03/16/2023, 10.27
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Turkmen 'Neutrality' Legacy of the Parthians

by Vladimir Rozanskij

A recent discovery reportedly proves thesis of neutrality. Turkmen scholar: the Parthian Empire was the first state in world history with a legally fixed neutral status. The Berdymukhamedov family also based its power on respect for traditional cultures.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Turkmen state television channel Mir 24, linked to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has broadcast a report on the "sensational" discovery of a historian of Turkmenistan, Džuma Orazklyčev. It would show how the Parthian Empire, ancestor of the Turkmen people in the 3rd century BC, was the first 'neutral state' in history, justifying the current policy of the country led by the Berdymukhamedov family with such ancestral roots.

The historian had to thoroughly analyse more than 40,000 pages of ancient texts, a task that took him more than a year to complete. Among others, evidence of the neutrality of the Parthians would also be found in the works of the ancient Greek philosopher Plutarch, and the Roman historian Tacitus. In conclusion, Orazklyčev states, 'irrefutable evidence has emerged, with references to direct sources, that the Parthian Empire was the first state in world history with a legally fixed neutral status'.

The Parthians occupied the territory of present-day Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and part of Turkmenistan. Former president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has repeatedly stated in various interviews that the Turkmen are the true founders of Parthia and the Seljuk Empire. The historian's report confirms that 'our state moves according to the most authentic directives bequeathed by our great predecessors'.

Orazklyčev is no stranger to statements attributing the original root of Turkmen statehood and neutrality to the Parthians. In previous publications (most recently in 2019), he has commented on the Parthian Empire's agreement with the Romans, which would be one of the main proofs of the Parthians' 'neutral superiority' from the earliest times. The empire founded by Arsaces I in 247 BC, for which reason it is also called the Arsacid Empire, stretched as far as Mesopotamia and was traversed by the ancient Silk Road, which connected the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean basin and the Chinese Empire, with flourishing trade.

The Arsacid 'kings of kings' ruled with a decentralised system, placing satraps and vassal kings in the various regions, and for a time the capital remained in Nisa, 15 kilometres from the present-day Turkmen capital Ašgabat. Rome and Parthia actually fought over control of the kingdom of Armenia for centuries, without succeeding in prevailing over each other, thus leading to an armed peace, which according to current Turkmen research resulted in the choice of neutrality. Moreover, infighting within the empire was far more dangerous to the Parthians than foreign invasions.

The syncretist culture of the Parthians stimulated Turkmenistan researchers to the point of considering them predecessors of many other peoples and cultures, even the Incas and Aztecs, the Vikings and the Chinese themselves. It was precisely these claims of Turkmen universality that had justified the solutions proposed by the Ašgabat government in recent years to 'prevent' the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, which according to the official version never penetrated Turkmenistan.

The then President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov had urged the Academy of Sciences to look to traditional cultures, to which the country is able to refer more than any other in the world, for the necessary health security measures. Hence the presidential decision to use 'garmala' (Syrian rue), which spreads with its fumes to be taken, or simply dispersed in the environment, all the properties useful in avoiding any kind of contagion.

Further research then led to the consumption of 'solodka', an ancient liquorice, which is even easier to take in order to guarantee the Turkmen people immunity and 'neutrality' of body and soul.

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