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Ashgabat city park, Turkmenistan
Ashgabat view from city park.
Image: Gilad Rom

Turkmenistan Flag
Flag of Turkmenistan
Location map of Turkmenistan. Where in Central Asia is Turkmenistan?
Location map of Turkmenistan
A virtual guide to Turkmenistan, a country in Central Asia, east of the Caspian Sea, south of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and north of Iran and Afghanistan.

Turkmenistan occupies an area of 488,100 km², compared it is slightly smaller than Spain, or slightly larger than the US state of California.

About 70% of the country is covered by the uninhabitated Karakum, a desert with a barren flat-to-rolling landscape and sand dunes, the terrain is rising to the Turkmen-Khorasan Mountain Range (Kopet Dag) in south west, the mountains separate the country from Iran. Highest point is Aýrybaba with 3,138 m (10,295 ft), situated in the Köýtendag Range on the border with Uzbekistan.

Turkmenistan is sparsely populated, with a population of just 5.4 million people (in 2016). Capital and largest city is Ashgabat (Aşgabat). Ethnic groups are Turkmen (85%) Uzbek (5%) and Russian (4%). Spoken languages are Turkmen (official) and Russian (as an inter-ethnic language). Main religions are Muslim 84% and Eastern Orthodox 17%.


Turkmenistan - Türkmenistan

Country Profile

Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. The area was ruled in antiquity by various Persian empires, and was conquered by Alexander the Great, Muslim armies, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians.
Annexed by Russia between 1865 and 1885, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic in 1925.

It achieved its independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 and was ruled by President NIYAZOV from 1985 until his death in 2006. NIYAZOV
retained absolute control over the country and opposition was not tolerated.

Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW emerged as the country's new president; he was reelected in February 2012 with 97% of the vote, in an election widely regarded as "a democratic sham."

Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited, have begun to transform the country. In 2010, new gas export pipelines that carry Turkmen gas to China and to northern Iran began operating, effectively ending the Russian monopoly on Turkmen gas exports.

(Source: CIA - The World Factbook and others)


Official Name:
also known as Turkmenia

ISO Country Code: tm, tkm

Country Calling Code: +993

Capital City: Ashgabat (pop. 700 000)

Other Cities: Türkmenabat (2900 000), Dashoguz (166 000), Mary (125,000), Türkmenbashi (55 000)

Type: Republic, with a single-party system; the 'Democratic' Party of Turkmenistan, is the only one legally permitted.
Independence: 27 October 1991 (from USSR).
Constitution: 18 May 1992.

Location: central Asia, bordered by the Caspian Sea to the west.
Area: 488,100 km² (188,456 sq mi).
Terrain: Flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south. The Kara Kum (Garagum) desert comprises 80% of the country's total area.

Climate: Subtropical desert.

Nationality: Turkmenistani
Population: 5.4 million (2016 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Turkmen 85%, Russians 7%, Uzbeks 5%, other 3%
Religions: Sunni Muslim
Languages: Turkmen. Russian is widely spoken.
Literacy: 98%

Natural resources: Oil, natural gas, coal, precious non-ferrous and rare metals, celestine, sulfur.

Agriculture products: Cotton, wheat, melons; livestock.

Industries: Natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing.

Exports - commodities: gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber

Exports - partners: China 68.6%, Turkey 4.9% (2015)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs

Imports - partners: Turkey 24.9%, Russia 12.3%, China 10.9%, UAE 9.1%, Kazakhstan 5.1%, Germany 4.6%, Iran 4.4% (2015)

Currency: 1 Manat = 100 Tenesi (TMM)

Turkmenistan in Figures
Turkmenistan key statistical data.

(Source: Embassy of Turkmenistan in the US and others)

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan Government Portal
Official website of Turkmenistan's government, with news, "Turkmenistan: the golden age".

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan
Official site of Turkmenistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Diplomatic Missions
Embassy of Turkmenistan
Washington, D.C.


Map of Turkmenistan
Political Map of Turkmenistan.
Administrative Map of Turkmenistan
Map of Administrative Divisions of Turkmenistan.
Google Earth Google Earth Turkmenistan
Searchable map and satellite view Turkmenistan.
Google Earth Google Earth Ashgabat
Searchable map and satellite view of Turkmenistan's capital city.

profile Map of the Caspian Sea
profile Caucasus and Central Asia Map
Map of Central Asia and the Caucasus region.
profile Map of Asia
Reference Map of Asia.

Sand dunes in the Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan
Dune sand in the Karakum (Black Sand) Desert, the desert covers about 70 percent of the area of Turkmenistan.
Image: David Stanley

Turkmenistan News

The Times of Central Asia
Turkmenistan news.
More Turkmenistan news.
Local news (Russian/English)

News in Turkmen language
The Turkmen News
Turkmen daily news magazine.

International Newssources
News Central Asia
US based news agency focused at the Greater Central Asian region.
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Turkmen Service
Turkmenistan related news by Radio Free Europe. Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan News.

Google News Search: Turkmenistan
Find news from Turkmenistan.

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Arts & Culture

Legendary Turkmen Horses.
Turkmen Rugs and Carpets
Turkmen applied art.

Chronicles of Turkmenistan
Magazine of the "Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights".

Legends and Facts of Dashoguz
Article about "Turkmenistan - the Land of Rich Spiritual and Cultural Values", a conference held in the 'Cultural Capital of the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2016', the city of Dashoguz.

Wikipedia page about the Book of the Soul, written by Saparmurat Niyazov, late president-for-life of Turkmenistan (1990-2006). (An official government website)

Business & Economy

Turkmenistan's economy is largely based on gas and oil. The country possesses the world's fourth-largest reserves of natural gas and substantial oil resources.

Central Bank of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan's Central Bank.

Online newspaper of the Oil and Gas Complex of Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan - Analytic magazine
The monthly magazine provides some business information.
Great Kyz Kala, Merv oasis, Turkmenistan
Merv was a major oasis-city on the Silk Road in Central Asia, the Great Kyz Kala is one of the remaining buildings of the former metropolis. The State Historical and Cultural Park “Ancient Merv” is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Image: Peretz Partensky

Travel and Tour Consumer Information

Destination Turkmenistan - Travel and Tour Guides

Discover Turkmenistan: Altyndepe (Bronze Age site, a Zoroastrian Ziggurat), Aýrybaba (highest mountain in Turkmenistan), Gonur Tepe (archaeological site), Konya-Urgench, Merv Oasis and the Great Kyz Kala, Darvaza gas crater, Turkmenbashi, the ancient city of Nisa, World of Turkmenbashi Tales (Ashgabat Theme Park), Repetek Biosphere State Reserve.

Turkmenistan says that it strives to develop tourism, especially in the "Awaza National Tourist Zone" on the Caspian Sea coast in western Turkmenistan. But the country’s tourism sector is so small that the Swiss-based World Economic Forum’s 'Travel and Tourism Competitiveness' ranking did not even list Turkmenistan.

Anur Tour
Central Asia tour operator.
Ashgabat Gazette
A foreigners guide to Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan Chaihana
Made to spread information about Turkmenistan, maintained by former Turkmenistan Peace Corps volunteer Greg Lastowka.
Turkmen International
A guide to Turkmenistans culture.


Ashgabat International School
Information about the private non-profit institution.

Turkmen State University
Ashgabat, the university does not maintain a homepage.
Ertugrul Gazi Mosque in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Ertugrul Gazi Mosque in Ashgabat

Environment & Nature

Current issues:
Contamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, desertification.
Water logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods;
Caspian Sea pollution;
Diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish the Aral Sea.

UNDP in Turkmenistan
The United Nations Development Programme supports the Government in achieving environmental goals through assistance in developing environmental policies and in promoting best practices in water and sanitation.


History of Turkmenistan
Article about Turkmenistan's history.
Culture, Traditions, and History of Turkmenistan
Overview on Turkmenistan's culture and history.
History of Turkmenistan
Wikipedia entry on Turkmenistan's history.

Sources and additional Information about Turkmenistan

BBC Country Profile: Turkmenistan

Eurasianet: Turkmenistan

GlobalEDGE: Turkmenistan

The Heritage Foundation: Turkmenistan

Human Rights Watch: Turkmenistan

OEC: Turkmenistan

Open Directory Project: : Turkmenistan

Wikipedia: Turkmenistan

The World Factbook -- Turkmenistan

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Other Countries in South-Central Asia:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan