Turkmenistan is located in Central Asia and has
a coast towards the Caspian Sea to the west. The country
consists almost entirely of desert. Until independence
in 1991, Turkmenistan was a sub-republic in the Soviet
Union. Today, the country is ruled by an authoritarian
regime that is criticized for violating the human rights
of its citizens. Turkmenistan has large assets in the
form of natural gas and oil.
Brief profiles of Turkmenistan, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Turkmenistan in Central Asia is on the
surface slightly larger than Sweden and comprises 90
percent of the vast Karakum desert. The country has a
distinct inland climate with hot summers and cold
winters. Even during a day, the temperature varies
In the west, Turkmenistan has a long coastline
towards the Caspian Sea, in the northwest it borders
Kazakhstan, in the north to Uzbekistan, in the south to
Iran and in the southeast to Afghanistan.
The Amu-Darja River flows through the easternmost
part of the country before continuing into Uzbek
territory and into the Aral Sea. Through the Karakum
Canal, which is more than 140 km long, water from
Amu-Darja is diverted to Turkmenistan's cotton field.
This has contributed to the Aral Sea being now partially
Turkmenistan is largely a plain and less than four
percent of the land is arable. Its lowest point, 110
meters below sea level, lies on Lake Sarygamyş Köli in
the north. Highland is found in the border regions
against Afghanistan and Iran. In the mountain range Buy
Day against Iran there are peaks of about 3000 meters
above sea level. The country's highest mountain,
Airibaba, reaches 3 139 meters altitude.
The area around Purchase Day is subject to
earthquakes. The capital, Ashgabat (Aşgabat), located at
the foot of the mountain range, was destroyed in a
severe earthquake in 1948.
The large temperature changes are most pronounced in
the Karakum desert; there it can get 50 degrees hot,
while the temperature in winter is sometimes below 30
The rainfall is low throughout the country and the
humidity is low. It rains most in the spring in the
mountain areas in the west.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
488 199 km2 (2018)
Swedish +4 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran
Capital with number of residents
Ashgabat (Aşgabat) 828,000 (UN estimate 2019)
Other major cities
Turkmenabat, Tasjaouz, Mary
Airibaba (3 139 m asl)
Average Precipitation / year
Average / day
–4 °C (Jan), 28 °C (July)
Parliamentary elections with formal challengers
Turkmenistan holds for the first time an election in which representatives of
a party other than Turkmenistan's democratic party are running for office. The
Party for Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, as well as some regimented groups
for women, participate young people and others. The Government Party receives 47
seats, the Party for Industrialists and Entrepreneurs receives 14 seats and the
government-loyal groupings take home the remaining seats. Thus, the government
controls 111 of the 125 mandates. The Election Commission states that turnout is
just over 91 percent, while independent election observers indicate a
significantly lower turnout. The planned Farmer's Party has not yet been formed
(see March 2012).
Gas agreement with Afghanistan
Turkmenistan and Afghanistan sign a 30-year agreement on gas delivery.
The president leaves the party
President Berdimuhamedow announces that in a multi-party system it is
inappropriate for the president to be party-politically bound. He therefore
leaves his membership and chairmanship of the ruling Turkmenistan Democratic
Western criticism of MRI crime
At a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Turkmenistan receives
stinging criticism from the US and Western European countries for continued
repression against dissent and the use of torture in detention and prisons.
Increased media freedom is offered
President Berdimuhamedow signs a new media law that prohibits censorship and
"monopoly in the media", gives all citizens the right to own media companies and
guarantees freedom of press and expression. Media organizations such as
Reporters Without Borders, however, say that the law is only to mitigate the
world's criticism of the regime's total control over the Turkmen media and that
it will hardly mean any real improvement in the media situation.