TURKMENISTAN

Date of establishment: October 27, 1991

Brief history:

  • 7th to 13th centuries: Control of the region alternated between various powers, including the Arabs, Seljuks, and Mongols.
  • 16th to 19th century: The region was part of the Khiva Khanate and the Bukhara Emirate. It was a period of development of trade and culture.
  • Russian expansion: During the 19th century, the Russian Empire penetrated the region and gradually began to dominate it. In 1881, the territory of Turkmenistan became part of the Russian Empire.
  • Soviet Turkmenistan: After the October Revolution in 1917, the territory of Turkmenistan became part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and later Soviet Turkmenistan.
  • Independence in 1991: After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Turkmenistan declared independence and became an independent state.

 

International abbreviation: TM

 

Currency: Turkmen manat (TMT)

The manat is divided into 100 tenge. Turkmenistan has its own central bank, which is tasked with managing the country’s monetary policy and issuing Turkmen manat banknotes and coins.

 

Internet domain: tm

 

Dialing code: +993

 

Time zone: GMT+5

 

Geography:

In the southwest of the country are the Kopet Dagh Mountains, which form the natural border between Turkmenistan and Iran. This mountainous region is known for its rocky mountain ridges and canyons. Most of Turkmenistan is covered by the vast Karakum Desert, one of the largest in the world. In this desert is a famous area known as Darvaza (also known as the “Potato Hole”) where a gas volcano constantly burns. To the west lies the coast of the Caspian Sea, which is the largest inland sea in the world.

The state is also home to two major Central Asian rivers, the Amu Darya in the south and the Syr Darya in the north.

An extensive irrigation system known as the Karakum Canal was built to irrigate agricultural areas in the Karakum Desert.

 

Highest peak: Ayribobo 3 138 meters (10 295 feet) above sea level.

This peak is located in the Kopet Dagh Mountains, which form Turkmenistan’s southwestern border with Iran.

The Kopet Dagh Mountains are also of cultural and historical significance as they form a natural border between Turkmenistan and Iran and have a rich history associated with trade and migration.

 

Climate:

The summer months are very hot, with average temperatures in July and August exceeding 30°C (86 °F) and often reaching 40°C (104 °F) or more.

The winter months are mostly cold and dry. Temperatures can drop below freezing in winter and can be much lower in mountainous areas.

Turkmenistan is known for its low rainfall. Rainfall is rare, both in summer and winter. Most precipitation falls during spring and autumn.

The country is prone to windstorms and sandstorms, especially in desert areas. Winds from the east, known as the “Karakum wind,” can be very hot and dry in summer.

The Caspian Sea coast has a milder climate than the inland areas, with temperatures closer to the coast influenced by the sea.

 

Fauna and flora:

Saxaul is a tree or shrub that is typical of the desert regions of Central Asia, including Turkmenistan. It is able to survive in dry and sandy conditions and provides shade and food for local animals. Another important shrub in desert areas is the Karakum tamarisk. This shrub grows in sand dunes and is important for retaining sand and preventing erosion.

Halyk is a grass-covered desert plant found in the Karakum Desert. The caracal is a species of cat occasionally seen in desert areas. The saiga antelope is an endangered species of antelope found in the desert regions of central Asia.

The dormouse is a smaller mammal that has adapted to life in the dry desert regions of Turkmenistan. It is a nocturnal creature and spends the day in burrows.

 

Agriculture:

Due to limited rainfall and dry conditions, the Turkmen government pays a lot of attention to irrigation projects. These enable farmers to grow crops such as cotton, rice, wheat, and various fruits and vegetables. The country is one of the leading producers of cotton in Central Asia. Cotton is an important export product and represents a significant part of agricultural production.

Most of the agricultural land is devoted to the cultivation of cotton and wheat.

Cattle breeding is also an important element of Turkmen agriculture. Since the country has the Caspian Sea coast, fishing plays a significant role in the coastal areas.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Turkmenistan has extensive reserves of oil and natural gas. The country is known for its oil fields and underground gas pipelines. The government is trying to develop this area and make investments in the extraction and processing of these raw materials. It is a major exporter of natural gas to various countries, including Russia, China, and Iran.

There are large salt lakes in the country, which are a source of salt. Salt is extracted and processed for various purposes, including industrial processes and consumption.

In some parts, there are reserves of various stone materials and minerals, which are quarried for construction and other purposes. The country also has uranium reserves. This raw material has strategic importance and is used in the nuclear industry. Gems are found in some parts of the country, including tourmaline and some types of opal.

 

Industry:

The industrial sector includes the refining industry, which focuses on the processing of oil and natural gas. The country processes oil into a variety of products, including gasoline, diesel, and naphthalene oil. It also has a textiles industry, which involves growing cotton and processing it into textile products. Cotton is an important export product.

With the development of cities and infrastructure comes the development of the construction industry. Modern architecture and construction are visible features in the capital city of Ashgabat.

The chemical industry involves the production of various chemical products, including fertilizers and chemicals. The production of electricity from its own natural gas reserves is another industry.

 

Services and other sectors of the economy: transport – gas and oil pipelines

 

Natural and historical attractions: Merv, Nisa fortress, Kunya-Urgench, Karakum desert, Ashgabat, Gypjak, and Lake Baharden

Turkmenistan has many natural beauties, including the Karakum Desert, the Kopet Dagh Mountain Range and the Caspian Sea. Many places in the country are attractive to adventure tourists, including sand dune trips, mountain hikes, and water activities.

The country has a rich history and culture that includes traditional dances, music, handicrafts, and markets. Tourists can visit museums and historical monuments such as ancient forts and cities. Darvaza, also known as the “Potato Hole,” is a famous crater that has been burning since 1971. This crater is a tourist attraction and is still burning today.

Traveling to the country can be complicated due to visa restrictions and bureaucracy. The government has strict control over the tourism industry and tourists must obtain visas in advance.

 

Waterparks in Turkmenistan:

 

Form of government: presidential republic

The president has almost unlimited power in the country and strong control over all aspects of society.

The political situation is characterized by the absence of political freedoms and pluralism. One political party, the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan (formerly known as the Democratic Party of the President of Turkmenistan), has a monopoly on the political arena, including all legislative bodies. In practice, this means that political opposition is suppressed and there is no independent press. The ruling regime also heavily controls the media and internet access, limiting freedom of speech and free access to information. The country has strong controls over public gatherings and the expression of political opinions, including religious activities.

 

Capital city: Ashgabat

It lies on the southwestern edge of the country, not far from the border with Iran.

The territory of today’s Turkmenistan was inhabited already in prehistoric times. Routes important to the historic Silk Road were located in the area, contributing to trade and cultural exchange.

 

Area: 491 210 km2 (189 657 square miles)

 

Population: 5 700 000 (2022)

The largest ethnic group is the Turkmen, who make up the majority of the population, and their culture and language are dominant in the country. Other ethnic minorities include Uzbeks, Russians, Kazakhs, Baluchis, and others.

The main religion is Islam, predominantly Sunni. Islam has a significant influence on the culture and daily life of the population. However, the government exercises strict control over religious practices and religious institutions. The state has compulsory schooling. Government control over education and textbook content is very strong. The country has several universities and colleges.

It has a publicly funded health care system, but the state of health care and the availability of medical care can be limited, especially in rural areas.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 5

 

  1. Ancient Merv (1999) – The Merv State Historical and Cultural Park is the oldest and best preserved oasis city along the Silk Road in Central Asia.
  2. Kunya-Urgench (2005) – An old town on the banks of the Amu Darya river, built from the 11th century.
  3. Parthian Forts at Nisa (2007) – Very well preserved remains of the earliest cities of the Parthian Empire.
  4. Silk Roads: Zarafshan-Karakum Corridor (2023) – A corridor with a length of 866 kilometers (538 miles) on the territory of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan where urban centers, trade, and infrastructure were created.
  5. Cold winter deserts of Turan (2023) – A set of 14 landscapes in the tropical or subtropical zone on the territory of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan with extreme climatic conditions with very cold winters and hot summers with exceptional fauna and flora.

 

National parks: