Gurbanguly Mälikgulyýewiç Berdimuhamedow[ (born 29 June 1957),is a Turkmen politician who has served as the President of Turkmenistan since February 2007. Berdimuhamedow, a dentist by profession, served in the government under President Saparmurat Niyazov as Minister of Health beginning in 1997 and as Vice-President beginning in 2001. He became Acting President following Niyazov's death on 21 December 2006 and subsequently won the February 2007 presidential election.He faced no meaningful opposition in the vote and won by an overwhelming margin. In the February 2012 presidential election, he was re-elected with 97% of the vote. In the February 2017 presidential election, he was re-elected to a third term with 97% of the vote. Like with his predecessor, a personality cult is promoted around Berdimuhamedow. According to Human Rights Watch, he and his relatives and associates receive unlimited power and total control over all aspects of public life.He uses the honorific title Arkadag, meaning "protector".