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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.
Desert, Map of Central Asia, The Turkmens,
Turkmenistan and Niyazov, Turkmenistan
Available for Travel
Countries neighbouring Turkmenistan are: Kazakhstan,
Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
Weather in Asia:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Asia.
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
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.
Occupying most of Turkmenistan; the name means black sand in
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.
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
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