General Facts about Turkmenistan

Official Name: Republic of Turkmenistan;
Capital: Ashgabat;
Population: 6.7 million;
Total area: 488,1OOsq. km;
Density: 8 people per sq. km;
Languages: Turkmen, Russian, English;
Religions: Muslim 85%, Eastern Orthodox 10%, other 5%;
Ethnic mix: Turkmen 78%, Uzbek 9%, Russian 6%, Kazakh 5% and others 2%;
Government: Single party republic;
National currency: Manat. 

Turkmenistan Geography:
Turkmenistan is located in the south-west of Central Asia . Bounded by the Caspian Sea in the west and the Amu-Darya river to the east, Turkmenistan covers 488,100 sq. km, the second largest Central Asian republic after Kazakhstan. To the south it is fringed by the Kopet Dag range that forms a natural border with Iran and father south-east with Afghanistan. To the north-west Turkmenistan shares the border with Kazakhstan and to the east with Uzbekistan.
80% of Turkmenistan's territory is taken up by the waterless sandy desert of Kara Kum (“Black sands”). The desert occupies the entire central region of the country.
There are four rivers. The biggest and the most full-flooded Central Asia's river is the Amu-Darya that flows in the east along the border on Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The small Tejen and Murgab rivers run off the eastern slopes of the mountains and vanish in the desert. It is only the Atrek River that flows into the Caspian Sea. The Kopet Dag range abounds in numerous mineral streams flowing in the valleys.

Population of Turkmenistan:
7 million (approx. 4 % annual growth). The desert occupying four-fifth of the territory, Turkmenistan is sparsely populated. The population density makes just 10 people per square kilometer. The main areas of population are concentrated in the oases. The country is mainly inhabited by the Turkmen who make 80% of the population. There are also the Russians (2%), Uzbeks (9%), Kazakhs (2%), Ukrainians, Tatars and others.

Climate:
Strong continental with hot dry summers (rarely below 35 degrees Celsius and sometimes up to 45-50 degrees Celsius in July and August) and mild winters. Turkmenistan enjoys an annual average of 250 days of sun. Rain is expected in early spring and in late autumn. Sandstorms are a regular occurrence during the changing of the seasons

Language:
Turkmen (Russian is also widely used in communication).

Local time in Turkmenistan:
GMT + 5 hours. Summer saving time is not used.

Weights and measures:
the metric system is used in Turkmenistan .

Currency:
The manat. 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 manat notes are in circulation now

The capital:
Ashgabat city

Communication:
Flights connect Ashgabat with the principal cities of Mary, Turkmenabat, Dashoguz, Turkmenbashi and Balkanabat. Railway communication is mostly operated within the country, hugging Turkmenistan along its southern and eastern borders. Since 1997 the railway has connected the country with the Iranian rail network at Seraks. Recently inaugurated a new railway branch across the desert has linked Ashgabat with the city of Dashoguz located in the extreme north of Turkmenistan . Many areas of Turkmenistan are not inhabited and are therefore very remote. Consequently, there are no roads across much of the country. There are 12,000 km of proper roads. Ashgabat and its outskirts can boast of the roads that are close to the western standards. At present an old 600-kilometer motorway from Ashgabat to Dashoguz is being improved. Petrol is cheap.

Administrative division:
Turkmenistan is divided into five provinces of Akhal, Balkan, Dashoguz, Mary and Lebap.

Religion:
Islam is the main religion with Russian orthodoxy being second.


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