Turkmen ruler establishes holiday to honor local dog breed

first_imgASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan’s autocratic leader has established a national holiday to honor the local dog breed. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov ordered the holiday praising the Alabai, the Central Asian shepherd dog, to be celebrated on the last Sunday of April when the ex-Soviet nation also marks the day of the local horse breed, according to Tuesday’s report in the daily Neutral Turkmenistan. The Central Asian nation of 6 million prides itself in horses and dogs, honoring its centuries-old herding traditions. Berdymukhamedov has ruled the gas-rich desert country since 2006 through an all-encompassing personality cult that styles him as Turkmenistan’s “arkadaq,’ or protector.last_img