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Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia. It has borders with Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and has a coastline on the Caspian Sea.

Turkmenostan Respublikasy
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: none''
Official language Turkmen
PresidentSaparmurat Niyazov
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 51st
488,100 km²
 - Total (2002)
 - Density
Ranked 113th
 - Declared
 - Recognised

October 27, 1991
CurrencyTurkmen manat
Time zoneUTC +5
National anthemIndependent, Neutral, Turkmenistan State Anthem
Internet TLD.TM
Calling Code993

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Welayatlar
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics


Main article: History of Turkmenistan

Annexed by Russia between 1865 and 1885, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic in 1925. It achieved its independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.

See also: Republics of the Soviet Union


Main article: Politics of Turkmenistan

President Saparmurat Niyazov retains absolute control over the country and opposition is not tolerated. An all pervasive cult of personality is in place, with President Niyazov as Turkmenbashi ("The Leader of all Turkmens"). His face adorns almost everything in Turkmenistan, from banknotes to bottles of vodka. A slogan popular among Turkmens is "Halk! Watan! Türkmenbashy!" meaning "People! Motherland! Leader!", which observers have noted is strikingly similar to the slogan "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer" ("One People, One Realm, One Leader") coined by the leadership of Nazi Germany.


Main article: Welayatlar of Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is divided into 5 welayatlar (singular - welayat):

Ahal Welayaty (capital Ashgabat), Balkan Welayaty (capital Nebitdag), Dashhowuz Welayaty (formerly Tashauz, capital Dashhowuz), Lebap Welayaty (capital Charjew), Mary Welayaty (capital Mary).


Main article: Geography of Turkmenistan

The country is approximately 488,100 square kilometers. 90% of the country is covered by the Kara Kum desert. The center of country dominated by Turan Depression and Garagum Desert, flatlands of which occupy nearly 80 percent of country's area. The Kopetdag Range, along southwestern border, reaches 2,912 meters. The Balkan Mountains in far west and Kugitang Range in far east are the only other appreciable elevations. Rivers include the Amu Darya and Hari Rud.

The climate is subtropical, desert, and severely continental, with little rainfall. Winters mild and dry, most precipitation falling between January and May. Heaviest precipitation in Kopetdag Range.

Other cities include:


Main article:
Economy of Turkmenistan

One-half of its irrigated land is planted in cotton, making it the world's 10th-largest producer; and it possesses the world's fifth-largest reserves of natural gas as well as substantial oil resources. In 1994, Russia's refusal to export Turkmen gas to hard currency markets and mounting debts of its major customers in the former USSR for gas deliveries contributed to a sharp fall in industrial production and caused the budget to shift from a surplus to a slight deficit.

Turkmenistan has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton sales to sustain its inefficient economy. Privatization goals remain limited. Between 1998 and 2002, Turkmenistan has suffered from the continued lack of adequate export routes for natural gas and from obligations on extensive short-term external debt. At the same time, however, the value of total exports has risen sharply because of higher international oil and gas prices. Prospects in the near future are discouraging because of widespread internal poverty, the burden of foreign debt, and the unwillingness of the government to adopt market-oriented reforms.

President Niyazov has squandered much of his country's revenue on self-glorification, with cities, Ashgabat in particular, being given extensive renovations whilst the people struggle in conditions of poverty. President Niyazov has pledged free water, electricity and gas, however, shortages are frequent.


Main article: Demographics of Turkmenistan


Main article: Culture of Turkmenistan

Miscellaneous topics

[ Edit {}] Countries in Central Asia
China | Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan | Mongolia | Tajikistan | Turkmenistan | Uzbekistan