. 2890fde0e2.jpg

66. Monument to victims of the Great Patriotic War. fa9755c946.jpg

67. Soldiers of the edges - one to one in Treptow Park in Berlin. 1370a52005.jpg

68. However, the eternal flame somehow lost his eternity, despite the enormous gas reserves. f42d885213.jpg

69. State all four channels, so every house hangs a bunch of satellite dishes to enhance reception. 13249d2cb6.jpg

70. Oriental coloring 8ffd5b830f.jpg

71. Nothing is forbidden, the Internet is also quite accessible. All people are free to travel abroad regularly fly to Dubai on holiday and for machines and goods. Would be money. With food napryazhonki either. Weddings are held at 400-600 people, tables groaning. Though we tried to fend off a huge number of every Central Asian satiety, but still every day to load up the blade, giving a vow that in the morning becoming vegans. When you cut the tomatoes, the smell is distributed throughout the room, and peaches just melt in your mouth. In short, lepota. Especially liked the pasties ... 224a781e7c.jpg

72. ... and Turkmen national soup "unash" (in fact, the same Lagman) ba46f4d3e4.jpg

73. When you walk through the streets of Ashgabat, not feeling full of unreality. Indeed, the Golden Age. 9d9622ec1f.jpg



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