Focus on Central Asia - Countries - Turkmenistan
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Turkmenistan shares borders with Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the east, Afghanistan to the south-east and Iran to the South. To the west is the Caspian Sea. Nearly 80% of the country is taken up by the Kara-Kum (Black Sand) desert, the largest in the CIS. The longest irrigation canal in the world stretches 1,100km (687 miles), from the Amu-Darya River in the east, through Ashgabat, before being piped the rest of the way to the Caspian Sea.

448,100 sq. km


73,3% Turkmen
9,8% Russian
9,0% Uzbek
2,0% Kazak
5,9% Other

Turkmen is the official state language, and is closer to Turkish, Azeri and Crimean Tartar than those of its neighbours Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The Turkmen script was changed from Latin to Cyrillic in 1940, but the process of changing back to the Turkish version of the Latin script is underway.

Predominantly Sunni Muslim with a small Russian Orthodox minority. Turkmenistan shares the Central Asian Sufi tradition.

The summers are warm to hot but the heat is made more bearable by the low humidity. The winters are cold but generally dry and sunny over most of the region.

    Contact: Dana Ziyasheva Information and Informatics Division

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