Authorities in gas-rich Turkmenistan in Central Asia have expanded their unofficial crackdown on the colour black, with traffic police flagging cars with black exterior elements, telling drivers they need to paint over them in the main colour of their vehicles.
Two independent web channels on Turkmenistan quoted drivers in the country’s capital of Ashgabat as saying that while no fine is imposed for this gross violation, the warning is that cars with black exterior parts, such as grills, fenders and mudguards, will not pass a road worthiness test.
Cars painted in black and other dark colours have already vanished from Ashgabat's streets and other cities as black is said to be disfavoured by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.
Before his recent visit to the city of Balkanabad, the local administration urgently painted buildings white, with residents ordered to hang green curtains on windows.
Berdymukhamedov, who came to power in 2006, initially promoted diversification of Turkmenistan gas export routes (the country holds second largest gas reserves after Russia in the former Soviet Union region) and foreign investments into its oil and gas industry.
With the country’s energy revenues booming as a result, the president focused on briging to life other plans and dreams.
Most buildings in Ashgabat have been clad in white marble slabs, while monuments to Berdymukhamedov’s cherished horses and even his dog have been erected.
As for the president’s devotion to whitening his surroundings, this perhaps should be no surprise given he trained as a dentist.