Turkmenistan's former president - Saparmurat Niyazov or Turkmenbashi (father of the Turkmen), as he liked to be called, enjoyed big architecture. And he certainly bequeathed that habit on his successor, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, the Esteemed, as he likes to be called.
The new president (former health minister and the ex-president's personal dentist) spends a major proportion of the country's gas revenue on construction work (predominantly built by French and Turkish companies)
One can only guess, why the president orders these buildings, because questions are not asked in a country where all international print-media is illegal and that, on the freedom of the press index of Freedomhouse and Reporters without Borders annually fights for (and sometimes wins) the title "most controlled country of the world", the harshest opponent in this fight being North Korea.
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akm (1216) 2010-03-03 21:08
Thanks Hendrik for this post. Your image and note are fascinating and scary. I suspect that this was not an easy place to photograph. Your POV gives a striking view and a good impression of the extravagant empty street.