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January 19, 2010


Turkmenbashi and the curse of Ozymandias

by quaesitor

President Niyazov was mad, bad and dangerous to know – ruler of Turkmenistan from the fall of the Soviet Union until his death just before Christmas 2006 – and known as Turkmenbashi (= ‘Head of all Turkmens’). I posted about that event a bit as it happened.

But he’s reappeared on my radar this week for a couple of reasons.

  • I have been preaching on early chapters of Daniel on Sunday evenings. Last Sunday we were in Daniel 3 and the famous burning fiery furnace. But the subject of the is not so much the 3 brave faithfuls, Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego – but the despotic king, Nebuchadnezzar and the effect that these 3 had on him. And Niyazov is (if practically nothing else) a gift for preachers of Daniel 3. I used a number of pictures in the talk of some of the countless gold statues of himself around the country – of which this image is the most notorious: the Neutrality Arch, surmounted by a gold image of Niyazov that rotates every 24 hours in order to face the sun. Who says the OT is outdated and out of touch?
  • Then yesterday, as it happens, the BBC reported that Niyazov’s successor has ordered the removal of this particular statue/obscenity from the capital Ashgebat. So at least there’s a degree of sense prevailing – not that this means that the tyranny has ended, merely thawed a little. So something good there at least. (HT Derek L.)

Just as Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 confirmed, empires rise and empires fall – ’twas ever thus and ever will be.

The curse of Ozymandias strikes again.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 19 2010

    Ozymandias is such a relevant poem, a very Ecclesiastes piece of writing from my atheist 7th-cousin 7-times removed…

    • Jan 20 2010

      so would Percy Bysshe have once spelled his name Bish – or have you changed yours?!


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