Images of late Turkmen leader removed from medals

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan's president has ordered images of the nation's former leader to be taken off some state medals, the latest in a series of moves to shed the legacy of his eccentric predecessor.

A decree by President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov published Tuesday orders the image of former President Saparmurat Niyazov be removed from three state awards. It also withdraws a medal that carries an image of Niyazov's mother.

Niyazov's image, however, stays on several other medals. Niyazov was celebrated in a personality cult that saw cities, streets, months, periodicals and public organizations named after him and his family.

Berdymukhamedov, who came to power after Niyazov's death in 2006, returned months to their original names. Numerous Niyazov monuments have remained, however, and a city and numerous streets are still named after him.

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