25.12.06 11:12

Mausoleum with Saparmurat Niyazov's burial-vault to open to public after third day of mourning

As the Ashgabat correspondent of Turkmenistan.ru reports referring to the State News Service (TDH), Turkmenistan, seeing Saparmurat Niyazov off on his last journey, mourned the loss of its national leader yesterday.

The entire international community mourned with the Turkmen people and paid homage and respect to the first President of Turkmenistan.

The ceremony of farewell to the deceased head of state took place in the central hall of the Presidential Palace. Relatives and friends sit at the coffin of the late president. The Turkmen honor guards stand motionless next to the coffin. They hold green pads with numerous awards of Saparmurat Niyazov. The mournful watch is performed by acting president of Turkmenistan Gurban Berdymukhammedov, members of the Cabinet of Ministers, leaders of Mejlis (National Parliament), law enforcing agencies, ministries and establishments, large public associations and clergy.

An endless stream of people flows across the square. The organizers of the ceremony decided to reschedule it from 9 am to 7 am. Residents of the capital, representatives of all five provinces of Turkmenistan filed past the coffin in mournful silence.

Heads and representatives of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited to Turkmenistan came to pay a tribute to the President of Turkmenistan. Wreaths of flowers are laid at the coffin in recognition of contribution of Saparmurat Niyazov, the author of the doctrine of permanent neutrality, to the cause of peace and stability on the planet and development of constructive cooperation.

Heads of states and governments, authoritative international organizations and famous foreign companies considered it their duty to pay last respect to Saparmurat Niyazov and share the pain and sorrow of Turkmen people in the days of tragedy. Motorcades with governmental delegations arrive at the Presidential palace. They include the delegation of Russia headed by prime-minister Michael Fradkov; delegation of Ukraine - by prime-minister Victor Yanukovoch; delegation of Turkey - by prime-minister Rejep Tayyp Erdogan and minister of foreign affairs Abdullah Gul; delegation of China - by State Council member Tang Jasuan; delegation of Georgia - by prime-minister Zurab Nogiadeli; delegation of Pakistan - by prime minister Shaukat Aziz; delegation of Armenia - by prime minister Andranik Markaryan; delegation of the U.S. - by assistant secretary of state Richard Boucher; delegation of Azerbaijan - by prime-minister Artur Rasizade; delegation of Belarus - by chairman of republican council Genadiy Novitskiy; delegation of OSCE - by Secretary General Mark Perrin De Brishambo; delegation of Kyrgyzstan - by state secretary Adahan Madumarov; delegation of UAE - by minister of internal affairs Saif Ben Al Nahayan; delegation of India - by minister of water resources Saifutdin Soz; delegation of Kazakhstan - by president Nursultan Nazarbayev; delegation of Uzbekistan - by chairman of the parliament Erkin Halilov and delegation of Afghanistan - by president Hamid Karzai.

Fellow countrymen from other countries who by the will of fortune live outside Turkmenistan came to pay homage to Saparmurat Niyazov, the founder and permanent president of Humanitarian Association of World Turkmen.

The funeral ceremony participants also included deputy chairman of CIS Executive Chairman Evgeniy Novozhilov, delegation of Gazprom headed by board chairman Alexei Miller, delegation of the ministry of fuel and energy of Ukraine headed by Yuriy Boyko. Former president of Afghanistan, Burhanuddin Rabbani, also arrived in Ashgabat to pay respect to the friend of the Afghan people.

At noon, the Turkmen president\'s coffin was put on the armored carriage and draped with the State flag of Turkmenistan. The funeral cortege leaves for Saparmurat Niyazov's home village, Kipchak. Turkmen citizens lined in a human corridor along the path of funeral cortege. They mourn a man who realized the dream of many generations of Turkmens about independence of their Fatherland.

A fighter squadron patrols the funeral cortege in the sky all the way along. Armed Forces of Turkmenistan bid farewell to their Supreme Commander-in-Chief.

On arriving in Kipchak, the funeral cortege heads towards Spirituality mosque. In a mausoleum near the mosque there lie the ashes of Saparmurat Niyazov's parents, Hero of Turkmenistan Atamurat Aga who died as in the battlefields of WWII, and his mother Gurbansoltan Eje with his two brothers who died during the devastating earthquake in Ashgabat in 1948.

A funeral rite was performed in accordance with the national traditions in the presidential apartment of the complex. In the end of the rite set by Islamic canons and Turkmen traditions the participants of the funeral cortege slowly move to the mausoleum. The coffin with Saparmurat Niyazov covered by the State flag of Turkmenistan is put on a special base. Thousands of people - members of the government, honorable elders, clergy and representatives of public associations, heads and members of foreign delegations, residents of Kipchak - gather in the square near the mausoleum.

Chief mufti reads Jyn Aza, a funeral prayer.

Having performed the burial rite, the funeral ceremony participants throw in a traditional handful of soil. The national anthem of Turkmenistan is played. It is accompanied by 21 gun fires, symbolizing the number of years during which the national leader stayed in power. The ceremony participants offer a prayer.

In accordance with Muslim traditions, the third and seventh days of mourning of Saparmurat Niyazov are announced. They will be marked on December 26 and 30. Having announced that Saparmurat Niyazov's burial-vault would be open to public after the third day of mourning, clergy representatives invite everyone to attend a funeral repast, sadaka.

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