I just noticed that Turkmenistan--you know the 'stans, here a 'stan, there a 'stan, everywhere a 'stan, 'stan--has a new President. The Moscow Times informs us that Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has taken over the ship of Turkmen state following the death of Saparmurat Niayzov, or Turkmenbashi, a few weeks ago. The latter was the man who had most days of the week, as well as most of the months of the year, named for him. He was a pistol!
These names got me to thinking about one of my favorite subjects: the strangest(relatively speaking), longest, and/or most unpronounceable names of foreign leaders. I offer as examples those two Turkmen gems. But recent Indonesian leaders Sasilo Bambang Yadhoyono and Megawati Sukamoputri are quite competitive in this category, too, and among "blasts from the past," I always cite the immortal Iosif Vissarionovich Djugashvili, better known as Stalin. Among the strange but entirely pronounceable since we know them, Robert STRANGE McNamara and Warren GAMALIEL Harding. The best-sounding strange moniker must surely be ATATURK, or Mustafa Kemal. You see his name and you just want to call out, "Atta Turks!"
Who gets your nod in the "interestingly named foreign(or even domestic) leaders" competition?