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Turkmenistan Flag

Country Official Name: Turkmenistan

Official Language: Turkmen (official), Russian is also widely spoken.

Government: Unitary presidential republic

Capital: Ashgabat

Major Cities: Balkanabat, Dashhoguz, Mary, Turkmenbashy, Turkmenabat

Provinces: Ahal, Balkan, Dashhoguz, Lebap and Mary.

Ethnic Groups: Turkmen, Russian, Uzbeks, and others

Holidays: January 1 New Year's Day, January 12 Memorial Day (honoring those who fell on 12 January 1881 defending the Geok Tepe fortress against the Russian troops), February 19 State Flag of Turkmenistan Day, March 8 Turkmen Woman's Day (coincides with International Woman's Day), March 20-21 Nowruz Bayram, national spring holiday, First Sunday in April "A Drop of Water—A Grain of Gold" Festival, Last Sunday in April Turkmen Racing Horse Festival, May 8 Day of Commemoration of the National Heroes of the 1941-1945 World War, May 9 Victory Day (World War II), May 18-19 Day of Revival, Unity, and the Poetry of Magtymguly, Last Sunday in May Carpet Day, June 27 Day of Turkmen Workers of Culture and Art (introduced in 2009), Third Sunday in July Galla Bayramy (celebration of the wheat harvest), Second Sunday in August - Turkmen Melon Day, Second Saturday in September Day of the Workers in the Oil, Gas, ower, and Geological Industry, Second Sunday in  September Turkmen Bakhshi Day (celebrating the Turkmen folk singers), October 6 Day of Commemoration and National Mourning commemorating the victims of the 1948 earthquake that destroyed Ashgabat), October 27-28 Independence Day, First Saturday in November Health Day, Last Sunday in November Harvest Festival (celebration of the cotton harvest), First Sunday in December Good eighborliness Day December 12 Day of Neutrality and  Student Youth Day. The day celebrates the status of permanent positive  neutrality recognized by he UN General Assembly Resolution on Permanent  Neutrality of Turkmenistan on December 12, 1995. First day of the lunar month of Bayram (Shawwal) Oraza Bayram (the Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Fitr),  breaking of the fast at the end of the lunar month of Oraza (the ninth month in the Islamic calendar) Moving holiday (3 days) Kurban Bayram (the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha)

Airport: Ashgabat International Airport

Religion: Islam

Area: 491,210 km (52nd) 

Area Under Rice Cultivation: 59600 ha

Rice Production Season: 1. Planting: Apr. -May  2. Harvesting: Aug. -Sep.

Population: 5,171,943 (117th)

Currency: Turkmen new manat

Calling Code: +993

Time Zone: GMT +5 =>

Introduction. Turkmenistan, formerly known as Turkmenia, is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Turkmenistan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north and east, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west. Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. 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, a caravan route used for trade with China until the mid-15th century. Annexed by the Russian Empire in 1881, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkmen SSR); it became independent upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Turkmenistan's GDP growth rate of 11% in 2012 comes on the back of several years of sustained high growth, albeit from a very basic undiversified economy powered by export of a single commodity. It possesses the world's fourth largest reserves of natural gas resources. Although it is wealthy in natural resources in certain areas, most of the country is covered by the Karakum (Black Sand) Desert. Since 1993, citizens have received government-provided electricity, water and natural gas free of charge on a guarantee scheduled to last until 2030.

Geography. At 488,100 km2 (188,500 sq mi), Turkmenistan is the world's 52 -largest country. It is slightly smaller than Spain and somewhat larger than the US state of California. It lies between latitudes 35° and 43° N, and longitudes 52° and 67° E. Over 80% of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert. The center of the country is dominated by the Turan Depression and the Karakum Desert. The Kopet Dag Range, along the southwestern border, reaches 2,912 meters (9,553 ft) at Kuh-e Rizeh (Mount Rizeh). The Turkmen shore along the Caspian Sea is 1,768 kilometres (1,099 mi) long. The Caspian Sea is entirely landlocked, with no natural access to the ocean, although the Volga–Don Canal allows shipping access to and from the Black Sea. Arable land , 3.9% of the country’s area of 488100 km2, is long river valleys and almost all irrigated. Agriculture accounts for 14.6% of GDP and employs 30% of the population of 5.1 million (2011). Cotton and wheat are the major commodities; rice is a minor crop.

Climate. The Karakum Desert is one of the driest deserts in the world; some places have an average annual precipitation of only 12 mm (0.47 in). The highest temperature recorded in Ashgabat is 48.0 °C (118.4 °F) and Kerki, an extreme inland city located on the banks of the Amu Darya river, recorded 51.7 °C (125.1 °F) in July 1983, although this value is unofficial. 50.1 °C (122 °F) is the highest temperature recorded at Repetek Reserve, recognized as the highest temperature ever recorded in the whole former Soviet Union. The climate is mostly arid subtropical desert, with little rainfall. Winters are mild and dry, with most precipitation falling between January and May. The area of the country with the heaviest precipitation is the Kopet Dag Range.

Agriculture. Agriculture in Turkmenistan is a significant sector of the economy which contributes 14.6% of the GDP and employs 48.2% of the workforce. However, only 4% of the total land area is cultivated. Because of the arid climate, irrigation is necessary for nearly all cultivated land. Minor crops of citrus fruits, dates, figs, melons, pomegranates, olives, and sugarcane are grown in some parts of the country. Sesame and pistachios are also grown in smaller quantities. The two most significant crops are cotton - which is grown on half of the country's irrigated land, and wheat. Although Turkmenistan was formerly the world's 10th largest cotton producer, exports have fallen by 50% in recent years. This is due in large part to the environmental difficulties of irrigation in a desert environment. Cotton cultivation in Turkmenistan required a large amount of water to be diverted from the Amu Darya river and also introduced a great deal of fertilizer into the river. As a result, cotton cultivation in Turkmenistan is one of the factors causing the drying up of the Aral Sea. Animal husbandry makes up a great deal of agriculture in Turkmenistan, despite the fact that the arid climate presents difficulties in producing sufficient feed for the animals. The majority of animals in the country are sheep (usually of the Karakul breed) which are primarily raised for wool and skins. Chickens, cattle, goats, and pigs are also raised. The Akhal-Teke horse is also raised in Turkmenistan, and is a source of national pride. It is featured on the coat of arms of Turkmenistan.

Rice. About 80% of lands in the country is desert with a tropical arid climate. Arable land , 3.9% of the country’s area of 488100 km2, is long river valleys and almost all irrigated. Agriculture accounts for 14.6% of GDP and employs 30% of the population of 5.1 million (2011). Cotton and wheat are the major commodities; rice is a minor crop. Rice is traditionally sown in two regions of the country - Dashoguz and Lebap, taking into account soil and climatic conditions. In 2015, Turkmenistan plans to allot over 18 thousand hectares for cultivation of rice. At that, in Dashoguz province, the rice field will come to over 8 thousand hectares, and in Lebap – over 10 thousand. These regions of the country are traditionally specialized in cultivation of “pearl grain”. In total, the Turkmen farmers planned to yield over 81 thousand tons of rice from allotted areas. Immediately bordering Dashoguz Region on the east, Lebap’s geography is determined largely by the fact that it exclusively hosts the Amu Darya River’s flow through Turkmenistan and also forms the start point of the 1500-kilometer long Karakum Canal. Traveling along the Amu Darya eastwards, fields of grain and cotton, as well as rice and fruits, dominate the landscape, until bumping into the foothills of the Kugitang Mountains at the far eastern tip of the country, where the long Turkmen-Uzbek border touches on Afghanistan.