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Turkmenbashi-Blues by Foreign Accent

In New York, in the heart of the United States, a not very well known musical group called Foreign Accent issued its first CD called Pardon, My French. In the very diverse repertoire of the band’s CD the Turkmenbashi-Blues is a song #5.

We know that dozens of songs devoted to Saparmurad Niyazov have been issued in his homeland, and his golden statue-sunflower is a well-known subject of numerous discussions. But Turkmenbashi theme as a reason for a creative inspiration in faraway America - that is something new. We will talk about that song a bit later, for now let me talk about a news with involvement of Turkmenbashi and having direct connection with Kazakhstan.

Human Rights Organization called Turkmenel tried to initiate a trial case against Saparmurad Niyazov on Kazakhstan’s territory. One more thing to add, Turkmenel organization is based in Moscow, where citizens who left Turkmenistan very likely established it. The reason of their initiative, as they say, is the fact of plagiarism in Niyazov’s Rukhname book.

As it is known, that creation (the book) has been announced as the Code of Spiritual regulations for Turkmenistan citizens. It is cited daily and nightly and even exposed next to the Koran and the Bible in Turkmenistan’s Churches and Mosques. Moscow activists have managed to find the source of, as they say, plagiarism.

They say it is a book written by English scientist K. Bosworth “Muslim Dynasties” translated by Petr Gryaznevich and issued in 1971 in Moscow. Since the activists in Moscow cannot claim the author rights in this case, they decided to cause initiative of Kazakhstan’s state boards, as well as those of the Russian Federation and Belarus, since Niyazov’s major work has been printed in these countries as well. Moscow activists called Rashid Tusupbekov - General Prosecutor of the Republic of Kazakhstan, to sue citizen of Turkmenistan Saparmurad Niyazov for the author rights law abuse on Kazakhstan’s territory.

If that happens, Kazakh poet Duysenbek Kanatbayev may become one of the figures in that case . “Rukhname” book has been officially presented in Almaty on March 26 this year. The translator of the book Duysenbek Kanatbayev told Radio Azattyq then:

- There are no personal fiscal interests in my initiative, there is no groveling. What should every nation’s line of activities be in the conditions when globalization is imposed over all of us? How could we preserve our national peculiarities? In this book, it is mainly written about traditions of the Turkmen nation.

Well, let us leave Duysenbek Kanatbayev; he has nothing to do with the civil initiative of the Moscow organization “Turkmenel”. An activist of that organization Perkhat Iliasov told us in a telephone conversation from Moscow that they are going to find the English scientist K.Bosworth, whose author rights, as they say, were abused, when one of his books was used as a source for Niyazov’s book.

Perkhat Iliasov:

- Leader of the nation, who eulogizes his book through all possible means and positions it as a revelation sent to him by God, turns to be just a plagiarist. In reality, that book, its separate part, is based upon a hackneyed plagiarism.

One of the leaders of Turkmen opposition in exile, Chairman of Vatan Party Khudayberdy Orazov, who lives in Sweden now, also calls Saparmurad Niyazov’s book “plagiarism” in his interview to Radio Azattyq:

- Niyazov’s life and his activities, in general, is one big plagiarism. That peoples, those nations, which we consider our brother nations should not stay indifferent to such facts. Particularly, of course, the closest to us is nation of Kazakhstan, Kazakh nation.


-Does the situation in Turkmenistan influence Central Asia as a whole? Or is that just a problem for Turkmenistan only?


-That is a very good question, I think. I do not want to cite everything now. But many negative moments which were adopted by our brother nations, originated from Niyazov.

Well, on September 13, a popular on-line newspaper Navi.kz reported that office of Kazakhstan’s Prosecutor General had sent the case of Saparmurad Niyazov to Kazakhstan’s Justice Ministry. That was an official answer sent to Anna Dmitrieva, Chairwoman of Turkmenel organization. General Prosecutor’s office asked Committee on Intellectual property at Kazakh Justice Ministry to research the case of Rukhname book. But just a day after, on September 14, Radio Azattyq was informed that Justice Ministry had returned the mentioned petition back. Chairwoman of the Committee of Intellectual Property Nurghaysha Sakhipova says to Astana Bureau of Radio Azattyq:

- Our Committee does not deal with criminal cases at all. That is why the case is not under our competence. We have returned the petition back to the Prosecutor General.

On September 17, officials of the office of Kazakhstan’s Prosecutor General refused to comment the case. Spokesperson also declined to give us his name:

- We do not have any information on that mater yet. As soon as we get the detailed information we shall let you know.

Similar answer was given to Radio Azattyq at Turkmenistan’s Embassy in Kazakhstan:

- There is no information. At all. Sorry. Bye-bye.

So, the bureaucratic circle ends here. Russian Federation’s General Prosecutor’s office also keeps sending just written answers to Moscow activists. As for Minsk – the capital of sovereign Belarus, there is no answer from there at all. For now. Meanwhile American singer Djavid Novrouzov decided not to be involved in any kind of paper work and created a song called “Turkmenbashi Blues”. Djavid Novrouzov resides in New York currently. He together with his friends Robert Howerton and William Frenkel organized a music band called Foreign Accent last year. Songs of Foreign Accent is a colorful mix of blues, American western, jazz, punk, funk, art-rock, neo-classics and something else. Usually Djavid Novrouzov writes music and texts himself. In his Turkmenbashi blues song there are many epithets, which sometimes scratch ears. We tried to translate one of easiest parts of the song into Russian:

Music: Turkmenbashi Blues

Hello, pipeline fiasco Good day, burnt out fuse Slip into my Turkmenbashi blues….

Djavid Novrouzov is on the telephone line from New York:

- One of the good forms, I think was the phrase” Mister Days Numbered”. With the hope that some day that regime will end. I had the blues idea and I decided we have to make Turkmenbashi Blues. My friends from Uzbekistan immediately asked me: “Why don’t you do something similar about other our dictators? It is very likely that we shall do it.

Those are two stories about one Central Asian President. About Saparmurad Niyazov. Former Turkmen citizens try to initiate a lawsuit against Niyazov on the territory of Kazakhstan. American singer Djavid Novrouzov writes political pamphlets about Niyazov. Different international human rights organizations also write about Niyazov. It is very rare though when precise figures presenting the scale of repressions and the scales of economic crisis, are cited in those reports. Turkmenistan’s statistics, as well as the country itself, is closed for international community. Meanwhile London Based Institute on War and Peace reports that even students of driving schools in Turkmenistan are obliged to study “Rukhname” book.