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Real Dictators

Turkmenbashy Part 1: Soviet Stooge, Hermit Tyrant


Turkmenistan in Central Asia. Somewhere unremarkable, you might assume. But you’d be wrong. Away from prying eyes, an extraordinary story unfolded here. In the early 1990s, out of the rubble of the Soviet Union, a man called Saparmurat Niyazov creates a brand-new state. His regime will be a case study in modern tyranny, filled with bizarre pronouncements and barely believable laws. As ‘Turkmenbashy’, or ‘Head of the Turkmen’, Niyazov rules into the 2000s, sealing off his people from the outside world and turning Turkmenistan into a North Korea 2.0. But how does he get away with it? A Noiser production, written & produced by Dan Smith. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices