Turkmenistan’s president has bestowed his favourite dog breed with the highest honour – a giant golden statue.
Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov unveiled the 19ft (6m) statue of the Alabay dog in the capital Ashgabat on Tuesday.
The Alabay is a home-bred Turkmen variety of the Central Asian shepherd dog and is listed under the country’s national heritage.
It isn’t the first time the breed has been honoured by the president – last year he devoted a book to the Alabay.
Despite the grandeur of the statue, much of Turkmenistan’s population is impoverished. The country is ranked one of the least free in the world by press freedom organisation RSF, just one place above North Korea.