On December 21, Turkmenistan celebrates the Day of Remembrance of Saparmurat Niyazov (1940-2006), the founder and first President of Turkmenistan. The date is included in the list of holidays and memorable dates in Turkmenistan and is not a day off.
Saparmurat Niyazov entered the history of his country as the first President of Turkmenistan, whose period in power was accompanied by the establishment of independence after secession from the USSR and overcoming the difficulties of the transition period. It was his merits in this field, along with the country's obtaining the status of a neutral power in 1995, that made Niyazov very popular among his people and led to the fact that during his lifetime he received the title "Turkmenbashi", which means from Turkmen literally "leader or head of the Turkmens" . At the same time, a certain personality cult of Niyazov was formed in the country, which, in other matters, did not prevent him from ruling the country and remaining a cult personality after death.
The path to power for Niyazov began in Soviet times. At the same time, the period of his actual power in Turkmenistan began, when, as a result of the movement along the party nomenclature, he was appointed in 1985 to the post of First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Turkmen SSR. The emergence of a new post of head of Turkmenistan in 1990 and the elections that took place at the same time made Saparmurat Ataevich the President of the Republic. He held this post until his death in 2006.