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Coordinates: 40°N 60°E / 40°N 60°E / 40; 60

Turkmenistan Türkmenistan  (Turkmen)

Flag

Emblem

Anthem:  Garaşsyz Bitarap Türkmenistanyň Döwlet Gimni (English: "State Anthem of Independent, Neutral Turkmenistan")

Location of  Turkmenistan  (red)

Capital and largest city Ashgabat 37°58′N 58°20′E / 37.967°N 58.333°E / 37.967; 58.333

Official languages Turkmen[1]

Inter-ethnic languages Russian

Ethnic groups (2003)

85% Turkmen 5% Uzbek 4% Russian 6% others[2]

Demonym Turkmen

Government Unitary authoritarian presidential republic

• President

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow

• Chairman of the Mejlis

Akja Nurberdiýewa

Legislature Mejlis

Formation

•  Khanate of Khiva

1511

• Turkestan ASSR

30 April 1918

• Turkmen SSR

13 May 1925

• Declared state sovereignty

22 August 1990

• Declared independence from the Soviet Union

27 October 1991

• Recognized

26 December 1991

• Current constitution

18 May 1992

Area

• Total

491,210 km2 (189,660 sq mi)[3] (52nd)

• Water (%)

4.9

Population

• 2016 estimate

5,662,544[4] (117th)

• Density

10.5/km2 (27.2/sq mi) (221st)

GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate

• Total

$103.987 billion[5]

• Per capita

$18,771[5]

GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate

• Total

$42.355 billion[5]

• Per capita

$7,645[5]

Gini (1998) 40.8 medium

HDI (2014)  0.688[6] medium · 109th

Currency Turkmen new manat (TMT)

Time zone TMT (UTC+5)

Drives on the right

Calling code +993

ISO 3166 code TM

Internet TLD .tm

Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
(/tɜːrkˈmɛnɪstæn/ ( listen) or /tɜːrkmɛnɪˈstɑːn/ ( listen); Turkmen: Türkmenistan, pronounced [tyɾkmeniˈθtɑn]), (formerly known as Turkmenia)[7] is a sovereign state in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
to the northwest, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
to the north and east, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
to the southeast, Iran
Iran
to the south and southwest, and the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
to the west. Ashgabat
Ashgabat
is the capital and largest city. The population of the country is 5.6 million, the lowest of the Central Asian republics. Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. In medieval times, Merv
Merv
was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road, a caravan route used for trade with China
China
until the mid-15th century. Annexed by the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
in 1881, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1925, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
Republic
(Turkmen SSR); it became independent upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in 1991.[2] Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
possesses the world's sixth largest reserves of natural gas resources.[8] Most of the country is covered by the Karakum (Black Sand) Desert. Since 1993, citizens have been receiving government-provided electricity, water and natural gas free of charge.[9] Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
was ruled by President for Life
President for Life
Saparmurat Niyazov
Saparmurat Niyazov
(also known as Turkmenbashi) until his death in 2006. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow was elected president in 2007. According to Human Rights Watch, " Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
remains one of the world’s most repressive countries. The country is virtually closed to independent scrutiny, media and religious freedoms are subject to draconian restrictions, and human rights defenders and other activists face the constant threat of government reprisal."[10] After suspending the death penalty, the use of capital punishment was formally abolished in the 2008 constitution.[11][1]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History 3 Politics

3.1 Foreign relations

3.1.1 List of international organization memberships

3.2 Human rights 3.3 Restrictions on free and open communication

4 Administrative divisions 5 Climate 6 Geography 7 Economy

7.1 Natural gas
Natural gas
and export routes 7.2 Oil 7.3 Energy 7.4 Agriculture 7.5 Tourism

8 Demographics 9 Largest cities 10 Languages 11 Religion 12 Culture

12.1 Heritage 12.2 Mass media 12.3 Education 12.4 Architecture

13 Transportation

13.1 Automobile transport 13.2 Air transport 13.3 Maritime transport 13.4 Railway transport

14 See also 15 References 16 Further reading 17 External links

Etymology[edit] The name of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
(Turkmen: Türkmenistan) can be divided into two components: the ethnonym Türkmen and the Persian suffix -stan meaning "place of" or "country". The name "Turkmen" comes from Turk, plus the Sogdian suffix -men, meaning "almost Turk", in reference to their status outside the Turkic dynastic mythological system.[12] However, some scholars argue the suffix is an intensifier, changing the meaning of Türkmen to "pure Turks" or "the Turkish Turks."[13] Muslim chroniclers like Ibn Kathir
Ibn Kathir
suggested that the etymology of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
came from the words Türk and Iman (Arabic: إيمان‎, "faith, belief") in reference to a massive conversion to Islam
Islam
of two hundred thousand households in the year 971.[14] History[edit] Main article: History of Turkmenistan Historically inhabited by the Indo-Iranians, the written history of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
begins with its annexation by the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
of Ancient Iran. In the 8th century AD, Turkic-speaking Oghuz tribes moved from Mongolia
Mongolia
into present-day Central Asia. Part of a powerful confederation of tribes, these Oghuz formed the ethnic basis of the modern Turkmen population.[15] In the 10th century, the name "Turkmen" was first applied to Oghuz groups that accepted Islam
Islam
and began to occupy present-day Turkmenistan.[15] There they were under the dominion of the Seljuk Empire, which was composed of Oghuz groups living in present-day Iran
Iran
and Turkmenistan.[15] Turkmen soldiers in the service of the empire played an important role in the spreading of Turkic culture when they migrated westward into present-day Azerbaijan and eastern Turkey.[15]

Turkmen helmet (15th century)

In the 12th century, Turkmen and other tribes overthrew the Seljuk Empire.[15] In the next century, the Mongols
Mongols
took over the more northern lands where the Turkmens
Turkmens
had settled, scattering the Turkmens southward and contributing to the formation of new tribal groups.[15] The sixteenth and eighteenth centuries saw a series of splits and confederations among the nomadic Turkmen tribes, who remained staunchly independent and inspired fear in their neighbors.[15] By the 16th century, most of those tribes were under the nominal control of two sedentary Uzbek khanates, Khiva and Bukhoro.[15] Turkmen soldiers were an important element of the Uzbek militaries of this period.[15] In the 19th century, raids and rebellions by the Yomud
Yomud
Turkmen group resulted in that group's dispersal by the Uzbek rulers.[15] According to Paul R. Spickard, "Prior to the Russian conquest, the Turkmen were known and feared for their involvement in the Central Asian slave trade."[16][17]

Russians
Russians
attack a Turkmen caravan 1873 (propaganda picture produced during "The Great Game").

Russian forces began occupying Turkmen territory late in the 19th century.[15] From their Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
base at Krasnovodsk (now Turkmenbashi), the Russians
Russians
eventually overcame the Uzbek khanates.[15] In 1881, the last significant resistance in Turkmen territory was crushed at the Battle of Geok Tepe, and shortly thereafter Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
was annexed, together with adjoining Uzbek territory, into the Russian Empire.[15] In 1916 the Russian Empire's participation in World War I
World War I
resonated in Turkmenistan, as an anticonscription revolt swept most of Russian Central Asia.[15] Although the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
of 1917 had little direct impact, in the 1920s Turkmen forces joined Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and Uzbeks
Uzbeks
in the so-called Basmachi Rebellion
Basmachi Rebellion
against the rule of the newly formed Soviet Union.[15] In 1924 the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
was formed from the tsarist province of Transcaspia.[15] By the late 1930s, Soviet reorganization of agriculture had destroyed what remained of the nomadic lifestyle in Turkmenistan, and Moscow controlled political life.[15] The Ashgabat
Ashgabat
earthquake of 1948 killed over 110,000 people,[18] amounting to two-thirds of the city's population.

A Turkmen man of Central Asia
Central Asia
in traditional clothes. Photo by Prokudin-Gorsky between 1905 and 1915.

During the next half-century, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
played its designated economic role within the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and remained outside the course of major world events.[15] Even the major liberalization movement that shook Russia
Russia
in the late 1980s had little impact.[15] However, in 1990 the Supreme Soviet of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
declared sovereignty as a nationalist response to perceived exploitation by Moscow.[15] Although Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
was ill-prepared for independence and communist leader Saparmurad Niyazov
Saparmurad Niyazov
preferred to preserve the Soviet Union, in October 1991 the fragmentation of that entity forced him to call a national referendum that approved independence.[15] On December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
ceased to exist. Niyazov continued as Turkmenistan's chief of state, replacing communism with a unique brand of independent nationalism reinforced by a pervasive cult of personality.[15] A 1994 referendum and legislation in 1999 abolished further requirements for the president to stand for re-election (although in 1992 he completely dominated the only presidential election in which he ran, as he was the only candidate and no one else was allowed to run for the office), making him effectively president for life.[15] During his tenure, Niyazov conducted frequent purges of public officials and abolished organizations deemed threatening.[15] Throughout the post-Soviet era, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
has taken a neutral position on almost all international issues.[15] Niyazov eschewed membership in regional organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and in the late 1990s he maintained relations with the Taliban
Taliban
and its chief opponent in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance.[15] He offered limited support to the military campaign against the Taliban
Taliban
following the 11 September 2001 attacks.[15] In 2002 an alleged assassination attempt against Niyazov led to a new wave of security restrictions, dismissals of government officials, and restrictions placed on the media.[15] Niyazov accused exiled former foreign minister Boris Shikhmuradov of having planned the attack.[15] Between 2002 and 2004, serious tension arose between Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
because of bilateral disputes and Niyazov's implication that Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
had a role in the 2002 assassination attempt.[15] In 2004 a series of bilateral treaties restored friendly relations.[15] In the parliamentary elections of December 2004 and January 2005, only Niyazov's party was represented, and no international monitors participated.[15] In 2005 Niyazov exercised his dictatorial power by closing all hospitals outside Ashgabat
Ashgabat
and all rural libraries.[15] The year 2006 saw intensification of the trends of arbitrary policy changes, shuffling of top officials, diminishing economic output outside the oil and gas sector, and isolation from regional and world organizations.[15] China
China
was among a very few nations to whom Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
made significant overtures.[15] The sudden death of Niyazov at the end of 2006 left a complete vacuum of power, as his cult of personality, compared to that of former president Kim Il-sung of North Korea, had precluded the naming of a successor.[15] Deputy Prime Minister Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who was named interim head of government, won the special presidential election held in early February 2007.[15] He was re-elected in 2012 with 97% of the vote.[19] Politics[edit]

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Main article: Politics of Turkmenistan After 69 years as part of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
(including 67 years as a union republic), Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
declared its independence on 27 October 1991. President for Life
President for Life
Saparmurat Niyazov, a former bureaucrat of the Communist
Communist
Party of the Soviet Union, ruled Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
from 1985, when he became head of the Communist
Communist
Party of the Turkmen SSR, until his death in 2006. He retained absolute control over the country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. On 28 December 1999, Niyazov was declared President for Life
President for Life
of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
by the Mejlis (parliament), which itself had taken office a week earlier in elections that included only candidates hand-picked by President Niyazov. No opposition candidates were allowed. Since the December 2006 death of Niyazov, Turkmenistan's leadership has made tentative moves to open up the country. His successor, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, repealed some of Niyazov's most idiosyncratic policies, including banning opera and the circus for being "insufficiently Turkmen". In education, Berdimuhamedow's government increased basic education to ten years from nine years, and higher education was extended from four years to five. It also increased contacts with the West, which is eager for access to the country's natural gas riches. The politics of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
take place in the framework of a presidential republic, with the President both head of state and head of government. Under Niyazov, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
had a one-party system; however, in September 2008, the People's Council unanimously passed a resolution adopting a new Constitution. The latter resulted in the abolition of the Council and a significant increase in the size of Parliament in December 2008 and also permits the formation of multiple political parties. The former Communist
Communist
Party, now known as the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan, is the dominant party. The second party, the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs was established in August 2012. Political gatherings are illegal unless government sanctioned. In 2013 the first multi-party Parliamentary Elections were held in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
was a one-party state from 1991 to 2012; however, the 2013 elections were widely seen as mere window dressing.[20] In practice, all parties in parliament operate jointly under the direction of the DPT. There are no true opposition parties in the Turkmen parliament.[21] Foreign relations[edit] Main article: Foreign relations of Turkmenistan

President of Turkmenistan
President of Turkmenistan
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov
with the then President of the United States Barack Obama
Barack Obama
and First Lady Michelle Obama

Turkmenistan's declaration of "permanent neutrality" was formally recognized by the United Nations
United Nations
in 1995.[22] Former President Saparmurat Niyazov
Saparmurat Niyazov
stated that the neutrality would prevent Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
from participating in multi-national defense organizations, but allows military assistance. Its neutral foreign policy has an important place in the country's constitution. Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
has diplomatic relations with 132 countries.[23] List of international organization memberships[edit]

Organization of Islamic Cooperation[24]

Human rights[edit] Main article: Human rights in Turkmenistan Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
has been widely criticised for human rights abuses and has imposed severe restrictions on foreign travel for its citizens.[25] Discrimination against the country's ethnic minorities remains in practice. Universities have been encouraged to reject applicants with non-Turkmen surnames, especially ethnic Russians.[26] It is forbidden to teach the customs and language of the Baloch, an ethnic minority.[citation needed] The same happens to Uzbeks, though the Uzbek language
Uzbek language
was formerly taught in some national schools.[27] According to Reporters Without Borders' 2014 World Press Freedom Index, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
had the 3rd worst press freedom conditions in the world (178/180 countries), just before North Korea
North Korea
and Eritrea.[28] It is considered to be one of the "10 Most Censored Countries". Each broadcast under Niyazov began with a pledge that the broadcaster's tongue will shrivel if he slanders the country, flag, or president.[29] Religious minorities are discriminated against for conscientious objection and practicing their religion by imprisonment, preventing foreign travel, confiscating copies of Christian literature or defamation.[30][31][32] Many detainees who have been arrested for exercising their freedom of religion or belief, were tortured and subsequently sentenced to imprisonment, many of them without a court decision.[33][34] Homosexual acts are illegal in Turkmenistan.[35] Restrictions on free and open communication[edit] Despite the launch of Turkmenistan's first communication satellite—TurkmenSat 1—in April 2015, the Turkmen government banned all satellite dishes in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
the same month. The statement issued by the government indicated that all existing satellite dishes would have to be removed or destroyed—despite the communications receiving antennas having been legally installed since 1995—in an effort by the government to fully block access of the population to many "hundreds of independent international media outlets which are currently accessible in the country only through satellite dishes, including all leading international news channels in different languages. The main target of this campaign is Radio Azatlyk, the Turkmen-language service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. It is the only independent source of information about Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
and the world in the Turkmen language
Turkmen language
and is widely listened to in the country."[36] Administrative divisions[edit] See also: Districts of Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
is divided into five provinces or welayatlar (singular welayat) and one capital city district. The provinces are subdivided into districts (etraplar, sing. etrap), which may be either counties or cities. According to the Constitution of Turkmenistan
Constitution of Turkmenistan
(Article 16 in the 2008 Constitution, Article 47 in the 1992 Constitution), some cities may have the status of welaýat (province) or etrap (district).

Division ISO 3166-2 Capital city Area[37] Pop (2005)[37] Key

Ashgabat
Ashgabat
City TM-S Ashgabat 470 km2 (180 sq mi) 871,500

Ahal Province TM-A Anau 97,160 km2 (37,510 sq mi) 939,700 1

Balkan Province TM-B Balkanabat  139,270 km2 (53,770 sq mi) 553,500 2

Daşoguz
Daşoguz
Province TM-D Daşoguz 73,430 km2 (28,350 sq mi) 1,370,400 3

Lebap Province TM-L Türkmenabat 93,730 km2 (36,190 sq mi) 1,334,500 4

Mary Province TM-M Mary 87,150 km2 (33,650 sq mi) 1,480,400 5

Climate[edit] Main article: Climate of Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
map of Köppen climate classification

The Karakum Desert
Karakum Desert
is one of the driest deserts in the world; some places have an average annual precipitation of only 12 mm (0.47 in). The highest temperature recorded in Ashgabat
Ashgabat
is 48.0 °C (118.4 °F) and Kerki, an extreme inland city located on the banks of the Amu Darya
Amu Darya
river, recorded 51.7 °C (125.1 °F) in July 1983, although this value is unofficial. 50.1 °C (122 °F) is the highest temperature recorded at Repetek Reserve, recognized as the highest temperature ever recorded in the whole former Soviet Union.[citation needed] Geography[edit] Main articles: Geography of Turkmenistan
Geography of Turkmenistan
and List of mountains of Turkmenistan

Map of Turkmenistan

Dust storm over Turkmenistan

At 488,100 km2 (188,500 sq mi), Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
is the world's 52nd-largest country. It is slightly smaller than Spain
Spain
and somewhat larger than the US state of California. It lies between latitudes 35° and 43° N, and longitudes 52° and 67° E. Over 80% of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert. The center of the country is dominated by the Turan Depression
Turan Depression
and the Karakum Desert. The Kopet Dag
Kopet Dag
Range, along the southwestern border, reaches 2,912 metres (9,554 feet) at Kuh-e Rizeh (Mount Rizeh).[38] The Great Balkhan Range in the west of the country (Balkan Province) and the Köýtendag Range
Köýtendag Range
on the southeastern border with Uzbekistan (Lebap Province) are the only other significant elevations. The Great Balkhan Range rises to 1,880 metres (6,170 ft) at Mount Arlan[39] and the highest summit in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
is Ayrybaba
Ayrybaba
in the Kugitangtau Range – 3,137 metres (10,292 ft).[40] The Kopet Dag
Kopet Dag
mountain range forms most of the border between Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
and Iran. Rivers include the Amu Darya, the Murghab, and the Tejen. The climate is mostly arid subtropical desert, with little rainfall. Winters are mild and dry, with most precipitation falling between January and May. The area of the country with the heaviest precipitation is the Kopet Dag
Kopet Dag
Range. The Turkmen shore along the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
is 1,748 kilometres (1,086 mi) long. The Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
is entirely landlocked, with no natural access to the ocean, although the Volga–Don Canal
Volga–Don Canal
allows shipping access to and from the Black Sea. The major cities include Aşgabat, Türkmenbaşy (formerly Krasnovodsk) and Daşoguz. Economy[edit] Main articles: Economy of Turkmenistan
Economy of Turkmenistan
and Agriculture in Turkmenistan

Graphical depiction of Turkmenistan's product exports in 28 color-coded categories

The country possesses the world's sixth largest reserves of natural gas and substantial oil resources.[8] Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton sales to sustain its economy. In 2014, the unemployment rate was estimated to be 11%.[2]

Bazaar
Bazaar
in Daşoguz

Between 1998 and 2002, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
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 increases in international oil and gas prices. Economic prospects in the near future are discouraging because of widespread internal poverty and the burden of foreign debt.[citation needed] President Niyazov spent much of the country's revenue on extensively renovating cities, Ashgabat
Ashgabat
in particular. Corruption watchdogs voiced particular concern over the management of Turkmenistan's currency reserves, most of which are held in off-budget funds such as the Foreign Exchange Reserve Fund in the Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, according to a report released in April 2006 by London-based non-governmental organization Global Witness. According to the decree of the Peoples' Council of 14 August 2003,[41] electricity, natural gas, water and salt will be subsidized for citizens up to 2030. Under current regulations, every citizen is entitled to 35 kilowatt hours of electricity and 50 cubic meters of natural gas each month. The state also provides 250 liters (66 gallons) of water per day.[42] In addition car drivers were entitled to 120 litres of free petrol a month until 1 July 2014. Drivers of buses, lorries and tractors could get 200 litres of fuel and motorcyclists and scooter riders 40 litres free. On 5 September 2006, after Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
threatened to cut off supplies, Russia
Russia
agreed to raise the price it pays for Turkmen natural gas from $65 to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters. Two-thirds of Turkmen gas goes through the Russian state-owned Gazprom.[43] Natural gas
Natural gas
and export routes[edit] As of May 2011[update], the Galkynysh gas field
Galkynysh gas field
has the second-largest volume of gas in the world, after the South Pars
South Pars
field in the Persian Gulf. Reserves at the Galkynysh gas field
Galkynysh gas field
are estimated at around 21.2 trillion cubic metres.[44] The Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Natural Gas Company (Türkmengaz), under the auspices of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, controls gas extraction in the country. Gas production is the most dynamic and promising sector of the national economy. In 2010 Ashgabat started a policy of diversifying export routes for its raw materials.[45] China
China
is set to become the largest buyer of gas from Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
over the coming years as a pipeline linking the two countries, through Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
and Kazakhstan, reaches full capacity.[46] In addition to supplying Russia, China
China
and Iran, Ashgabat
Ashgabat
took concrete measures to accelerate progress in the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan
Pakistan
and India pipeline (TAPI). Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
has previously estimated the cost of the project at $3.3 billion. On 21 May 2010, president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow unexpectedly signed a decree stating that companies from Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
will build an internal East-West gas pipeline allowing the transfer of gas from the biggest deposits in Turkmenistan (Dowlatabad and Yoloten) to the Caspian coast. The East-West pipeline is planned to be 773-kilometre (483-mile) long and have a carrying capacity of 30 bn m³ annually, at a cost of between one and one and a half billion US dollars.[45] The Trans-Caspian pipeline (TCP) project, backed by the European Union, has so far remained on paper, partly due to disputes about the Caspian Sea's legal status and Turkmenistan's refusal to sign production-sharing agreements with foreign companies for major hydrocarbon deposits.[47] Oil[edit] Most of Turkmenistan's oil is extracted by the Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
State Company (Concern) Türkmennebit from fields at Koturdepe, Balkanabat, and Cheleken
Cheleken
near the Caspian Sea, which have a combined estimated reserve of 700 million tons. The oil extraction industry started with the exploitation of the fields in Cheleken
Cheleken
in 1909 (by Branobel) and in Balkanabat
Balkanabat
in the 1930s. Production leaped ahead with the discovery of the Kumdag field in 1948 and the Koturdepe field in 1959. A big part of the oil produced in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
is refined in Turkmenbashy and Seidi refineries. Also, oil is exported by tankers through the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
to Europe via canals.[48] Energy[edit] Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
is a net exporter of electrical power to Central Asian republics and southern neighbors. The most important generating installations are the Hindukush Hydroelectric Station, which has a rated capacity of 350 megawatts, and the Mary Thermoelectric Power Station, which has a rated capacity of 1,370 megawatts. In 1992, electrical power production totaled 14.9 billion kilowatt-hours.[49] Agriculture[edit] Main article: Agriculture in Turkmenistan In Turkmenistan, most of irrigated land is planted with cotton, making the country the world's ninth-largest cotton producer.[50] During the 2011 season, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
produced around 1.1 million tons of raw cotton, mainly from Mary, Balkan, Akhal, Lebap and Dashoguz provinces. In 2012, around 7,000 tractors, 5,000 cotton cultivators, 2,200 sowing machines and other machinery, mainly procured from Belarus
Belarus
and the US, are being used. The country traditionally exports raw cotton to Russia, Iran, South Korea, Britain, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Ukraine, Singapore
Singapore
and the Baltic nations.[51] Tourism[edit]

Panorama of the site of the Darvaza gas crater

Main article: Tourism in Turkmenistan The tourism industry has been growing rapidly in recent years, especially medical tourism. This is primarily due to the creation of the Avaza tourist zone on the Caspian Sea.[52] Every traveler must obtain a visa before entering Turkmenistan. To obtain a tourist visa, citizens of most countries need a visa support from local travel agency. For tourists visiting Turkmenistan, there are organized tours with a visit to historical sites Daşoguz, Konye-Urgench, Nisa, Merv, Mary, beach tours to Avaza and medical tours and holidays in Mollakara, Yylly suw and Archman. Demographics[edit] Main article: Demographics of Turkmenistan

Turkmen Census of 2012

Most of Turkmenistan's citizens are ethnic Turkmens
Turkmens
with sizeable minorities of Uzbeks
Uzbeks
and Russians. Smaller minorities include Kazakhs, Tatars, Ukrainians, Kurds
Kurds
(native to Kopet Dagh
Kopet Dagh
mountains), Armenians, Azeris, Balochs and Pashtuns. The percentage of ethnic Russians
Russians
in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
dropped from 18.6% in 1939 to 9.5% in 1989. In 2012 it was confirmed that the population of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
decreased due to some specific factors[which?] and is less than the previously estimated 5 million.[53] The CIA World Factbook gives the ethnic composition of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
as 85% Turkmen, 5% Uzbek, 4% Russian and 6% other (2003 estimates[update]).[2] According to data announced in Ashgabat
Ashgabat
in February 2001[update], 91% of the population are Turkmen, 3% are Uzbeks
Uzbeks
and 2% are Russians. Between 1989 and 2001 the number of Turkmen in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
doubled (from 2.5 to 4.9 million), while the number of Russians
Russians
dropped by two-thirds (from 334,000 to slightly over 100,000).[54] Largest cities[edit]

 

v t e

Largest cities or towns in Turkmenistan http://www.geonames.org/TM/largest-cities-in-turkmenistan.html

Rank Name Province Pop.

Ashgabat

Türkmenabat 1 Ashgabat Capital 727,700

Daşoguz

Mary

2 Türkmenabat Lebap 234,817

3 Daşoguz Daşoguz 166,500

4 Mary Mary 114,680

5 Balkanabat Balkan 87,822

6 Baýramaly Mary 75,797

7 Türkmenbaşy Balkan 68,292

8 Tejen Ahal 67,294

9 Abadan Ahal 39,481

10 Magdanly Lebap 34,745

Languages[edit] Turkmen ( Turkic language
Turkic language
/ Oghuz language
Oghuz language
) is the official language of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
(per the 1992 Constitution), although Russian still is widely spoken in cities as a "language of inter-ethnic communication". Turkmen is spoken by 72% of the population, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%,[2] and other languages 7%. (Russian (349,000), Uzbek (317,000), Kazakh (88,000), Tatar (40,400), Ukrainian (37,118), Azerbaijani (33,000), Armenian (32,000), Northern Kurdish
Northern Kurdish
(20,000), Lezgian (10,400), Persian (8,000), Belarusian (5,290), Erzya (3,490), Korean (3,490), Bashkir (2,610), Karakalpak (2,540), Ossetic (1,890), Dargwa (1,600), Lak (1,590), Tajik (1,280), Georgian (1,050), Lithuanian (224), Tabasaran (180), Dungan).[55] Religion[edit] Further information: Religion in Turkmenistan
Religion in Turkmenistan
and Islam
Islam
in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Religions[56]

Islam

89%

Christianity

10%

unknown

1%

Saparmurat Hajji Mosque
Saparmurat Hajji Mosque
featured on 10,000 manat bill.

Russian Orthodox church in Mary

According to the CIA World Factbook, Muslims
Muslims
constitute 89% of the population while 9% of the population are followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the remaining 2% religion is reported as non-religious.[2] However, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center report, 93.1% of Turkmenistan's population is Muslim.[57] The first migrants were sent as missionaries and often were adopted as patriarchs of particular clans or tribal groups, thereby becoming their "founders." Reformulation of communal identity around such figures accounts for one of the highly localized developments of Islamic practice in Turkmenistan.[58] In the Soviet era, all religious beliefs were attacked by the communist authorities as superstition and "vestiges of the past." Most religious schooling and religious observance were banned, and the vast majority of mosques were closed. However, since 1990, efforts have been made to regain some of the cultural heritage lost under Soviet rule. Former president Saparmurat Niyazov
Saparmurat Niyazov
ordered that basic Islamic principles be taught in public schools. More religious institutions, including religious schools and mosques, have appeared, many with the support of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Turkey. Religious classes are held in both schools and mosques, with instruction in Arabic language, the Qur'an
Qur'an
and the hadith, and history of Islam.[59] President Niyazov wrote his own religious text, published in separate volumes in 2001 and 2004, entitled the Ruhnama. The Turkmenbashi regime required that the book, which formed the basis of the educational system in Turkmenistan, be given equal status with the Quran (mosques were required to display the two books side by side). The book was heavily promoted as part of the former president's personality cult, and knowledge of the Ruhnama
Ruhnama
is required even for obtaining a driver's license.[60] Most Christians in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
belong to Eastern Orthodoxy
Eastern Orthodoxy
(about 5% of the population).[61] The Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
is under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Archbishop in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.[62] There are three Russian Orthodox Churches in Ashgabat, two in Turkmenabat, in Mary, Turkmenbashi, Balkanabat, Bayram-Ali and Dushauguze one each.[61] The highest Russian Orthodox priest in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
is based in Ashgabat.[63] There is one Russian orthodox monastery, in Ashgabat.[63] Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
has no Russian Orthodox seminary, however.[63] There are also small communities of the following denominations: the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Roman Catholic Church, Pentecostal Christians, the Protestant Word of Life Church, the Greater Grace World Outreach Church, the New Apostolic Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, and several unaffiliated, nondenominational evangelical Christian groups. In addition, there are small communities of Baha'is, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and Hare Krishnas.[64] The history of Bahá'í Faith in Turkmenistan
Bahá'í Faith in Turkmenistan
is as old as the religion itself, and Bahá'í communities still exist today.[65] The first Bahá'í House of Worship
Bahá'í House of Worship
was built in Ashgabat
Ashgabat
at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was seized by the Soviets in the 1920s and converted to an art gallery. It was heavily damaged in the earthquake of 1948 and later demolished. The site was converted to a public park.[66] Culture[edit] Main article: Culture of Turkmenistan

Turkmen carpet
Turkmen carpet
(1922)

Turkmen carpet
Turkmen carpet
(1920)

Akhal-Teke
Akhal-Teke
horse Yomut carpet Turkmen carpet Islam
Islam
in Turkmenistan Merv Music of Turkmenistan Turkmen cuisine

Heritage[edit]

Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
in the list of World Heritage Sites

Image Name Location Notes Date added Type

Ancient Merv Baýramaly, Mary Province a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road 1995 Cultural[67]

Köneürgenç Köneürgenç unexcavated ruins of the 12th-century capital of Khwarezm 2005 Cultural[68]

Parthian Fortresses of Nisa Bagyr, Ahal Province one of the first capitals of the Parthians 2007 Cultural[69]

Mass media[edit] Further information: Communications in Turkmenistan There are a number of newspapers and monthly magazines published in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
currently broadcasts 7 national TV channels through satellite. They are Altyn asyr, Yashlyk, Miras, Turkmenistan (in 7 languages), Turkmen owazy, Turkmen sporty and Ashgabat. There are no commercial or private TV stations. Articles published by the state-controlled newspapers are heavily censored and written to glorify the state and its leader.

External video

Example of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
TV News

Turkmen President celebrates Independence Day

Internet services are the least developed in Central Asia. Access to internet services are provided by the government's ISP
ISP
company "Turkmentelekom". As of 31 December 2011, it was estimated that there were 252,741 internet users in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
or roughly 5% of total population.[70][2] Education[edit] Main article: Education in Turkmenistan

Turkmeni students in university uniform

Education is universal and mandatory through the secondary level, the total duration of which was earlier reduced from 10 to 9 years; with the new President it has been decreed that from the 2007–2008 school year on, mandatory education will be for 10 years. From 2013 secondary general education in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
is a three-stage secondary schools for 12 years according to the following steps: Elementary school (grades 1–3), High School – the first cycle of secondary education with duration of 5 years (4–8 classes), Secondary school – the second cycle of secondary education, shall be made within 4 years (9–12 classes).[71][72] Architecture[edit] The task for modern Turkmen architecture is diverse application of modern aesthetics, the search for an architect's own artistic style and inclusion of the existing historico-cultural environment. Most buildings are faced with white marble. Major projects such as Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Tower, Bagt köşgi, Alem Cultural and Entertainment Center have transformed the country's skyline and promotes its contemporary identity. Transportation[edit] Main article: Transportation in Turkmenistan Automobile transport[edit] Construction of new and modernization of existing roads has an important role in the development of the country. With the increase in traffic flow is adjusted already built roads, as well as the planned construction of new highways. Construction of roads and road transport has always paid great attention. So, in 2004, Baimukhamet Kelov was removed from office by the Minister of road transport and highways Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
for embezzlement of public funds and deficiencies in the work.[73] Air transport[edit]

Turkmenistan Airlines
Turkmenistan Airlines
Boeing
Boeing
767-300ER

Turkmenistan's cities of Turkmenbashi and Ashgabat
Ashgabat
both have scheduled commercial air service. The largest airport is Ashgabat
Ashgabat
Airport, with regular international flights. Additionally, scheduled international flights are available to Turkmenbashi. The principal government-managed airline of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
is Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Airlines. It is also the largest airline operating in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan Airlines' passenger fleet is composed only of American Boeing aircraft.[74] Air transport carries more than two thousand passengers daily in the country.[75] International flights annually transport over half a million people into and out of Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan Airlines operates regular flights to Moscow, London, Frankfurt, Birmingham, Bangkok, Delhi, Abu Dhabi, Amritsar, Kiev, Lviv, Beijing, Istanbul, Minsk, Almaty, Tashkent
Tashkent
and St. Petersburg. Maritime transport[edit]

Workers in the service of Maritime and River Transport of Turkmenistan

Since 1962, the Turkmenbashi International Seaport
Turkmenbashi International Seaport
operates a ferry to the port of Baku, Azerbaijan. In recent years there has been increased tanker transport of oil. The port of Turkmenbashi, associated rail ferries to the ports of the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
(Baku, Aktau). In 2011, it was announced that the port of Turkmenbashi will be completely renovated. The project involves the reconstruction of the terminal disassembly of old and construction of new berths.[76][77] Railway transport[edit]

Turkmen Diesel locomotive

Main article: Railways in Turkmenistan Rail is one of the main modes of transport in Turkmenistan. Trains have been used in the nation since 1876. Originally it was part of the Trans-Caspian railway, then the Central Asian Railway, after the collapse of the USSR, the railway network in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
owned and operated by state-owned Türkmendemirýollary. The total length of railways is 3181 km. Passenger traffic railways of Turkmenistan is limited by national borders of the country, except in the areas along which the transit trains coming from Tajikistan
Tajikistan
to Uzbekistan and beyond. Locomotive fleet consists of a series of soviet-made locomotives 2TE10L, 2TE10U, 2M62U also have several locomotives made in China. Shunting locomotives include soviet-made TEM2, TEM2U, CME3. Currently under construction railway Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan- Iran
Iran
and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan. See also[edit]

Geography portal Asia
Asia
portal Central Asia
Central Asia
portal

Outline of Turkmenistan Index of Turkmenistan-related articles Central Asian Union Foreign relations of Turkmenistan Science and technology in Turkmenistan Geok Tepe Military
Military
of Turkmenistan Scouting in Turkmenistan Transport in Turkmenistan

References[edit]

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Electricity
and Water
Water
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Studies. "Turkmenistan." ^ Ibn Kathir
Ibn Kathir
al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya. (in Arabic) ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak " Country
Country
Profile: Turkmenistan" (PDF). Library of Congress Federal Research Division. February 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ Paul R. Spickard (2005). Race and Nation: Ethnic Systems in the Modern World. Routledge. p. 260. ISBN 978-0-415-95003-9.  ^ Scott Cameron Levi (January 2002). The Indian Diaspora in Central Asia
Asia
and Its Trade: 1550 – 1900. BRILL. p. 68. ISBN 978-90-04-12320-5.  ^ "Comments for the significant earthquake". Significant Earthquake Database. National Geophysical Data Center. Retrieved 12 June 2015.  ^ " Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
president wins election with 96.9% of vote". London: theguardian.com. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ "Turkmenistan". Retrieved 12 February 2016.  ^ Stronski, Paul (22 May 2017). "Независимому Туркменистану двадцать пять лет: цена авторитаризма". carnegie.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 23 May 2017.  ^ "A/RES/50/80. Maintenance of international security". un.org.  ^ "Diplomatic relations". Mfa.gov.tm. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.  ^ "Member States". OIC.  ^ " Russians
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Turkmenistan
2015/2016: Freedom of religion". www.amnesty.org. Retrieved 15 March 2016.  ^ "One Year of Unjust Imprisonment in Turkmenistan". jw.org.  ^ Service, Forum 18 News. "Forum 18: TURKMENISTAN: Torture and jail for one 4 year and 14 short-term prisoners of conscience – 21 May 2015". www.forum18.org. Retrieved 2017-01-20.  ^ "Turkmenistan". Human Rights Watch. 2017-01-12. Retrieved 2017-01-20.  ^ "LGBT relationships are illegal in 74 countries, research finds". The Independent. 17 May 2016.  ^ Forrester, Chris (22 April 2015). "Satellite dishes banned in Turkmenistan". Advanced Television. Retrieved 23 April 2015.  ^ a b Statistical Yearbook of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
2000–2004, National Institute of State Statistics and Information of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, 2005. ^ Kuh-e Rizeh on Peakbagger.com ^ "Mount Arlan". Peakbagger.com. 1 November 2004. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ "Ayrybaba". Peakbagger.com. 1 November 2004. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ Resolution of Khalk Maslahati (Peoples' Council of Turkmenistan) N 35 (14 August 2003) ^ " Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
leader wants to end free power, gas, and water". 6 July 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.  ^ "Business Russia
Russia
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Turkmenistan
boosts gas export capacity with East-West link". Reuters.com. 23 December 2015.  ^ " Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Oil and Gas". Turkmenistanoil.tripod.com. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ " Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
study". Countrystudies.us. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ "The ten largest cotton producing countries in 2009". Statista.com. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ " Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
to Privilege US Farm Machinery Manufacturers". The Gazette of Central Asia. Satrapia. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.  ^ "Las Vegas on the Caspian?". aljazeera.com.  ^ Moya Flynn (2004). Migrant Resettlement in the Russian Federation: Reconstructing 'homes' and 'homelands'. Anthem Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-84331-117-1.  ^ "Ethnic composition of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
in 2001" (37–38). Demoscope Weekly. 14 April 2001. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ Ethnologue (19 February 1999). "Ethnologue". Ethnologue. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ http://www.pewforum.org/files/2009/10/Muslimpopulation.pdf. ^ "MAPPING THE GLOBAL MUSLIM POPULATION : A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population" (PDF). Pweforum.org. October 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2016.  ^ Mark Juergensmeyer; Wade Clark Roof (18 October 2011). Encyclopedia of Global Religion. SAGE Publications. pp. 1312–. ISBN 978-1-4522-6656-5.  ^ Larry Clark; Michael Thurman & David Tyson (March 1996). Glenn E. Curtis, ed. "A Country
Country
Study: Turkmenistan". Library of Congress Federal Research Division. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ "Asia-Pacific Turkmen drivers face unusual test". BBC News. 2 August 2004. Retrieved 3 May 2010.  ^ a b "Столетие.ru: "Туркменбаши хотел рухнамезировать Православие" / Статьи / Патриархия.ru". Patriarchia.ru. Retrieved 2012-02-23.  ^ "Turkmenistan". State.gov. Retrieved 2012-02-23.  ^ a b c "Turkmenistan". State.gov. Retrieved 2012-02-23.  ^ "Turkmenistan: International Religious Freedom Report 2004". www.state.gov/. United States Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016.  ^ "Turkmenistan". Bahai-library.com. Retrieved 12 September 2011.  ^ Herrmann, Duane L. (Fall 1994) "Houses As perfect As Is Possible" World Order pp. 17–31 ^ UNESCO World Heritage Centre (26 January 2009). "Ancient Merv
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adopts 12-year secondary education". Trend. 2 March 2013.  ^ "Turkmenistan: golden age". turkmenistan.gov.tm.  ^ "Туркменистан: Ниязов решил добить уволенного министра траспорта". Uadaily.net. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ "Мы не подведём". Ogoniok.com. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ V@DIM. "Могучие крылья страны". Turkmenistan.gov.tm. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ "Порт Туркменбаши будет полностью реконструирован". Portnews.ru. Retrieved 25 November 2013.  ^ V@DIM (16 May 2012). "Определены приоритетные направления развития транспорта и транзита в регионе". Turkmenistan.gov.tm. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

Brummel, Paul (2006). Bradt Travel Guide: Turkmenistan. Bradt Travel Guides. ISBN 978-1841621449.  Abazov, Rafis (2005). Historical Dictionary of Turkmenistan. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0810853621.  Clammer, Paul; Kohn, Michael; Mayhew, Bradley (2014). Lonely Planet Guide: Central Asia. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1741799538.  Hopkirk, Peter (1992). The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia. Kodansha International. ISBN 978-1568360225.  Blackwell, Carole (2001). Tradition and Society in Turkmenistan: Gender, Oral Culture and Song. Routledge. ISBN 978-0700713547.  Kaplan, Robert (2001). Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. Vintage. ISBN 978-0375705762.  Kropf, John (2006). Unknown Sands: Journeys Around the World's Most Isolated Country. Dusty Spark Publishing. ISBN 978-0976356516.  Rall, Ted (2006). Silk Road
Silk Road
to Ruin: Is Central Asia
Central Asia
the New Middle East?. NBM Publishing. ISBN 978-1561634545.  Rasizade, Alec (2003). Turkmenbashi and his Turkmenistan. = Contemporary Review (Oxford), October 2003, volume 283, number 1653, pages 197-206. Theroux, Paul (28 May 2007). "The Golden Man: Saparmurat Niyazov's reign of insanity". The New Yorker.  Vilmer, Jean-Baptiste (2009). Turkménistan (in French). Editions Non Lieu. ISBN 978-2352700685. 

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