The Turkmenbashi confesses that the state of health does not permit him to keep fasts
"My assistants keep the uraza but I cannot. I take medicines after the heart attack. Life itself made it possible for me not to keep the uraza. I count on your understanding," President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov (the Turkmenbashi) said at the Turkmen World Congress in Ashkhabad.
The Turkmenbashi was referring to the Ramadan, a hole month for the Moslems that is known as the uraza. The Moslems keep the fast during the Ramadan, they are not supposed to eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. Canons of the faith make an exception only for little children, the sick, and travellers.
The Turkmen leader's state of health is a deep dark secret for the population of the country and a source of never-ending fascination for foreign politicians and journalists. Some nuances indicate that the Turkmenbashi experiences serious heart problems. He was operated on in Germany in 1997.
This year, Turkmen media outlets reported "planned medical examination" of the president on two occasions already. Specialists inevitably appraised the Turkmenbashi's state of health as sound. The local opposition, however, released the list of health problems afflicting the "leader of all Turkmens". They include ischemia and problems with circulation of blood.
Today, the "father of all Turkmens" himself confirmed existence of problems.