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{{About||the medieval confederation of Oghuz Turkic tribes in Western Asia|Turkomania (disambiguation)}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{Coord|40|N|60|E|display=title}}{{short description|Country in Central Asia}}

| image_flag = Flag of Turkmenistan.svg| image_coat = Coat of Arms of Turkmenistan.svg| symbol_type = Emblem| national_motto = State Anthem of Turkmenistan>Garaşsyz Bitarap Türkmenistanyň Döwlet Gimni"()(File:National anthem of Turkmenistan, performed by the United States Navy Band.oga)| image_map = Turkmenistan on the globe (Eurasia centered).svglocation_color= red}}| capital = Ashgabat37N20type:city}}| largest_city = AshgabatTurkmen language>TurkmenTurkmenistan's Constitution of 2008.| languages_type = Inter-ethniclanguagesRussian language>Russian Туркменский парадокс: русского языка де-юре нет, де-факто он необходим >URL=HTTPS://ANALYTICS.CABAR.ASIA/RU/TURKMENSKIJ-PARADOKS-RUSSKOGO-YAZYKA-DE-YURE-NET-DE-FAKTO-ON-NEOBHODIM/ PUBLISHER=CABAR, 21 April 2019, | ethnic_groups = {{unbulleted list
| 78.5% Turkmen
| 9.4% Uzbek
| 3.2% Russian
| 2.7% Kazakh
| 6.2% others
}}| ethnic_groups_year = 2010| religion = {{unbulleted list
| 93.7% Islam
| 6.1% Christianity
| 0.2% others
}}| demonym = Turkmen
Unitary state>Unitary presidential republic under an authoritarian dictatorshipPresident of Turkmenistan>President| leader_name1 = Gurbanguly BerdimuhamedowCabinet of Ministers (Turkmenistan)>Vice President| leader_name2 = Raşit MeredowList of Chairmen of the Assembly of Turkmenistan>Chairman of the Mejlis| leader_name3 = Gülşat MämmedowaAssembly of Turkmenistan>MejlisHistory of Turkmenistan>Formation| established_event1 = Khanate of Khiva| established_date1 = 1511Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic>Turkestan ASSR| established_date2 = 30 April 1918Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic>Turkmen SSR| established_date3 = 13 May 1925| established_event4 = Declared state sovereignty| established_date4 = 22 August 1990| established_event5 = Declared independence from the Soviet Union| established_date5 = 27 October 1991| established_event6 = Recognized| established_date6 = 26 December 1991Constitution of Turkmenistan>Current constitution| established_date7 = 18 May 1992| area_km2 = 491,210О Туркменистане {{webarchive>url= |date=7 January 2012 }} : Туркменистан — одна из пяти стран Центральной Азии, вторая среди них по площади (491,21 тысяч км2), расположен в юго-западной части региона в зоне пустынь, севернее хребта Копетдаг Туркмено-Хорасанской горной системы, между Каспийским морем на западе и рекой Амударья на востоке.| area_rank = 52nd | area_sq_mi = 188,456 | percent_water = 4.9Turkmenistan}}{{UN Population|ref}}| population_census = Year}}| population_estimate_rank = 117th| population_census_year = | population_density_km2 = 10.5| population_density_sq_mi = 27.1 | population_density_rank = 221stPUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, 2 June 2016, | GDP_PPP_year = 2018| GDP_PPP_rank = | GDP_PPP_per_capita = $19,526| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = | GDP_nominal = $42.764 billion| GDP_nominal_year = 2018| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $7,411| Gini = 40.8 | Gini_year = 1998| Gini_change = | Gini_ref = | Gini_rank = | HDI = 0.706 | HDI_year = 2017| HDI_change = increaseYEAR=2018 PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, | HDI_rank = 108thTurkmenistan Manat>Turkmen new manat| currency_code = TMT| time_zone = TMT| utc_offset = +05:00| drives_on = rightTelephone numbers in Turkmenistan>+993| cctld = .tm| today = }}Turkmenistan ({{IPAc-en|audio=En-us-Turkmenistan.ogg|t|ɜːr|k|ˈ|m|ɛ|n|ᵻ|s|t|æ|n}} or {{IPAc-en|audio=En-us-Turkmenistan-2.ogg|t|ɜːr|k|m|ɛ|n|ᵻ|ˈ|s|t|ɑː|n}}; , {{IPA-tk|tʏɾkmɛnɪˈθtɑn|pron}}), officially the Republic of Turkmenistan (), is a country in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north and east, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west. Ashgabat is the capital and largest city. The population of the country is 5.6 million, the lowest of the Central Asian republics and one of the most sparsely populated in Asia.Turkmenistan has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. In medieval times, 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 until the mid-15th century. Annexed by the Russian Empire in 1881, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1925, Turkmenistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkmen SSR); it became independent upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.Turkmenistan possesses the world's sixth largest reserves of natural gas resources.WEB,weblink A New Customer for Turkmen Natural Gas, 22 November 2017, Most of the country is covered by the Karakum (Black Sand) Desert. From 1993 to 2017, citizens received government-provided electricity, water and natural gas free of charge.WEB,weblink Turkmen ruler ends free power, gas, water – World News, Hürriyet Daily News, The sovereign state of Turkmenistan was ruled by President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov (also known as Turkmenbashi) until his death in 2006. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow was elected president in 2007. According to Human Rights Watch, "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."WEB,weblink World Report 2014: Turkmenistan,, 2 January 2014, 28 January 2015, After suspending the death penalty, the use of capital punishment was formally abolished in the 2008 constitution.NEWS,weblink BBC News – Asia-Pacific – Turkmenistan suspends death penalty,,


The name of Turkmenistan () 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.BOOK, Zuev, Yury, Early Türks: Essays on history and ideology, Almatý, Daik-Press, 2002, 157, English, However, some scholars argue the suffix is an intensifier, changing the meaning of Türkmen to "pure Turks" or "the Turkish Turks."US Library of Congress Country Studies. "Turkmenistan."Muslim chroniclers like Ibn Kathir suggested that the etymology of Turkmenistan came from the words Türk and Iman (, "faith, belief") in reference to a massive conversion to Islam of two hundred thousand households in the year 971.Ibn Kathir al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya. {{ar icon}}Since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the official name of the state has been the "Republic of Turkmenistan" (Türkmenistan Respublikasy / Түркменистан Республикасы). A common name for the Turkmen SSR was Turkmenia (), which was used in some reports of the country's independence.Independence of Turkmenia Declared After a Referendum; New York Times – 28 October 1991. Retrieved on 16 November 2016.


Historically inhabited by the Indo-Iranians, the written history of Turkmenistan begins with its annexation by the Achaemenid Empire of Ancient Iran. In the 8th century AD, Turkic-speaking Oghuz tribes moved from Mongolia into present-day Central Asia. Part of a powerful confederation of tribes, these Oghuz formed the ethnic basis of the modern Turkmen population.WEB,weblink Country Profile: Turkmenistan, Library of Congress Federal Research Division, PDF, February 2007, 25 November 2013, In the 10th century, the name "Turkmen" was first applied to Oghuz groups that accepted Islam and began to occupy present-day Turkmenistan. There they were under the dominion of the Seljuk Empire, which was composed of Oghuz groups living in present-day Iran and Turkmenistan. 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.File:Turban helmet Met 04.3.211.jpg|thumb|left|Turkmen helmet (15th century)]]In the 12th century, Turkmen and other tribes overthrew the Seljuk Empire. In the next century, the Mongols took over the more northern lands where the Turkmens had settled, scattering the Turkmens southward and contributing to the formation of new tribal groups. 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. By the 16th century, most of those tribes were under the nominal control of two sedentary Uzbek khanates, Khiva and Bukhoro. Turkmen soldiers were an important element of the Uzbek militaries of this period. In the 19th century, raids and rebellions by the Yomud Turkmen group resulted in that group's dispersal by the Uzbek rulers. 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."BOOK, Paul R. Spickard, Race and Nation: Ethnic Systems in the Modern World,weblink 2005, Routledge, 978-0-415-95003-9, 260, BOOK, Scott Cameron Levi, The Indian Diaspora in Central Asia and Its Trade: 1550–1900,weblink January 2002, BRILL, 978-90-04-12320-5, 68, File:1. Чарджуй (бухарские владения). У городских ворот.jpg|thumb|City of Chardzhou in Russian TurkestanRussian TurkestanRussian forces began occupying Turkmen territory late in the 19th century. From their Caspian Sea base at Krasnovodsk (now Turkmenbashi), the Russians eventually overcame the Uzbek khanates. In 1881, the last significant resistance in Turkmen territory was crushed at the Battle of Geok Tepe, and shortly thereafter Turkmenistan was annexed, together with adjoining Uzbek territory, into the Russian Empire. In 1916, the Russian Empire's participation in World War I resonated in Turkmenistan, as an anticonscription revolt swept most of Russian Central Asia. Although the Russian Revolution of 1917 had little direct impact, in the 1920s Turkmen forces joined Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and Uzbeks in the so-called Basmachi Rebellion against the rule of the newly formed Soviet Union. In 1924, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic was formed from the tsarist province of Transcaspia. By the late 1930s, Soviet reorganization of agriculture had destroyed what remained of the nomadic lifestyle in Turkmenistan, and Moscow controlled political life. The Ashgabat earthquake of 1948 killed over 110,000 people,WEB,weblink Comments for the significant earthquake, National Geophysical Data Center, Significant Earthquake Database, 12 June 2015, amounting to two-thirds of the city's population.File:Turkmen man with camel.jpg|thumb|A Turkmen man of Central Asia in traditional clothes. Photo by Prokudin-GorskyProkudin-GorskyDuring the next half-century, Turkmenistan played its designated economic role within the Soviet Union and remained outside the course of major world events. Even the major liberalization movement that shook Russia in the late 1980s had little impact. However, in 1990, the Supreme Soviet of Turkmenistan declared sovereignty as a nationalist response to perceived exploitation by Moscow. Although Turkmenistan was ill-prepared for independence and then-communist leader Saparmurat 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. On 26 December 1991, the 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. 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. During his tenure, Niyazov conducted frequent purges of public officials and abolished organizations deemed threatening. Throughout the post-Soviet era, Turkmenistan has taken a neutral position on almost all international issues. Niyazov eschewed membership in regional organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and in the late 1990s he maintained relations with the Taliban and its chief opponent in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance. He offered limited support to the military campaign against the Taliban following the 11 September 2001 attacks. 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. Niyazov accused exiled former foreign minister Boris Shikhmuradov of having planned the attack.Between 2002 and 2004, serious tension arose between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan because of bilateral disputes and Niyazov's implication that Uzbekistan had a role in the 2002 assassination attempt. In 2004, a series of bilateral treaties restored friendly relations. In the parliamentary elections of December 2004 and January 2005, only Niyazov's party was represented, and no international monitors participated. In 2005, Niyazov exercised his dictatorial power by closing all hospitals outside Ashgabat and all rural libraries. 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. China was among a very few nations to whom Turkmenistan made significant overtures. The sudden death of Niyazov at the end of 2006 left a complete vacuum of power, as his cult of personality, comparable to the one of eternal president Kim Il-sung of North Korea, had precluded the naming of a successor. Deputy Prime Minister Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who was named interim head of government, won the special presidential election held in early February 2007. He was re-elected in 2012 with 97% of the vote.NEWS,weblink Turkmenistan president wins election with 96.9% of vote,, 13 February 2012, 25 November 2013, London,


{{more citations needed|section|date=October 2017}}{{external media| align = right| video1 = Turkmenistani minister gives speech on corruption problems}}File:Turkmenistan Wedding.jpg|thumb|Golden statue of Saparmurat Niyazov atop the Monument of Neutrality in Ashgabat]]File:Independence Day Parade - Flickr - Kerri-Jo (270).jpg|thumb|Parade celebrating the 20th anniversary of Turkmenistan's independence ]]After 69 years as part of the Soviet Union (including 67 years as a union republic), Turkmenistan declared its independence on 27 October 1991.President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov, a former bureaucrat of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, ruled Turkmenistan from 1985, when he became head of the 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 of 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 take place in the framework of a presidential republic, with the President both head of state and head of government. Under Niyazov, 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 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 was a one-party state from 1991 to 2012; however, the 2013 elections were widely seen as mere window dressing.WEB,weblink Turkmenistan, 12 February 2016, 8 September 2014, In practice, all parties in parliament operate jointly under the direction of the DPT. There are no true opposition parties in the Turkmen parliament.NEWS,weblink ru:Независимому Туркменистану двадцать пять лет: цена авторитаризма, Stronski, Paul, 22 May 2017,, Russian, 23 May 2017,

Foreign relations

File:UNGA 2009- Secretary Clinton Meets With Turkmenistan President (3953652185).jpg|thumb|President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with the then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary ClintonFile:Vladimir Putin and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow (2017-10-02) 06.jpg|thumb|President Berdimuhamedov with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir PutinTurkmenistan's declaration of "permanent neutrality" was formally recognized by the United Nations in 1995.WEB,weblink A/RES/50/80. Maintenance of international security,, Former President Saparmurat Niyazov stated that the neutrality would prevent 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 has diplomatic relations with 139 countries.WEB,weblink Diplomatic relations,, 14 February 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016,

List of international organization memberships

Human rights

Turkmenistan has been widely criticised for human rights abuses and has imposed severe restrictions on foreign travel for its citizens.NEWS,weblink Russians 'flee' Turkmenistan, BBC News, 20 June 2003, 25 November 2013, Discrimination against the country's ethnic minorities remains in practice. Universities have been encouraged to reject applicants with non-Turkmen surnames, especially ethnic Russians.WEB,weblink Turkmenistan: Russian Students Targeted, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 21 February 2005, 25 November 2013, It is forbidden to teach the customs and language of the Baloch, an ethnic minority.PRESS RELEASE,weblink Alternative report on the Human Rights situation in Turkmenistan for the Universal Periodic Review, FIDH, 23 July 2010, The same happens to Uzbeks, though the Uzbek language was formerly taught in some national schools.According to Reporters Without Borders's 2014 World Press Freedom Index, Turkmenistan had the 3rd worst press freedom conditions in the world (178/180 countries), just before North Korea and Eritrea.WEB,weblink Reporters Without Borders,, 14 February 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 February 2014, 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.WEB,weblink 10 Most Censored Countries,, 30 January 2012, Religious minorities are discriminated against for conscientious objection and practicing their religion by imprisonment, preventing foreign travel, confiscating copies of Christian literature or defamation.WEB
, Turkmenistan: International Religious Freedom Report 2004
, 21 May 2015
, United States Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
, 15 March 2016, WEB
, Turkmenistan 2015/2016: Freedom of religion
, 15 March 2016, WEB,weblink One Year of Unjust Imprisonment in Turkmenistan,, 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.WEB,weblink Forum 18: TURKMENISTAN: Torture and jail for one 4 year and 14 short-term prisoners of conscience – 21 May 2015, Service, Forum 18 News,, en-uk, 20 January 2017, NEWS,weblink Turkmenistan, 12 January 2017, Human Rights Watch, en, 20 January 2017, Homosexual acts are illegal in Turkmenistan.NEWS,weblink LGBT relationships are illegal in 74 countries, research finds, The Independent, 17 May 2016,
In July 2019, UN ambassadors of 37 countries, including Turkmenistan, have signed a joint letter to the UNHRC defending China's treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region.NEWS, Which Countries Are For or Against China's Xinjiang Policies?,weblink The Diplomat, 15 July 2019,

Restrictions on free and open communication

Despite the launch of Turkmenistan's first communication satellite—TurkmenSat 1—in April 2015, the Turkmen government banned all satellite dishes in 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 and the world in the Turkmen language and is widely listened to in the country."NEWS, Forrester, Chris, Satellite dishes banned in Turkmenistan,weblink 23 April 2015, Advanced Television, 22 April 2015,

Administrative divisions

{{See also|Districts of Turkmenistan}}{{Turkmenistan Provinces Image Map}}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 (Article 16 in the 2008 Constitution, Article 47 in the 1992 Constitution), some cities may have the status of welaýat (province) or etrap (district).{| class="wikitable sortable" style="background:#efefef;"! Division !! ISO 3166-2 !! Capital city !! AreaStatistical Yearbook of Turkmenistan 2000–2004, National Institute of State Statistics and Information of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, 2005. !! Pop (2005) !! Key! Ashgabat CityAshgabat >470sqmi|! Ahal ProvinceAnau, Turkmenistan>Anau {{convertkm2abbr=on}} 939,700 1! Balkan ProvinceBalkanabat >139270sqmi| 2! Daşoguz ProvinceDaşoguz >73430sqmi| 3! Lebap ProvinceTürkmenabat >93730sqmi| 4! Mary ProvinceMary, Turkmenistan>Mary {{convertkm2abbr=on}} 1,480,400 5


(File:Turkmenistan map of Köppen climate classification.svg|thumb|Turkmenistan map of Köppen climate classification)The Karakum Desert is one of the driest deserts in the world; some places have an average annual precipitation of only {{convert|12|mm|in|2|abbr=on}}. The highest temperature recorded in Ashgabat is {{convert|48.0|°C|lk=on}} and Kerki, an extreme inland city located on the banks of the Amu Darya river, recorded {{convert|51.7|°C}} in July 1983, although this value is unofficial. {{convert|50.1|C|F|0}} is the highest temperature recorded at Repetek Reserve, recognized as the highest temperature ever recorded in the whole former Soviet Union.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}}


(File:Turkmenistan-map.png|thumb|upright=1.35|Map of Turkmenistan)At {{convert|488100|km2|sqmi|abbr=on}}, Turkmenistan is the world's 52nd-largest country. It is slightly smaller than 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 and the Karakum Desert. The Kopet Dag Range, along the southwestern border, reaches {{convert|2,912|m|ft|lk=out|abbr=off}} at Kuh-e Rizeh (Mount Rizeh).Kuh-e Rizeh on Peakbagger.comThe Great Balkhan Range in the west of the country (Balkan Province) and the Köýtendag Range on the southeastern border with Uzbekistan (Lebap Province) are the only other significant elevations. The Great Balkhan Range rises to {{convert|1880|m|ft}} at Mount ArlanWEB,weblink Mount Arlan,, 1 November 2004, 30 January 2012, and the highest summit in Turkmenistan is Ayrybaba in the Kugitangtau Range – {{convert|3137|m|ft}}.WEB,weblink Ayrybaba,, 1 November 2004, 25 November 2013, The Kopet Dag mountain range forms most of the border between Turkmenistan and Iran. Rivers include the Amu Darya, the Murghab, and the Tejen.The climate is mostly arid desert with subtropical temperature ranges and 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 Range.The Turkmen shore along the Caspian Sea is {{convert|1748|km|mi}} long. The Caspian Sea is entirely landlocked, with no natural access to the ocean, although the Volga–Don Canal allows shipping access to and from the Black Sea.The major cities include Aşgabat, Türkmenbaşy (formerly Krasnovodsk) and Daşoguz.


(File:Turkmenistan Export Treemap.png|thumb|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.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%.WEB,weblink Turkmenistan, CIA World Factbook, 25 November 2013, File:Bai Bazaar, Dashoguz.jpg|thumb|Bazaar in DaşoguzDaşoguzBetween 1998 and 2002, 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|date=March 2011}}File:10000 manat. Türkmenistan, 1998 b.jpg|thumb|Saparmurat Hajji MosqueSaparmurat Hajji MosquePresident Niyazov spent much of the country's revenue on extensively renovating cities, 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,Resolution of Khalk Maslahati (Peoples' Council of Turkmenistan) N 35 (14 August 2003) 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.NEWS,weblink Turkmenistan leader wants to end free power, gas, and water, 6 July 2017, 22 November 2017, 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 threatened to cut off supplies, 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.NEWS,weblink Business | Russia reaches Turkmen gas deal, BBC News, 5 September 2006, 3 May 2010,

Natural gas and export routes

{{See also|List of countries by natural gas proven reserves|List of countries by natural gas exports|}}File:Baku pipelines.svg|thumb|The Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline project is purposed to transport natural gas from Turkmenistan to European UnionEuropean Union{{As of|May 2011}}, the Galkynysh Gas Field has the second-largest volume of gas in the world, after the South Pars field in the Persian Gulf. Reserves at the Galkynysh Gas Field are estimated at around 21.2 trillion cubic metres.NEWS,weblink Reuters, Dmitry, Solovyov, Turkmen gas field to be world's second-largest, 25 May 2011, The 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.WEB,weblink Turkmenistan. Diversifying export routes,, 3 February 2010, 25 November 2013, China is set to become the largest buyer of gas from Turkmenistan over the coming years as a pipeline linking the two countries, through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, reaches full capacity.WEB,weblink China plays Pipelineistan',, 24 December 2009, 3 May 2010, As of 2019, China is the biggest importer of Turkmen natural gas and Ashgabat's main external financial donor.Vakulchuk, Roman and Indra Overland (2019) “China’s Belt and Road Initiative through the Lens of Central Asia”, in Fanny M. Cheung and Ying-yi Hong (eds) Regional Connection under the Belt and Road Initiative. The Prospects for Economic and Financial Cooperation. London: Routledge, pp. 115–133. In addition to supplying Russia, China and Iran, Ashgabat took concrete measures to accelerate progress in the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and India pipeline (TAPI). 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 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. 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.NEWS, Turkmenistan boosts gas export capacity with East-West link,weblink, 23 December 2015, Reuters,


{{See also|Pipelines in Turkmenistan}}Most of Turkmenistan's oil is extracted by the Turkmenistan State Company (Concern) Türkmennebit from fields at Koturdepe, Balkanabat, and 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 in 1909 (by Branobel) and in 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 is refined in Turkmenbashy and Seidi refineries. Also, oil is exported by tankers through the Caspian Sea to Europe via canals.WEB,weblink Turkmenistan Oil and Gas,, 25 November 2013,


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.WEB,weblink Turkmenistan study,, 25 November 2013,


In Turkmenistan, most of irrigated land is planted with cotton, making the country the world's ninth-largest cotton producer.WEB,weblink The ten largest cotton producing countries in 2009,, 25 November 2013, During the 2011 season, 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 and the USA, are being used. The country traditionally exports raw cotton to Russia, Iran, South Korea, United Kingdom, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Ukraine, Singapore and the Baltic states.NEWS, Turkmenistan to Privilege US Farm Machinery Manufacturers,weblink 4 August 2012, The Gazette of Central Asia, 26 July 2012, Satrapia,


File:Darvasa gas crater panorama.jpg|thumb|right|Panorama of the site of the Darvaza gas craterDarvaza gas craterThe tourism industry has been growing rapidly in recent years, especially medical tourism. This is primarily due to the creation of the Awaza tourist zone on the Caspian Sea.WEB,weblink Las Vegas on the Caspian?,, Every traveler must obtain a visa before entering Turkmenistan. To obtain a tourist visa, citizens of most countries need visa support from a 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, Ýylysuw and Archman.


{| class="wikitable" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px"! colspan="4" style="text-align:center; background:#cfb;" | Population{{UN Population|ref}}! style="background:#cfb;" | Year! style="background:#cfb;" | Million 1950 style="text-align:right;" | 1.2 2000 style="text-align:right;" | 4.5 {{UN Population {{#expr:{{formatnum:{{UN PopulationR}}/1e6 round 1}}Most of Turkmenistan's citizens are ethnic Turkmens with sizeable minorities of Uzbeks and Russians. Smaller minorities include Kazakhs, Tatars, Ukrainians, Kurds (native to Kopet Dagh mountains), Armenians, Azeris, Balochs and Pashtuns. The percentage of ethnic Russians in Turkmenistan dropped from 18.6% in 1939 to 9.5% in 1989. In 2012, it was confirmed that the population of Turkmenistan decreased due to some specific factors{{which|date=April 2013}} and is less than the previously estimated 5 million.BOOK, Moya Flynn, Migrant Resettlement in the Russian Federation: Reconstructing 'homes' and 'homelands',weblink 2004, Anthem Press, 978-1-84331-117-1, 15, The CIA World Factbook gives the ethnic composition of Turkmenistan as 85% Turkmen, 5% Uzbek, 4% Russian and 6% other ({{As of|2003|alt=2003 estimates}}). According to data announced in Ashgabat {{As of|2001|02|alt=in February 2001}}, 91% of the population are Turkmen, 3% are Uzbeks and 2% are Russians. Between 1989 and 2001 the number of Turkmen in Turkmenistan doubled (from 2.5 to 4.9 million), while the number of Russians dropped by two-thirds (from 334,000 to slightly over 100,000).JOURNAL,weblink Ethnic composition of Turkmenistan in 2001, 37–38, 14 April 2001, Demoscope Weekly, 25 November 2013,

Largest cities

{{Largest cities of Turkmenistan}}


Turkmen is the official language of 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%, 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 (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).WEB, Ethnologue,weblink Ethnologue, Ethnologue, 19 February 1999, 25 November 2013,


{{Further|Religion in Turkmenistan|Islam in Turkmenistan}}{{Bar boxReligion in Turkmenistan>Religions in Turkmenistanweblink" title="">MAPPING THE GLOBAL MUSLIM POPULATION. (October 2009)| titlebar=#ddd| float=right| bars={{Bar percent|Islam|green|89}}{{Bar percent|Christianity|yellow|10}}{{Bar percent|others|grey|1}}}}File:Hajji Gurbanguly Mosque (5731109280).jpg|thumb|Gurbanguly Hajji MosqueGurbanguly Hajji MosqueFile:Pokrovkaya Church, Mary.jpg|thumb|Russian Orthodox church in Mary ]]According to the CIA World Factbook, 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. However, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center report, 93.1% of Turkmenistan's population is Muslim.WEB,weblink PDF, MAPPING THE GLOBAL MUSLIM POPULATION : A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population, October 2009,, 14 February 2016, 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.BOOK, Mark Juergensmeyer, Wade Clark Roof, Encyclopedia of Global Religion,weblink 18 October 2011, SAGE Publications, 978-1-4522-6656-5, 1312–, 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 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 and the hadith, and history of Islam.WEB,weblink Larry Clark, Michael Thurman, David Tyson, yes, A Country Study: Turkmenistan, Glenn E. Curtis, Library of Congress Federal Research Division, March 1996, 25 November 2013, 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 is required even for obtaining a driver's license.NEWS,weblink Asia-Pacific | Turkmen drivers face unusual test, BBC News, 2 August 2004, 3 May 2010, Most Christians in Turkmenistan belong to Eastern Orthodoxy (about 5% of the population).WEB,weblink Столетие.ru: "Туркменбаши хотел рухнамезировать Православие" / Статьи / Патриархия.ru,, 23 February 2012, The Russian Orthodox Church is under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Archbishop in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.WEB,weblink Turkmenistan,, 23 February 2012, There are three Russian Orthodox Churches in Ashgabat, two in Turkmenabat, in Mary, Turkmenbashi, Balkanabat, Bayram-Ali and Dushauguze one each. The highest Russian Orthodox priest in Turkmenistan is based in Ashgabat.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 30 November 2009, Turkmenistan,, 23 February 2012, There is one Russian orthodox monastery, in Ashgabat. Turkmenistan has no Russian Orthodox seminary, however.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.The history of Bahá'í Faith in Turkmenistan is as old as the religion itself, and Bahá'í communities still exist today.WEB,weblink Turkmenistan,, 12 September 2011, The first Bahá'í House of Worship was built in 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.Herrmann, Duane L. (Fall 1994) "Houses As perfect As Is Possible" World Order pp. 17–31


File:Oriental rugs, antique and modern (1922) (14780627715).jpg|Turkmen carpet (1922)File:The practical book of oriental rugs (1920) (14576861108).jpg|Turkmen carpet (1920)

Heritage {| class"wikitable"

|+ Turkmenistan in the list of World Heritage Sites! Image! Name! Location! Notes! Date added! Type style="background:#efefef" (File:Cyark merv 3.jpg|80px)Merv>Ancient Merv| Baýramaly, Mary Region| a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road 1995TITLE=ANCIENT MERV STATE HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL PARK DATE=26 JANUARY 2009, 25 November 2013, (File:KonyeUrgenchMinaret.jpg|80px)| Köneürgenç| Köneürgenç| unexcavated ruins of the 12th-century capital of Khwarazm 2005TITLE=KöNEüRGENç DATE=15 JULY 2005, 25 November 2013, style="background:#efefef" (File:Nisa.jpg|80px)Parthian Fortresses of Nisa, Turkmenistan>Nisa| Bagyr, Ahal Province| one of the first capitals of the Parthians 2007TITLE=NISA FORTRESS DATE=, 25 November 2013,

Mass media

{{Further|Telecommunications in Turkmenistan}}There are a number of newspapers and monthly magazines published and online news-portal Turkmenportal in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan currently broadcasts 7 national TV channels through satellite. They are Altyn asyr, Yashlyk, Miras, Turkmenistan (in 7 languages), Türkmen 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 media| align = right| video1 = Example of Turkmenistan TV News| video2 =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 company "Turkmentelekom". As of 31 December 2011, it was estimated that there were 252,741 internet users in Turkmenistan or roughly 5% of total population.WEB,weblink Retrieved: 5 April 2013,, 25 November 2013,


(File:Independence Day Parade - Flickr - Kerri-Jo (251).jpg|thumb|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 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).WEB,weblink Turkmenistan adopts 12-year secondary education, 2 March 2013, Trend, WEB,weblink Turkmenistan: golden age,,


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 Tower, Bagt köşgi, Alem Cultural and Entertainment Center have transformed the country's skyline and promotes its contemporary identity.


Automobile transport

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 for embezzlement of public funds and deficiencies in the work.WEB,weblink Туркменистан: Ниязов решил добить уволенного министра траспорта,, 25 November 2013,

Air transport

File:Turkmenistan Boeing 767-300ER Simon-1.jpg|thumb|Turkmenistan Airlines Boeing 767Boeing 767Turkmenistan's cities of Turkmenbashi and Ashgabat both have scheduled commercial air service. The largest airport is Ashgabat Airport, with regular international flights. Additionally, scheduled international flights are available to Turkmenbashi. The principal government-managed airline of Turkmenistan is Turkmenistan Airlines. It is also the largest airline operating in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan Airlines' passenger fleet is composed only of United States Boeing aircraft.WEB,weblink Мы не подведём,, 25 November 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 May 2013, Air transport carries more than two thousand passengers daily in the country.WEB, V@DIM,weblink Могучие крылья страны,, 25 November 2013, 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 and St. Petersburg.

Maritime transport

(File:Independence Day Parade - Flickr - Kerri-Jo (314).jpg|thumb|Workers in the service of Maritime and River Transport of Turkmenistan)Since 1962, the 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 (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.WEB,weblink Порт Туркменбаши будет полностью реконструирован,, 25 November 2013, WEB, V@DIM,weblink Определены приоритетные направления развития транспорта и транзита в регионе,, 16 May 2012, 25 November 2013,

Railway transport

(File:Turkmen Diesel locomotive2.jpg|thumb|Turkmen Diesel locomotive)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 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 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 and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan.

See also



Further reading

  • BOOK, Brummel, Paul, 2006, Bradt Travel Guide: Turkmenistan, Bradt Travel Guides, 978-1-84162-144-9,
  • BOOK, Abazov, Rafis, 2005, Historical Dictionary of Turkmenistan, Scarecrow Press, 978-0-8108-5362-1,
  • BOOK, Clammer, Paul, Kohn, Michael, Mayhew, Bradley, 2014, Lonely Planet Guide: Central Asia, Lonely Planet, 978-1-74179-953-8,
  • BOOK, Hopkirk, Peter, Peter Hopkirk, 1992, The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia, Kodansha International, 978-1-56836-022-5, The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia,
  • BOOK, Blackwell, Carole, 2001, Tradition and Society in Turkmenistan: Gender, Oral Culture and Song, Routledge, 978-0-7007-1354-7,
  • BOOK, Kaplan, Robert, 2001, Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus, Vintage, 978-0-375-70576-2,
  • BOOK, Kropf, John, 2006, Unknown Sands: Journeys Around the World's Most Isolated Country, Dusty Spark Publishing, 978-0-9763565-1-6,
  • Nahaylo, Bohdan and Victor Swoboda. Soviet Disunion: A History of the Nationalities problem in the USSR (1990) excerpt
  • BOOK, Rall, Ted, 2006, Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?, NBM Publishing, 978-1-56163-454-5,
  • Rashid, Ahmed. The Resurgence of Central Asia: Islam or Nationalism? (2017)
  • weblink" title="">Rasizade, Alec (2003). Turkmenbashi and his Turkmenistan. = Contemporary Review (Oxford), October 2003, volume 283, number 1653, pages 197-206.
  • Smith, Graham, ed. The Nationalities Question in the Soviet Union (2nd ed. 1995)
  • JOURNAL,weblink The Golden Man: Saparmurat Niyazov's reign of insanity., Theroux, Paul, 28 May 2007, The New Yorker,
  • BOOK, Vilmer, Jean-Baptiste, 2009, Turkménistan, Editions Non Lieu, French, 978-2352700685,

External links

{{Sister project links|voy=Turkmenistan}}


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