Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) (AFP) – Countless numbers of tracksuit-carrying officials in Turkmenistan were brought along for the ride Wednesday as eccentric leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov spearheaded a biking parade to mark Environment Bicycle Working day.
Turkmenistan — a person of the number of nations that has not documented a single scenario of the coronavirus — has supplied minor considered to social distancing in latest months, celebrating crucial instances in the countrywide calendar with customary pomp.
World Bicycle Day, a date that the United Nations recognised in 2018 subsequent a proposal by Turkmenistan, saw a massive throng of officers stick to Berdymukhamedov on a trip as a result of the cash Ashgabat the place roadways had been shut for the celebration.
Condition television described that 7,500 riders joined the parade and that locations outside the house the capital have been holding smaller-scale occasions.
Ahead of placing off, Berdymukhamedov, 62, unveiled a 30-metre (98 feet) monument honouring cycling, which has turn into an essential element of condition propaganda marketing nutritious existence.
The structure offers golden statuettes of cyclists that rotate on a monitor encircling a large map of Turkmenistan.
During the ceremony attended by an AFP correspondent, Berymukhamedov hailed the bicycle as “a product of ecological transportation… contributing to the advancement of human health”.
“Our target is the nicely-remaining of the individuals, a wholesome society, the harmonious actual physical and religious progress of all generations,” Berdymukhamedov mentioned.
The autocrat’s speech was punctuated by quite a few volleys of applause from officials who chanted “Glory to the Arkadag!” — a moniker made use of by point out media for Berdymukhamedov that means “protector”.
Although officers insist the isolated nation of 6 million men and women is virus-totally free, Berdymukhamedov very last month signed off on a government program to answer to the opportunity emergence of instances.
International diplomats were being amongst all those who experienced their fingers sprayed with sanitiser by govt employees as they arrived to attend the festivities.
There ended up no symptoms of encounter masks, on the other hand, amid studies of a de facto federal government ban.