Turkmenistan Facts

Turkmenistan Facts and History


Turkmenistan is one of the former countries of the Soviet Union, which is still populated by nomadic tribes today.

President Niyazov has been in power since the Turkmen declaration of independence in 1991. He was named President for Life in 1999.

Turkmenistan is a very dry country in Central Asia, about 85% is covered by desert. Due to the old nomadic tradition and the strong earthquake in 1948, there are no historical buildings in Turkmenistan.

The Turkmen culture is shaped by Islam and affects all areas of daily life.

Name of the country Republic of Turkmenistan
Form of government Presidential Republic
Location Southernmost of the Central Asian states
Population Approx. 6.7 million residents (Credit: Countryaah: Turkmenistan Population)
Ethnicities 77.0% Turkmen,9.2% Uzbeks,

6.7% Russians,

2% Kazakhs,

1.1% Tatars, 0.8% each of Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Beludis, 0.5% Ukrainians

Religions approx. 90% Sunnis, Christians, small Jewish and Baha’i communities, 9% members of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Languages Turkmen, Russian
Capital Ashgabat
Surface 488,100 km²
Highest mountain Gora Ayribaba with 3,139 m
Longest river Amu Darya with a length of 2580 km
Largest lake in area Sarikamisch Lake
International license plate TM
National currency Turkmenistani manat (TMM) = 100 tenge
Time difference to CET + 3 h
International phone code + 993
Voltage frequency 220 volts, 50 hertz
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .tm

Turkmenistan: history

Turkmenistan until around the year 1000

In 642 the Arabs conquered what is now Turkmenistan and made the city of Merw one of their main settlements in the region. The Oghuz settling in the area between the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea were first referred to as Turkoman or Turkmen during this period.

Turkmenistan from the year 1000 to the 16th century

According to Abbreviationfinder website, in the 11th century the Seljuk Empire was founded with its center in Merw. Genghis Khan conquered Central Asia in the 13th century and destroyed Turkmenistan in the process. As a result, the Turkmens came under the influence of the Timurids in the 14th century.

Turkmenistan from the 17th to the 19th centuries

The territory of the Turkmen tribes was practically constantly contested between the Persian shahs, the khans of Khiva, the emirs of Bukhara and the rulers of Afghanistan during the 17th – 19th centuries.

In 1867 – 1882, the Russian general von Kaufmann conquered large parts of Central Asia and organized the General Government of Turkestan, subjugating the area to the Turkmen tribes.

In 1881 Russian troops conquered all of Turkmenistan.

20th century until today

In 1917 workers ‘and soldiers’ councils took power in Turkmenistan.

As a result, the proclamation of the Autonomous Socialist Republic of Turkestan (ASRT) was proclaimed in 1918. In the same year there was civil war and Turkmenistan was briefly occupied by British troops.

In 1924 the ASR Turkestan was divided into the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic (TSSR) along with other Central Asian Soviet republics.

From 1928 to 1932 there was the forced collectivization of agriculture and permanent settlement of the Turkmen nomads, which led to the establishment of a resistance movement which was suppressed with extreme severity by the Soviet authorities.

In 1948, the Turkmen capital Ashgabat was almost completely destroyed by a magnitude 9 earthquake.

The Turkmen declaration of sovereignty took place in 1990. In 1991, the declaration of independence also took place.

In 1999 the People’s Council extended the first electoral term of President Niyazov, who had been in power since 1992, to an unlimited period, which equates to an appointment as president for life.

The appointment of President Niyazov as President of the People’s Council for life followed in 2003.

Turkmenistan Facts