New mandatory reading for Turkmen

Turkmenistan's president has put the second volume of his moral guidance book on sale and made reading it compulsory.

    Adults in Turkmenistan have to read the book every Saturday

    Saparmurat Niyazov's Rukhnama, or Book of the Soul, hit shops on Monday and is said to expound presidential thoughts on how to live a good, honest life.

    The first volume is already studied as part of the school curriculum and adults have to read it every Saturday too.

    Turkmen literary critics are noticeably quiet on the work as Niyazov has ruled with an iron fist since taking power in 1985.

    President-for-life, his portrait hangs everywhere in the Central Asian country, and streets and towns have been named in his honour.

    Parliamentary reaction

    Extracts from the second volume of Rukhnama were read out loud at a parliamentary ceremony attended by senior government officials and foreign diplomats on Sunday.

    Parliamentary Speaker Ovezgeldy Atayev said the book represented "the great idea of national unification".

    Niyazov has written two other books: May the Turkmen People be Blessed and The Five Centuries of Turkmen Spirituality.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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