Official Name: Turkmenistan
Total area: 488,100 km2
Languages: Turkmen, Russian
Religions: Muslim 80% 18% Christian, 2% Other.
National currency: Manat
Turkmenistan known as Turkmenia is one of countries of Central Asia and bounded by the Caspian Sea in the west, Kazakhstan in the north, Uzbekistan in the east, and Iran and Afghanistan in the south. About nine-tenths of Turkmenistan is desert, chiefly the Kara-Kum. Nearly 80% of the country is considered part of the Karakum Desert. One of the world's largest sand deserts, it is approximately 138,966 sq mi (360,000 sq km).
The traditional life of the Turkmen is that of nomadic shepherds, though some have been settled in towns for centuries. The country is known for its fine carpets (one is even featured in its flag) and horses. Turkmenistan is a fairly poor and underdeveloped country, even though billions have been spent on modernization in Ashgabat, Turkmenbashi, and many other cities in post Soviet times. While there has been much construction in Ashgabat, most of the downtown high rises appear empty. And also, the country has extensive oil and gas reserves being developed, with recently opened pipelines to China, Iran, and soon Azerbaijan.
The country is rich in oil and natural gas resources and cotton is its major agricultural product. The oil and gas industries occupy an important space in Turkmenistan's current economic development as well as in its vision for the future. Attracting foreign investors and constructing pipelines have been at the top of the government's agenda, when they began holding international conferences to gather oil companies and promote international competition for investment. To encourage such capital investments, efforts have been made to improve the banking industry and tax codes. Turkmenistan's commitment to these industries also impacts its foreign policy as it nurtures relationships with many potential investors and customers as well as neighbors like Iran which may be in a position to host a gas or oil pipeline.
Turkmenistan, as a country producing oil and gas, has experienced robust economic growth in recent years.
Turkmenistan is one of the popular places for tourist destination. The country is famous throughout the world for its architecture and archaeological sites.
Most popular places is:
- Dashoguz is located in Northern part of Turkmenistan in the Dasoguz Province. It is the hub for tourists visiting the Konya-Urgench. The city came to the world’s attention when there formed the crater with the diameter 69 metres , and its depth is 30 metres and named “Door to Hell” or more popular name “Gates of Hell”.
- Mary is the third largest city of Turkmenistan. It is situated in a big oasis in the heart of the Kara Kum Desert. The history museum which is home to a rich collection of artifacts, Turkmen rugs and national dresses is the city’s main attraction.
- Konya Urgench is a municipality in north-eastern Turkmenistan. The ancient town of Urgench. The city was razed to ground by Genghis Khan in what is considered to be the bloodiest massacres in human history. The Mongols annihilated the city by flooding it with water from the Amu Darya River. The 60-meter tall Gutluk-Temir Minaret and the Soltan Tekes Mausoleum still stand.
- Merv was another of Central Asia’s well known Oasis towns on the Silk Road. According to claims Merv was the largest city in the world around the 12th Century. It is believed that the Hindu religion started here in Mount Meru which Hinduism declares to be the center of the world.
- The Annau Archeology site is located on the Silk Road, excavations started in the area in 1904. During the excavations skeletons of children, painted pottery, geometrical decorations and the oldest remains of camels were discovered. It is accepted that camels were first domesticated here. The Seyit Jemaletdin Mosque is one of the most amazing structures in this country. The mosque is fitted with blue tiles that make it stand apart.
- The city of Dekhistan is situated in the west of Turkmenistan near the Caspian Sea. The city is located in the Misrian Valley; which has one of the most unique terrains of any places in Central Asia. Dekhistan vaunts its beautiful towers of ancient settlements and 10th-12th- century monuments; it also has one of the most ancient mosque of the early Islamic period.