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Turkmenistan Country Guide

Explore Turkmenistan in Asia

Turkmenistan with the capital city Ashkhabad is located in Asia (Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea). It covers some 488,100 square kilometres (slightly larger than California) with 5,179,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Turkmenistan

The terrain features flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south with low mountains along border with Iran and borders Caspian Sea in west. The average density of population is approximately 11 per km². The notable climate conditions in Turkmenistan can be described as subtropical desert. Potential natural disasters are NA.

To reach someone in Turkmenistan dial +993 prior to a number. There are 478,000 installed telephones. And there are 1,500,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900/1800 MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".tm". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan Flag Icon

Green field with a vertical red stripe near the hoist side, containing five tribal guls (designs used in producing carpets) stacked above two crossed olive branches; five white stars and a white crescent moon appear in the upper corner of the field just to the fly side of the red stripe; the green color and crescent moon represent Islam; the five stars symbolize the regions or welayats of Turkmenistan; the guls reflect the national identity of Turkmenistan where carpet-making has long been a part of traditional nomadic life note: the flag of Turkmenistan is the most intricate of all national flags.

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. Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects. The Government of Turkmenistan is actively working to diversify its gas export routes beyond the still important Russian 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.

National administrative regions of Turkmenistan

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Asia
Neighbours: Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan
Capital: Ashkhabad
Size488,100 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 188,456 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than California
CurrencyName Manat, Currency Code:TMM
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).tm
Telephone Country Prefix+993
Mobile Phone Connections1,500,000
Landline Phone Connections478,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area488,100 (sq km)53

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population5,113,040 118
Population growth rate1.15 (%)103
Birth rate19.53 (births/1,000 population)90
Death rate6.18 (deaths/1,000 population)158
Net migration rate-1.88 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)160
Maternal mortality rate67.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)89
Infant mortality rate39.48 (deaths/1,000 live births)60
Life expectancy at birth69.16 (years)156
Total fertility rate2.12 (children born/woman)108
Health expenditures2.50 (% of GDP)186
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.10 (%)110
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS200 156
HIV/AIDS - deaths100 118
Obesity - adult prevalence rate13.20 (%)125


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)49,750,000,000 97
GDP - real growth rate11.00 (%)6
GDP - per capita (PPP)8,900 126
Labor force2,300,000 117
Unemployment rate60.00 (%)198
Distribution of family income - Gini index40.80 56
Investment (gross fixed)9.30 (% of GDP)150
Taxes and other revenues78.40 (% of GDP)2
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.50 (% of GDP)74
Inflation rate (consumer prices)10.50 (%)202
Stock of narrow money828,800,000 152
Stock of broad money1,652,000,000 155
Stock of domestic credit3,895,000,000 124
Industrial production growth rate7.30 (%)35
Current account balance1,496,000,000 39
Exports16,160,000,000 80
Imports10,430,000,000 96
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold20,680,000,000 58
Debt - external429,100,000 175


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production15,020,000,000 (kWh)82
Electricity - consumption11,220,000,000 (kWh)86
Electricity - exports1,568,000,000 (kWh)46
Electricity - installed generating capacity2,852,000 (kW)90
Electricity - from fossil fuels100.00 (% of total installed capacity)41
Crude oil - production222,200 (bbl/day)38
Crude oil - exports67,000 (bbl/day)42
Crude oil - proved reserves600,000,000 (bbl)46
Refined petroleum products - production160,300 (bbl/day)64
Refined petroleum products - consumption145,000 (bbl/day)69
Refined petroleum products - exports74,430 (bbl/day)49
Refined petroleum products - imports2,542 (bbl/day)175
Natural gas - production59,500,000,000 (cu m)17
Natural gas - consumption25,000,000,000 (cu m)33
Natural gas - exports34,500,000,000 (cu m)12
Natural gas - proved reserves24,300,000,000,000 (cu m)5
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy62,050,000 (Mt)55


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use547,000 94
Telephones - mobile cellular3,511,000 120
Internet hosts714 176
Internet users80,400 166


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports26 126
Railways2,980 (km)56
Roadways58,592 (km)73
Waterways1,300 (km)54
Merchant marine11 110


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures1.60 (% of GDP)93

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Kunya-Urgench is situated in north-western Turkmenistan, on the left bank of the Amu Daria River. Urgench was the capital of the Khorezm region, part of the Achaemenid Empire. The old town contains a series of monuments mainly from the 11th to 16th c ...
Parthian Fortresses of Nisa
The Parthian Fortresses of Nisa consist of two tells of Old and New Nisa, indicating the site of one of the earliest and most important cities of the Parthian Empire, a major power from the mid 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD. They conserve the ...
State Historical and Cultural Park “Ancient Merv”
Merv is the oldest and best-preserved of the oasis-cities along the Silk Route in Central Asia. The remains in this vast oasis span 4,000 years of human history. A number of monuments are still visible, particularly from the last two millennia. ...