Turkmenistan (GPS: 40 00 N, 60 00 E) located in Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan. The country’s area measurements are total: 488,100 sq km; land: 469,930 sq km, water: 18,170 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly larger than California. The total irrigated land is 19,950 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Turkmenistan: Landlocked (enclosed or nearly enclosed by land). 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. The Eastern part is a plateau.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Ashgabat’s GPS coordinates are 37 57 N 58 23 E. Ashgabat’s local time is 10 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+5.
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. In medieval times, Merv (located in present-day Mary province) 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 USSR’s dissolution in 1991. President for Life Saparmyrat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy chairman under NYYAZOW emerged as the country’s new president. BERDIMUHAMEDOW won Turkmenistan’s first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007, and again in 2012 and 2017 with over 97% of the vote in both instances, in elections widely regarded as undemocratic.
Turkmenistan has sought new export markets for its vast hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited. As of late 2019, Turkmenistan exported most of its gas to China, and small gas levels were also being sent to Russia. Turkmenistan’s reliance on gas exports has made the economy vulnerable to fluctuations in the global energy market, and economic hardships since the drop in energy prices in 2014 have led many Turkmenistan is to emigrate, mostly to Turkey.
Turkmenistan’s names conventional long form: none, traditional short way: Turkmenistan, local long state: none, local short form: Turkmenistan, former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, etymology: the suffix “-stan” means “place of” or “country,” so Turkmenistan means the “Land of the Turkmen [people].” The suffix “-stan” means “place of” or “country,” so Turkmenistan means the “Land of the Turkmen [people].”
Turkmenistan’s terrain is typically flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low cliffs along the border with Iran; borders the Caspian Sea in the west. The country’s mean elevation: 230 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya -81 m, highest point: Gora Ayribaba 3,139 m.
The general climate in the country; subtropical desert.
The total number of border countries is 4, Afghanistan 804 km, Iran 1,148 km, Kazakhstan 413 km, Uzbekistan 1,793 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Turkmenistan’s coastline is 0 km; note – Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km), while its marital claims are: none. Waterways: 1,300 km (the Amu Darya and Kara Kum canal are important inland waterways) (2011). Land use: agricultural land: 72%; arable land 4.1%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 67.8%; forest: 8.8%; other: 19.2% (2011 estimate).
The population in Turkmenistan 5,411,012 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 50% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: ASHGABAT (capital) 746,000 (2015), while Turkmenistan has the most densely populated areas are the southern, eastern, and northeastern oases; approximately 50% of the population lives in and around the capital of Ashgabat. Their spoken languages are Turkmen (official language) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%. Main religions in Turkmenistan are Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%. The nation uses civil law system with Islamic law influences. It is a(n) presidential republic, highly authoritarian, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 27 October (1991).
Economic overview for the country: Turkmenistan is mainly a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and significant natural gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, mostly produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for almost 8% of GDP, it employs nearly half of the country’s workforce. Hydrocarbon exports, the bulk of natural gas going to China, make up 25% of Turkmenistan’s GDP. Ashgabat has explored two initiatives to bring gas to new markets: a trans-Caspian pipeline that would carry the gas to Europe and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Both face significant financing, political, and security hurdles and are unlikely to be completed soon. Turkmenistan’s autocratic governments under presidents NIYAZOW (1991-2006) and BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 2007) have made little progress improving the business climate, privatizing state-owned industries, combatting corruption, and limiting economic development outside the energy sector.
High energy prices in the mid-2000s allowed the government to undertake extensive development and social spending, including providing massive utility subsidies. Low energy prices since mid-2014 are hampering Turkmenistan’s economic growth and reducing government revenues. The government has cut subsidies in several areas, and wage arrears have increased. In January 2014, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan devalued the manat by 19%, and downward pressure on the currency continues. There is a widening spread between the official exchange rate (3.5 TMM per US dollar) and the black market exchange rate (approximately 14 TMM per US dollar). Currency depreciation and conversion restrictions, corruption, isolationist policies, and declining spending on public services have resulted in a stagnate economy that is nearing crisis. Turkmenistan claims substantial foreign currency reserves, but non-transparent data limit international institutions’ Ability to verify this information.
Natural resources of Turkmenistan: petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt.
Main export partners for Turkmenistan, Asia are China 68.6%, Turkey 4.9% (2015) for gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber, while the main import partners for the country are: Turkey 24.9%, Russia 12.3%, China 10.9%, UAE 9.1%, Kazakhstan 5.1%, Germany 4.6%, Iran 4.4% (2015) for machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs.
When you visit this country in Asia, consider the natural hazards in Turkmenistan: N/A, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Turkmenistan faces the following environmental issues: Contamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides, Salination, waterlogging of the earth due to low 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, Soil erosion, Desertification.