Neutrality Monument

Monument of Neutrality
Bitaraplyk binasy
Former namesArch of Neutrality
General information
LocationBitarap Turkmenistan Avenue
Height95 m (312 ft)
Design and construction

Monument of Neutrality (Turkmen: Bitaraplyk arkasy) is a monument originally located in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. In 2010 it was moved to the suburbs. The three-legged arch, which became known locally as "The Tripod",[1] was 75 metres (246 ft) tall and was built in 1998 on the orders of Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov to commemorate the country's official position of neutrality.[2] It cost $12 million to construct. The monument was topped by a 12-metre (39 ft) tall gold-plated statue of Niyazov which rotated always to face the sun.[2][3] The arch was located in central Ashgabat where it dominated the skyline, being taller than the nearby Presidential Palace.[2] The statue was illuminated at night. The arch featured a panoramic viewing platform which was a popular attraction for visitors.[2]


View of Ashgabat from Arch of Neutrality

On 18 January 2010 Niyazov's successor as president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, signed a decree to begin work on dismantling and moving the arch.[2][4] There were reports that the arch would be dismantled as early as 2008, but the president did not approve the move until 2010.[4] The dismantling was officially said to be a move to improve urban design in Ashgabat but is seen as part of Berdimuhamedow's campaign to remove the excesses of the personality cult that Niyazov had created in his two decades at the head of one of the world's most totalitarian regimes. Niyazov also named cities and airports after himself, ordered the building of an ice palace and a 40-metre (130 ft) tall pyramid, but the gold-plated statue has been described as the most notorious symbol of his legacy.[2][3]

Berdimuhamedow moved the "Monument to Neutrality" to the suburbs.[2] The president appointed Turkish construction firm Polimeks, which had initially constructed it, to carry out the dismantling and movement of the arch.[4] The removal of Niyazov's golden statue was completed on 26 August 2010,[5] although it was then placed back after the monument was moved. The statue no longer rotates, but the viewing platform is still usually open for visitors. There are elevators inside the "legs" of the monument.[6]

Symbol of the country

See also


  1. ^ Radio Free Europe: Turkmen Leader Orders Predecessor's Statue Removed
  2. ^ a b c d e f g The Times: 'Father of all Turkmen' toppled under orders of successor
  3. ^ a b BBC News: Turkmenistan ex-leader Niyazov's arch to be removed
  4. ^ a b c Financial Times: Turkmenistan to end personality cult
  5. ^ "Turkmenistan ex-leader Niyazov's golden statue toppled". BBC News Asia-Pacific. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  6. ^ Catherine A. Fitzpatrick (7 November 2011). "Turkmenistan: Golden Turkmenbashi Statue is Back".

External links

  • The Neutrality Monument – Polimeks

Coordinates: 37°52′56″N 58°20′00″E / 37.8822°N 58.3333°E / 37.8822; 58.3333

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