Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov, already the subject of an elaborate personality cult, is seeking to to extend his authority over this former Soviet state even further by publishing a book, called the Rukhname-a code of moral and ethical commandments and a charter for how the citizens of this central Asian republic should act.
Niyazov has said he wants Rukhname to be a "great book" comparable to the Bible and the Koran. The president's program "will answer all life's questions," declared Murad Karyev, deputy head of Turkmenistan's council on religion. Niyazov said the Rukhname is based on the Koran. Residents of Turkmenistan are mostly Muslim.