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Travel Notes: Asia: Turkmenistan Travel Notes

Turkmenistan Travel Notes

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Find Turkmenistan Travel and Tourist Information with links to official travel and tourism websites and state resources for visitors to Turkmenistan.

About Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan was a former republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Together with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan it forms a region known as Central Asia.

Central Asia

Countries neighbouring Turkmenistan are: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

Map of Turkmenistan

Weather in Asia:
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The Turkmens

The Turkmens, or Turkomans, are a Turkic- speaking people with a Sunni Muslim religious heritage.

Turkmens have lived in the area for centuries, becoming a distinct ethnic group by the 15th century, but have done little with it. Okay, they make nice carpets.

The last Central Asian territory to come under Russian control, the Turkmen stronghold of Geok-Tepe, fell in 1881.


The capital of Turkmenistan is in the south-west of the country.

Ashgabat, formerly Ashkhabad, is located in an oasis near the Garagum desert and the border with Iran.

The city grew around a Russian fortress, built in 1881, at the junction of caravan routes, and became a station on the Trans- Caspian Railway in 1885.

Garagum Desert

Occupying most of Turkmenistan; the name means black sand in Turkic.

The desert extends from the Ust-Urt plateau in the north to the Kopet-Dag Mountains in the south, and from the Amu Darya River in the east towards the Caspian Sea region in the west.

Turkmenistan and Niyazov

The political situation didn't alter much in Turkmenistan after independence in 1991 - the Communist party of the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic changed its name to the Democratic party of Turkmenistan, but the same people were in it.

Whatever token opposition existed seemed to support Niyazov in referendums; keeping everything but the name the same, and everything else getting named after him.

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