The use of new names of months and days of the week began all over Turkmenistan. All Monday Turkmen newspapers pointed to the fact that August 12th is also called "12 Arp Aslan, Bash Gyuni".
Last Friday Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov told a meeting of the People's Council (the supreme representative power body in the republic) that Turkmen don't understand the meaning of months - January, February, March, etc. "Let them stay in the world's calendar, but we shall use Turkmen names, because we are an independent state," Niyazov said, stressing that both Turkmen and Christian calendar will be used in the country.
According to the presidential decision, January is called Turkmenbashi (the second name of President Niyazov). February turned into Baidag (a month of the banner), March - into Novruz (a spring Muslim holiday), April - into Gurbansoltan Edzhe (President Niyazov's mother), May - into Makhtumkuli (Makhtumkuli-Fragi is a classic of medieval Turkmen poetry), June - into Oguz (Oguz-Khan is the forefather of the Turkmen), July - into Gorkut (the hero of "Gorkut-Ata" Turkmen epic), August - into Alp Arslan (a founding-father of the Seldzhuk Empire), September - into Rukhnama (the spiritual code of the Turkmen, written by the President of Turkmenistan), October - into Garashsyzlyk (Day of Turkmenistan's Independence is celebrated in October), November - into Sandzhar (Sultan Sandzhar is the last ruler of the Seldzhuk Empire) and December - into Bitaraplyk (Day of Turkmenistan's Neutrality is celebrated in December).
The days of the week were also renamed. Monday became the main day (Bash Gyun), Tuesday - the young day (Yash Gyun), Wednesday - the favourable day (Khosh Gyun), Thursday - the just day (Sogap Gyun), Friday, Anna Gyun, is not changed, Saturday is called the spirit's day (Rukh Gyun) and Sunday - the rest day (Dynch Gyun).
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969