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      Territory: 8 million square km
      Population: 457,534,000
      GDP: 1,968,910 (million USD)
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    • Turkmenistan

      Turkmenistan *

      Turkmenistan is the second largest state in Central Asia, after Kazakhstan, and the most southern out of five Republics of the region. The Country is bordered by Kazakhstan in the northwest, Uzbekistan in the north and east, Afghanistan in south-east, Iran in the south as well as the Caspian Sea in the west. The area of Turkmenistan is 491,200 square kilometers. Most of its arid land is not good for animals and plant. Except oases located on narrow strips at the foot of Kopetdag Mountain and along Amudaria, Murgab and Tejen rivers, the rest of the territory is a desert. The great Cara-Cum canal of 1300 km long had affected the whole economic and social development of Turkmenistan for the last fifty years. This canal, supplied by natural flow without using pumping, was renamed as Cara-Cum river.

      Turkmens are, and speak a language, belonging to the south-western or Oguz branch of Turkic linguistic group. Turkmens make 77% of the population against 66% in 1970 what is mainly due to a relatively high rate of birth. There are Russians, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, and Tatars as well. The population is spread irregularly over the territory of the Country. Most of it lives in oases and its insignificant part lives in Karakum desert and in mountain area. Over 63% of ethnic Turkmen population live in rural area. Urban population mainly consists of Russian speaking migrants and their several generations born in Turkmenistan. In census of 1995 there was a question about speaking all other languages fluently, which means double reckoning on a good command of a language. Nowadays the share of Turkmen population in urban area has a tendency for growth.

      In the process of economic development during Soviet time a large number of non-Turkmen skilled workers, engineers, technicians and other specialists moved to Turkmenistan. Besides, many ethnic Turkmens who were born and got higher education outside Turkmenistan, have returned to their native land.

      Turkmenistan adopted its new Constitution in 1992, which replaced the Constitution of Soviet era that had been valid since 1978. New Constitution provides for legislative, executive and judiciary branches of the power, the executive branch playing a predominant role. One chamber parliament (Majlis) includes 50 delegates elected according to territorial districts on a 5-years basis. The President of the Country is elected for a maximum period of two consecutive 5-year terms. The current President of Turkmenistan is H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.

      High courts of the country are Supreme Court and Supreme Arbitrage Court (for economic claims); judges hold office for five years and are appointed by the President. The People's Council (Khal Maslahaty) consists of the President, Members of the Parliament, regional representatives, chairmen of the supreme courts, cabinet and other officials. This Council is entitled to convene national referenda and approve their results, to plan and endorse political, economic and social policy and to declare war.

      Turkmenistan represents mainly a desert country with nomadic cattle-breeding, intensive agriculture in arid areas and huge oil and gas resources. Half of irrigated land is involved in cotton cultivation making the country the tenth world cotton producer. Turkmenistan takes the fourth place in the world for gas resources and has considerable oil reserves as well. In Central Asia Turkmenistan is a leading silk cocoons’ producer which is mostly developed in middle Amudarya river’s oasis.

      Major sectoral reforms of the country’s economy was completed by 1930 when old industries (such as cotton and oil processing and carpet-making) were continued and new industries (such as heavy and light as well as food production) were set up.

      Oil deposits and related oil industries are concentrated in Caspian plain in the east of the Country and in the Caspian coast line to the west of Cheleken peninsula. Turkmen oil is of high quality both as a fuel and raw material for chemical industry. A pipeline network links oil deposits in the west of Turkmenistan to Ashkhabad, Turkmenbashi (Krasnovodsk), Cheleken as well as to central and northern regions of the Country.

      In the perspective territories of the Central and Eastern Turkmenistan a rich oil deposits and the oil extracted from there along with condensate of the gas are refined at the Refining Plant of Seidy city which is located in the middle part of Amuderiya oasis. The extracted oil and gas condensate of Turkmenistan have one of the top ranges in the form of fuel oil, as well as raw material for its processing. The network of the natural gas pipelines has been developed enough and now covered the demand of the Turkmenistan’s population by gas. Moreover, the transcontinental Central Asia Centre Gas Pipeline, which has been laid from the territory Eastern and Western Turkmenistan, will stimulate the prospecting development of the huge hydro-carbon reserves.

      Turkmenistan’s land as well as sea mineral wealth contain the huge reserves of natural gas, oil, iodine, bromine, sulphur, potassium and different mineral salts.


      * The data and statistics here are reproduced from the following UN source:
      http://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=Turkmenistan
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