Cover Osteuropa 8-9/2007

In Osteuropa 8-9/2007

Turkmenistan’s Leadership Cult
Discipline and persuade

Michael Denison

Deutsche Fassung


In Central Asia the cult of the leader is the most important instrument of political and cultural control. National in content, it is Soviet in practice. The bizarre excess surrounding the “father of all Turkmen”, Nursultan Niyazov, had several functions: It secured power for the leader as well as goodwill and access to financial resources for the elites, and it served the population’s social integration and political socialisation. After the death of “Turkmenbashi”, his successor Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is developing a similar cult.

(Osteuropa 8-9/2007, pp. 209–224)