2007 Photo Contest, Portraits, 1st prize

Nicolas Righetti


16 April, 2006

The authoritarian president of oil-rich Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov (66), died of a heart attack in December. Niyazov had created a strong cult of personality during his two decades in power, styling himself Turkmenbashi, Father of the Turkmen. Even months and days of the week were renamed after himself and his family. Niyazov wrote a spiritual guide Ruhnama, which became the nation's required reading. He tolerated no opposition, and forbad free media.

About the photographer

Nicolas Righetti

This image is collected in