Turkmen Tower Gets Place in Sun

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — Turkmenistan plans to build a soaring $70 million monument in its capital that will outstrip anything built during the ostentatious rule of the late dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, the country's state newspaper reported Monday.

The 185-meter monument will be twice as high the country's current tallest — a tower topped by a golden statue of Niyazov that rotates to face the sun. Authorities recently announced that Niyazov's statue will be moved from the central city to the suburbs.

Since coming to power in early 2007, President Gurbanguli Berdymukhammedov has tentatively sought to reintegrate Turkmenistan into the international community and diminish his predecessor's legacy.

He indicated at a ceremony Sunday that the site would be a sign of transition.

"This magnificent memorial complex will be an excellent symbol of a new era for Turkmenistan," he said, Neitralny Turkmenistan newspaper reported.