Explore Turkmenistan in Asia

Turkmenistan
Country Guide

Map of the area of  in

Turkmenistan with its capital Ashkhabad is located in Asia (Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea). It covers some 488,101 square kilometres (slightly larger than California) with 5,179,000 citizens. Turkmen, Russian and Uzbek are the languages spoken by people in Turkmenistan (consider regional differences). Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are bordering countries.

Turkmenistanis a country in Central Asia with a population of about 5 million, and an area around half a million km2, or almost the size of Spain. Turkmenistan is one of just two Stalinist countries in existence (the other being North Korea) and the government is in firm control of nearly everything, although, surprisingly, tourism is welcomed as long as you don't discuss politics or omnipresent police/military.

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Landscape, climate and basic hints for travelling

The terrain offers flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south with low mountains along border with Iran and borders Caspian Sea in west. The average density of population is about 11 per km². The climate in Turkmenistan can be described as subtropical desert. Possible natural disasters include NA.

To reach someone in Turkmenistan dial +993 prior to a number. There are 478,000 installed telephones. And there are 1,500,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 900, 1800 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".tm". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 220V - 50Hz.

Learn more on our Turkmenistani Facts page.

Description of the flag of Turkmenistan

Green field with a vertical red stripe near the hoist side, containing five tribal guls (designs used in producing carpets) stacked above two crossed olive branches; five white stars and a white crescent moon appear in the upper corner of the field just to the fly side of the red stripe; the green color and crescent moon represent Islam; the five stars symbolize the regions or welayats of Turkmenistan; the guls reflect the national identity of Turkmenistan where carpet-making has long been a part of traditional nomadic life
note: the flag of Turkmenistan is the most intricate of all national flags.

National administrative regions of Turkmenistan

Historical background information

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 crusaders, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. In medieval times Merv (today known as Mary) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russia in the late 1800s, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic; it achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited, have begun to transform the country. Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects. The Government of Turkmenistan is actively working to diversify its gas export routes beyond the still important Russian pipeline network. 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. President for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy cabinet chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president; he was chosen as president again in February 2012, in an election that the OSCE said lacked the freedoms necessary to create a competitive environment.

Learn more on our Turkmenistani Facts page.

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010 and 2013, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia and others.