The US$2.3 billion Ashgabat International Airport in Turkmenistan. Built to handle 17 million passengers a year, its annual flow of visitors hasn’t exceeded 10,000. It is one of many monuments to himself the country’s eccentric former ruler had built. Photo: AFP

Turkmenistan: a road trip through the eccentricities of the Central Asian state

  • Surreal presidential vanity projects and Soviet-era debris overlay traditional cultures of yurts, camels and animist beliefs
  • Among the things banned by late leader are libraries, opera, ballet, circuses, hair dye, nail polish, gold teeth, beards and long hair
Topic |   Central Asia
The US$2.3 billion Ashgabat International Airport in Turkmenistan. Built to handle 17 million passengers a year, its annual flow of visitors hasn’t exceeded 10,000. It is one of many monuments to himself the country’s eccentric former ruler had built. Photo: AFP
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