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Turkmenistan President Dislikes Gold Teeth (Read 2044 times)
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Turkmenistan President Dislikes Gold Teeth
Apr 7th, 2004 at 7:17am
Turkmenistan President Dislikes Gold Teeth

.c The Associated Press

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) - President Saparmurat Niyazov, whose tight control of Turkmenistan extends to citizens' appearances, said Tuesday young people should not get gold tooth caps.

In a televised address at an agricultural academy, Niyazov took note of the gold teeth of the female student who welcomed him.

``Don't take offense, your gold teeth are very beautiful, but you, young people, look much better with white teeth,'' he said, exhorting them to take better care of their teeth, according to the Interfax news agency.

``I watched dogs when I was young. They were given bones to gnaw ... Those of you whose teeth have fallen out did not gnaw on bones. This is my advice,'' he said.

Niyazov prefers to be known as ``Turkmenbashi,'' or Father of All Turkmen. In February, he called on authorities to crack down on young men wearing beards or long hair

Last year, he suggested girls should wear braids and traditional Turkmen hats, and it immediately became a rule for all women studying in secondary and high schools.

Niyazov has banned all opposition and controls all branches of government and the media. Golden statues and busts of the president are scattered across the country, and his portrait is on every banknote and coin.

His book ``Rukhnama'' (Book of the Soul) is held up as equal in importance to the Quran and children at schools are obliged to start their days by studying it.
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