A Reddit user came across a dictator’s presidential palace on Google Earth after an "exile" spotted it tucked away in the mountains.
Earlier this month, they shared a picture of their findings in the deserts of western Turkmenistan.
In the picture, a huge complex is visible surrounded by fencing.
The user thought it belonged to the country’s president Gurbangluy Berdimuhamedow as he “absolutely loves” the building’s materials.
However, he later received a message from a Turkmeni exile who claimed it was a “medical facility for the political elite”.
They told him: “[The] dictator's compound is also hidden in the mountains, but it is much larger and way more sophisticated, protected by double-walls with road access to area restricted about 10 miles before the actual compound.
“You cannot even go hiking in the area or climb the highest mountaintop as the facility would be visible from there and it is heavily guarded.”
They claim the area where the residence was built used to be a town 20 years ago.
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The exile added: “There are two huge compounds, one believed to belong to dictator's son, while the other one to Berdimuhammedov himself!
“While surrounding territory is full of auxiliary buildings and fruit plantations.
“The reason why I decided to write this here is because some media has picked up on this discovery and I don't want general public to be misinformed, as the reality is even more shocking.”
They also shared the co-ordinates to the actual palace, taking the Reddit user to the mountains surrounding Turkmenistan capital Ashgabat.
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In it, a sprawling complex and several hotels are visible on the outskirts of the city.
The Arcabil resort was originally built by the country’s former president Saparmyrat Nyýazow and is supposedly still used today.
Berdymukhamedov has run the tightly-controlled former Soviet republic since 2007 and is unofficially known as Arkadag, or protector.
The country’s six million residents largely depend on revenues from natural gas reserves to survive.
Last November, Berdymukhamedov unveiled a huge gilded statue of a dog in the capital.
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He also wrote an ode to the local breed and gifted one to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The statue, with a screen showing Turkmenistan’s beloved Alabai dogs in action wrapped around the pedestal, joins another on a different major junction, also coated in gold, of Berdymukhamedov himself, seated on a horse.
Dogs and horses are sources of national pride in the isolated desert nation, where they are widely used by the country’s traditional herders.
He has praised the Alabai, or Central Asian shepherd dog, as national heritage and written a book as well as a poem about them.
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