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Country of Turkmenistan Flag

Capital: Ashgabat (Ashkhabad)

Population: 5,942,089

Brief History of Turkmenistan:

Turkmenistan has been inhabited since ancient times. Many times armies moved through the area on their way to Asia or Central Europe. In the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great conquered the land. Later the land was conquered by the Parthian Kingdom and then by the Arabs in the 7th century.

In the 11th century the Seljuk Empire emerged and the Turkish gained power in the area until Genghis Khan and the Mongols arrived and took control.

In 1894, the Russian empire had absorbed Turkmenistan. After the Russian Revolution, in 1924 Turkmenistan became a republic of the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the country gained full independence in 1991. The first president was Saparmyrat Niyazov who was declared president for life.

Country of Turkmenistan Map

The Geography of Turkmenistan

Total Size: 488,100 square km

Size Comparison: slightly larger than California

Geographical Coordinates: 40 00 N, 60 00 E

World Region or Continent: Asia

General Terrain: flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west

Geographical Low Point: Vpadina Akchanaya -81 m; note - Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water leve

Geographical High Point: Gora Ayribaba 3,139 m

Climate: subtropical desert

Major cities: ASHGABAT (capital) 637,000 (2009)

The People of Turkmenistan

Type of Government: republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch

Languages Spoken: Turkmen 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%

Independence: 27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National Holiday: Independence Day, 27 October (1991)

Nationality: Turkmen(s)

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

National Symbol: Akhal-Teke horse

National Anthem or Song: Garassyz, Bitarap Turkmenistanyn (Independent, Neutral, Turkmenistan State Anthem)

Economy of Turkmenistan

Major Industries: natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing

Agricultural Products: cotton, grain; livestock

Natural Resources: petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt

Major Exports: gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, cotton fiber, textiles

Major Imports: machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs

Currency: Turkmen manat (TMM)

National GDP: $43,340,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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