[Country map of Turkmenistan]



Location: Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States - Central Asian States

total area: 488,100 sq km
land area: 488,100 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than California

Land boundaries: total 3,736 km, Afghanistan 744 km, Iran 992 km, Kazakhstan 379 km, Uzbekistan 1,621 km

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

Maritime claims: none; landlocked

International disputes: Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined

Climate: subtropical desert

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

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, sulphur, salt

Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 69%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 29%

Irrigated land: 12,450 sq km (1990)

current issues: contamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salinization, 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; desertification
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Ozone Layer Protection

Note: landlocked


Population: 4,075,316 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 40% (female 798,620; male 821,550)
15-64 years: 56% (female 1,155,392; male 1,128,844)
65 years and over: 4% (female 105,424; male 65,486) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.97% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 29.93 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 7.34 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -2.92 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 68.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 65.35 years
male: 61.85 years
female: 69.02 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.72 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Turkmen(s)
adjective: Turkmen

Ethnic divisions: Turkmen 73.3%, Russian 9.8%, Uzbek 9%, Kazakh 2%, other 5.9%

Religions: Muslim 87%, Eastern Orthodox 11%, unknown 2%

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

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989)
total population: 98%
male: 99%
female: 97%

Labor force: 1.642 million (January 1994)
by occupation: agriculture and forestry 44%, industry and construction 20%, other 36% (1992)


conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Turkmenistan
local long form: none
local short form: Turkmenistan
former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic

Digraph: TX

Type: republic

Capital: Ashgabat

Administrative divisions: 5 welayatlar (singular - welayat): Ahal Welayaty (Ashgabat), Balkan Welayaty (Nebitdag), Dashhowuz Welayaty (formerly Tashauz), Lebap Welayaty (Charjew), Mary Welayaty
note: names in parentheses are administrative centers when name differs from welayat name

Independence: 27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 27 October (1991)

Constitution: adopted 18 May 1992

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Saparmurad NIYAZOV (since NA October 1990); election last held 21 June 1992 (next to be held NA 2002); results - Saparmurad NIYAZOV 99.5% (ran unopposed); note - a 15 January 1994 referendum extended NIYAZOV's term an additional five years until 2002 (99.99% approval)
head of government: Prime Minister (vacant); Deputy Prime Ministers Orazgeldi AYDOGDIYEV (since NA), Babamurad BAZAROV (since NA), Khekim ISHANOV (since NA), Valeriy OTCHERTSOV (since NA), Yagmur OVEZOV (since NA), Matkarim RAJAPOV (since NA), Abad RIZAYEVA (since NA), Rejep SAPAROV (since NA), Boris SHIKHMURADOV (since NA), Batyr SARJAYEV (since NA)
cabinet: Council of Ministers

Legislative branch: under 1992 constitution there are two parliamentary bodies, a unicameral People's Council (Halk Maslahaty - having more than 100 members and meeting infrequently) and a 50-member unicameral Assembly (Majlis)
Assembly (Majlis): elections last held 11 December 1994 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (50 total) Democratic Party 45, other 5; note - all 50 preapproved by President NIYAZOV

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of Turkmenistan, Saparmurad NIYAZOV; Party for Democratic Development, Durdymurat HOJA-MUKHAMMED, chairman; Agzybirlik, Nurberdy NURMAMEDOV, cochairman, Hubayberdi HALLIYEV, cochairman
note: formal opposition parties are outlawed; unofficial, small opposition movements exist underground or in foreign countries


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Khalil UGUR
chancery: 1511 K Street NW, Suite 412, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 737-4800
FAX: [1] (202) 737-1152

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph S. HULINGS III
embassy: 6 Teheran Street, Yubilenaya Hotel, Ashgabat
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [7] (3632) 24-49-25, 24-49-22
FAX: [7] (3632) 25-53-79

Flag: green field, including a vertical stripe on the hoist side, with a claret vertical stripe in between containing five white, black, and orange carpet guls (an assymetrical design used in producing rugs) associated with five different tribes; a white crescent and five white stars in the upper left corner to the right of the carpet guls


Overview: Turkmenistan is largely desert country with nomadic cattle raising, intensive agriculture in irrigated oases, and huge gas and oil resources. Half its irrigated land is planted in cotton making it the world's tenth largest producer. It also has the world's fifth largest reserves of natural gas and significant oil resources. Until the end of 1993, Turkmenistan had experienced less economic disruption than other former Soviet states because its economy received a boost from higher prices for oil and gas and a sharp increase in hard currency earnings. In 1994, Russia's refusal to export Turkmen gas to hard currency markets and mounting debts of its major customers in the former USSR for gas deliveries contributed to a sharp fall in industrial production and caused the budget to shift from a surplus to a slight deficit. Furthermore, with an authoritarian ex-Communist regime in power and a tribally-based social structure, Turkmenistan has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton sales to sustain its inefficient economy. With the onset of economic hard times, even cautious moves toward economic restructuring and privatization have slowed down. For 1995, Turkmenistan will face continuing constraints on its earnings because of its customers' inability to pay for their gas and a low average cotton crop in 1994. Turkmenistan is working hard to open new gas export channels through Iran and Turkey, but these may take many years to realize.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $13.1 billion (1994 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1992)

National product real growth rate: -24% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $3,280 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 25% per month (1994)

Unemployment rate: NA

revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Exports: $382 million to states outside the FSU (1994)
commodities: natural gas, cotton, petroleum products, electricity, textiles, carpets
partners: Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Argentina

Imports: $304 million from states outside the FSU (1994)
commodities: machinery and parts, grain and food, plastics and rubber, consumer durables, textiles
partners: Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey

External debt: NEGL

Industrial production: growth rate -25% (1994)

capacity: 2,480,000 kW
production: 10.5 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 2,600 kWh (1994)

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

Agriculture: cotton, grain, animal husbandry

Illicit drugs: illicit cultivator of cannabis and opium poppy; mostly for CIS consumption; limited government eradication program; used as transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia to Western Europe

Economic aid:
recipient: Turkmenistan has received about $200 million in bilateral aid credits

Currency: Turkmenistan introduced its national currency, the manat, on 1 November 1993

Exchange rates: manats per US$1 - multiple rate system: 10 (official) and 230 (permitted in transactions between the government and individuals)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 2,120 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 2,120 km 1.520-m gauge (1990)

total: 23,000 km
paved and graveled: 18,300 km
unpaved: earth 4,700 km (1990)

Pipelines: crude oil 250 km; natural gas 4,400 km

Ports: Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnowodsk)

total: 64
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 13
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 7
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 35


Telephone system: NA telephones; only 7.5 telephones/100 persons (1991); poorly developed
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: linked by cable and microwave to other CIS republics and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; a new telephone link from Ashgabat to Iran has been established; a new exchange in Ashgabat switches international traffic through Turkey via INTELSAT; 1 Orbita and 1 INTELSAT earth station

broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA
radios: NA

broadcast stations: NA
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: National Guard, Republic Security Forces (internal and border troops), Joint Command Turkmenistan/Russia (Ground, Air, and Air Defense)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 993,321; males fit for military service 810,392; males reach military age (18) annually 40,430 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP