Population: 5 171 943

GDP: 47 540 000 000.00 $



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. The Government of Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects and is actively diversifying its gas export routes beyond Russia's 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.



Population: 5,171,943 (2014).


Nationality: noun: Turkmen(s), adjective: Turkmen.


Ethnic groups: Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6%.


Languages: Turkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%.


Religions: Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%.



GDP: $ 47 540 000 000.00 (2014).

Military Organization


Turkmen Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces.

Conflicts and Disputes


Cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2005, but Caspian seabed delimitation remains stalled with Azerbaijan, Iran, and Kazakhstan due to Turkmenistan's indecision over how to allocate the sea's waters and seabed; bilateral talks continue with Azerbaijan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian.


Turkmenistan is transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and Western European markets; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan.


Geographical Information and Map


Capital: Ashgabat (Ashkhabad)


Location: Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan. Landlocked; the western and central low-lying desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateau.


Geographic coordinates:

40 00 N, 60 00 E.



total: 488,100 sq km

land: 469,930 sq km

water: 18,170 sq km.


Land boundaries:

total: 4,158 km

border countries: Afghanistan 804 km, Iran 1,148 km, Kazakhstan 413 km, Uzbekistan 1,793 km.


Coastline: 0 km; note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km).


Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt.