Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow's obsession with white is making the residents of the country suffer financially. Turkmenistan has reportedly banned black cars form its capital city because the president believes white brings good fortune.
Black cars have been banned from the capital city Ashgabat, also known as the City of White Marble, and the police have seized several vehicles with dark colours. They have even asked the owners to repaint white because it brings good fortune.
The repainting is not only restricted to new cars, even the old cars' colour will have to be changed. If anyone ignores the latest guidelines then their cars will be towed and seized following which they will have to pay fine.
This new law is troubling people because of the high paint cost in the country, where the average monthly income is 1,200 manats ($340 approximately). One of the residents said that the repainting cost would go up to 7,000 manats ($1994 approximately).
"When I came to the auto shop, I was told that the repainting would cost 7,000 manats but that in a week the price would rise to 11,000 manats," a car owner on the request of anonymity told Radio Free Europe.
"My salary is 1,000 manats, so even if I don't spend any money anywhere, I will be forced to hand over pretty much my entire annual salary just to repaint," he added.
In 2015, the country banned the import of black cars and the president also outlawed personalised number plates and tinted windows.
The country also banned women from driving because of the belief that they cause more car accidents. Minister of the Interior Isgender Mulikov reportedly told Berdimuhamedow that "almost all car accidents were caused by women."
"At first, I thought this was a joke - until I was stopped. Now women are afraid to drive and ask their husbands to drive them to and from work," a female resident told a local press.
Berdymukhammedov is known for his obsession with the colour white. He has been living in a white palace and travelling in white limousines and reports also suggest that he has "forced apartment buildings to remove their air conditioners to guarantee the pure appearance of his shining white capital."