Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia. The landlocked country is bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest and Uzbekistan to the north, east, and northeast. Afghanistan borders Turkmenistan to the southeast, and Iran borders it to the south and southwest. Turkmenistan’s western coast borders the Caspian Sea.

Country Profile

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The country’s capital is Ashgabat, located between the Karakum Desert and the Kopetdag mountain range. The city was founded in 1881 and made the country’s capital in 1924. Other major cities in Turkmenistan include Türkmenabat, Daşoguz, and Mary.

Russia colonized Turkmenistan in 1881; the country later became part of the Soviet Union before finally gaining independence in 1991. Turkmenistan is a presidential republic with a president who serves as both head of state and head of government. The country has often been referred to as a totalitarian state.

Turkmenistan has an arid continental climate with long, cold winters and short, mild summers. The northern regions are typically colder and experience more snow than the southern regions. Much of Turkmenistan is covered in the Karakum desert. The desert dunes transition to the Kopet Dag mountain range near the border with Iran.

Ayribobo, a 3,138 meter (10,295 ft) high mountain, is the highest peak in the country. The mountain is located in the Köýtendag Range on the Uzbekistan border. There are four major rivers in Turkmenistan: the Atrek, Amu Darya, Murghab, and Tejen. The Amu Darya is the country’s largest river, with a total length of 2,540 kilometers (1,578 miles).

Turkmenistan is famous for its hydrocarbon resources, particularly its natural gases. The Darvaza gas crater in the Ahal Province is a natural gas field that has been burning since the 1980s. Engineers set the pit on fire to prevent poisonous gases from emitting. The site has since become a minor tourist attraction.

Turkmenistan: Stats and Facts

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