The favorite horse of former Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov will have its own statue in this Central Asian country, one of the most closed on the planet, the state newspaper reported on Monday. Neutralny Turkmenistan.
A symbolic horse breed
The Akhal-Teke horse breed plays a prominent role in the propaganda of this gas-rich ex-Soviet republic, and was elevated to a national symbol by the ex-president, who held the country from a iron fist for 15 years before handing over to his son Serdar in March.
In 2015, a fine gold-gilded statue of Gurbanguly Berdymoukhamedov depicting him atop a 20-meter-high rock, riding his favorite horse Akkan and holding a dove in his right hand, was erected in the country. He also had a six-meter-high statue of an alabai dog erected at the end of 2020.
From now on, his favorite horse will be immortalized with his own statue, the new president Serdar Berdymukhamedov, having given the green light to the construction of a monument in honor of the stallion in the province of Akhal. According to a decree quoted by the newspaper, the monument “will increase the glory of the Akhal-Teke horses, the national pride of the Turkmen people”.
Akkan, a horse in the Guinness World Records
In 2018, Akkan, whom the former president claims to have trained personally, entered the Guinness World Records for walking on his hind legs 10 meters in 4.19 seconds.
The previous year, he had worn the rider who had lit the flame of the Asian Martial Arts and Indoor Games, a competition supported by the Asian Olympic Committee and used by the Turkmen authorities to restore the image of this state while placing it on the sports chessboard.
Power and horses, a family affair
In February, Gurbanguly Berdymoukhamedov, then 64, announced that he had made “a difficult decision” because of his age and wanted to leave the country to “young leaders”. A few days later, his son became his designated successor and was elected unsurprisingly in March.
Before being elected to the presidency, Serdar was already Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the economy and had replaced his father in the symbolic post of head of the national association of Akhal-Teke horses. His father retained the post of president of the upper house of parliament, the second figure in the state.