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Turkmenistan Country Profile

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Turkmenistan at a Glance

Location:Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Climate:subtropical desert
Terrain:flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west
Resources:petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
Population:4,884,887 (July 2009 est.)




A Brief Profile of Turkmenistan

Eastern Turkmenistan for centuries formed part of the Persian province of Khurasan; in medieval times Merv (today known as Mary) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russia between 1865 and 1885, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic in 1924. It achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves could prove a boon to this underdeveloped country if extraction and delivery projects were to be expanded. The Turkmenistan Government is actively seeking to develop alternative petroleum transportation routes to break Russia's pipeline monopoly. President for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential electoral process in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a vice premier under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president.






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