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The City of White Marble: Ashgabat
One of many golden statues of Saparmurat Niyazov, former President for Life of Turkmenistan, with native Akhal-Teke horses depicted atop a monument marking 10 years of independence. The hardy desert horse is Turkmenistan's national symbol, and a passion of the current president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. In his book The Flight of Celestial Racehorse, Berdimuhamedow aligns himself with the noble Akhal-Teke breed in one of the more bizarre quotes from the book: âRiding on horse, driving plane steering wheel, sea liner, driving powerful (truck), Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov not just demonstrates wonderful physical shape and high professional skills in every business, he fixes in people's minds the image of modern (strongman), who has to do a lot. He must be well-educated, physically strong and esthetically eruditeâ. Unfortunately for Berdimuhamedow, a festival to celebrate the horses earlier this year ended with the president taking a spectacular fall which was shared widely on YouTube. (Â© Amos Chapple)
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