Why Gas Is Never Turned Off in This Strangest Country?

by Maure Nava
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Ashgabat Marle Buildings

How strange is that?

Turkmenistan is a country that holds some of the Strangest Country world records; the largest indoor Ferris wheel, the longest staircase, the largest man-made canal and lake, the largest building in the shape of a star, and the most marble used in a single city.

Ministry for Carpets and National Melon Day are even present in Turkmenistan, and you can find the rest of the peculiarities listed below:

1. Abandoned Ashgabat

Weirdly huge Wedding Hall in Ashgabat

They call Ashgabat, the capital city of Turkmenistan, ‘Abandoned Ashgabat’ because you rarely see people outside.

Ashgabat is abundant with almost empty streets, large fountains, huge white marble buildings which are almost unoccupied and giant statues staring at you with poking looks.

The city is full of white marble buildings. Ashgabat entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 2013 for having the highest number of white marble buildings in the city. Wow!

Ashgabat, I would say, is a mini kingdom with white marble palaces created for nothing.

City of Ashgabat

2. Crazy Dictator

Saparmurat Niyazov - craziest dictator who led this Strangest Country
Dictator, Saparmurat Niyazov

Saparmurat Niyazov is the 1st ever president of Turkmenistan who did pretty strange things;

  • Banned opera, bands, ballet and circuses – he found them very noisy.
  • Banned young men from having long beards.
  • Made it illegal to have dogs.
  • Allowed only white cars in the streets.
  • Named months after his family members.

Moreover, the book, Ruhnama by Niyazov.

3. Ruthless ‘Ruhnama”

Ruhnama Book Statue
Statue of Ruhnama Book

Ruhnama led to strange acts;

  • Ruhnama is mandatory in schools, universities and government offices.
  • The new job applicants would be tested on the book in their interviews.
  • Local bookstores and government offices had to display it prominently.
  • The locals were ordered to recite Ruhnama every single day.
  • The book should be kept in all the mosques.

Niyazov even launched Ruhnama in space in 2005 so that the book could conquer space as well.

They made and installed a statue of the book Ruhnama in Ashgabat, and the statue still stands today.

Moreover, the Ruhnama book statue plays the Ruhnama video and audio at 8 pm every day for the citizens.

4. Hell’s Gate

Door to Hell Crater Turkmenistan
Hell’s Gate Crater

A crater started burning in 1971 in Turkmenistan as the wrong-gone result of drilling the land for natural gas. Since then, it has been called “The Door to Hell,” Literally, it is causing danger to the people and environment for decades now.

5. Nomadic Turkmens

Turkmens Market

Turkmens are friendly and curious. They live a simple nomadic life. They never switch off the gas because Turkmenistan has the world’s 4th biggest natural gas reserve. People say that “It is cheaper to let the gas burn than spending money on matchboxes”.

After all, Turkmenistan has an official gold badge – the only neutral country globally recognized by the United Nations. And that is Turkmenistan for you, one of the Strangest Country and the wealthiest countries in the region, with no welcome boards.

Yet, a part of you badly wants to experience Turkmenistan! If you like solving puzzles, then Turkmenistan is for you, but you definitely need a licensed guide to wander around the country.

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