All in a day’s work for the country’s lunatic president

Turkmenistan is a small, oil-rich country located in Central Asia. It sits north of Iran and Afghanistan and south of Uzbekistan. It also happens to have a loony president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who has just issued an order making black cars illegal in the capital city of Ashgabat. Apparently, Berdymukhammedov wants Ashgabat to be an all-white city, so if you happen to own a black car in the country, you’re going to need to repaint it or face the headache of seeing your ride get impounded.

2007 Rolls-Royce Phantom Black
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rolls royce phantom black
If you happen to own a black car in the country, you’re going to need to repaint it or face the headache of seeing your ride get impounded

If you think our problems here in America are bad enough, it’s nothing compared to what our friends over at Turkmenistan have been going through. Sure, banning black cars in the capital city isn’t that big of a deal with a grain of perspective thrown in, but the people over at Turkmenistan aren’t exactly flush with the kind of cash that makes life easy for them in their country.

It doesn’t help that this ban effectively compels them to have their cars repainted, an inconvenience that residents will now have to do if they hope to keep driving their cars in the city. Worse, the business of repainting cars is already seeing higher demand, allowing businesses who offer the service to shoot up the price of having cars repainted.

According to the Diplomat, one Turkmenistan resident spoke to Azatlyk, a local radio station, and said that the cost of repainting his car now sits at 7,000 manat. That converts to around $2,000. If he waits a week, the price goes up to 11,000 manat or just a little over $3,000. If he continues to use his black car, it would be impounded until he gets it repainted. None of this would be a problem if he was making money hand-over-fist, but his admitted salary of 1,000 manat ($285) wouldn’t be enough to repaint the hood of his car, let alone the entire body.

Two years ago, the country banned the importation of black cars.

As ridiculous as the ban sounds, it’s actually something that Berdymukhammedov has become infamous for. Two years ago, the country banned the importation of black cars. Those who did import them were obligated to send them back and import white cars instead because “white brings luck.”

This is the kind of insanity that has come to define Berdymukhammedov’s term as the country’s pseudo-king/president. Then again, this is the same man whose grand vision for Ashgabat is to cover it entirely in marble. Those loose screws left his head a long time ago.

What do you think?
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