4. Saparmurat Niyazov
Saparmurat Niyazov is guilty of less atrocities than other notorious dictators on this list, but he deserves to be on it for annoying the heck out of his people. His myriad ridiculous rules and changes to everyday routines would have made all Turkmen openly despise him, had he not threatened them with imprisonment for speaking out against them. He also provided his citizens with free utilities and food, however, so there were small plus sides to his reign.
In addition to declaring himself father of all Turkmen, and President for life, Niyazov demanded that his citizens worship him daily, in strange and inconvenient ways. He re-named days of the week, months of the year, entire cities, and even the word for “bread” after himself and members of his family. He also put his face on every bit of currency, news channel, and nearly every street corner to make sure his people reallyknew who was in charge.
Here are just some of his other weird changes, ideas, and practices:
-He re-wrote the national anthem to be about him
-He created a new alphabet for the country to use
-He banned makeup, recorded music, and dogs from the capital
-He made it so foreigners had to pay to be married to Turkmen women
-Whenever he fired somebody, he did it on national television
-He wanted an ice palace to be built… in the middle of the desert
Niyazov won hollow victories in elections by imprisoning his political rivals. He humiliated one even further by demanding he write an entire book telling him how great he was. Niyazov was “President” of Turkmenistan from 1985 until his death in 2006.