In a step away from the legacy of its late dictator, who renamed each month after heroes, poets, and himself, Turkmenistan’s president urged a return to traditional month names, the Guardian reports. April had been named after Saparmurat Niyazov’s mother, while September was a reference to Niyazov’s spiritual book—but the new president, strengthening ties with the rest of the world, has decided to dump Niyazov’s system.
President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov called for a parliamentary resolution on the issue “after a very thorough analysis." While the move brings Turkmenistan closer to the outside world, “these reforms don't add up to democratization,” says an expert. “Turkmenistan remains as far away from democracy in the western sense as it is from the moon.”