Central Asia :: Turkmenistan
  • Introduction :: Turkmenistan
  • Background:
    Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. The area was ruled in antiquity by various Persian empires, and was conquered by Alexander the Great, Muslim armies, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. In medieval times, Merv (located in present-day Mary province) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russia in the late 1800s, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic; it achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited, have begun to transform the country. The Government of Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects and has attempted to diversify its gas export routes beyond Russia's pipeline network. In 2010, new gas export pipelines that carry Turkmen gas to China and to northern Iran began operating, effectively ending the Russian monopoly on Turkmen gas exports. In 2016 and 2017, Turkmen sales of natural gas were halted to Russia and Iran, respectively, making China the sole major buyer of Turkmen gas. President for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy cabinet chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president. He was reelected in 2012 and again in 2017 with over 97% of the vote in both instances, in elections widely regarded as undemocratic.
  • Geography :: Turkmenistan
  • Location:
    Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
    Geographic coordinates:
    40 00 N, 60 00 E
    Map references:
    Asia
    Area:
    total: 488,100 sq km
    land: 469,930 sq km
    water: 18,170 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Area - comparative:
    slightly more than three times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than California
    Land boundaries:
    total: 4,158 km
    border countries (4): Afghanistan 804 km, Iran 1148 km, Kazakhstan 413 km, Uzbekistan 1793 km
    Coastline:
    0 km (landlocked); note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)
    Maritime claims:
    none (landlocked)
    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
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 230 m
    elevation extremes: -81 m lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya (Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water level that fluctuates above and below the elevation of Vpadina Akchanaya, the lake has dropped as low as -110 m)
    3139 highest point: Gora Ayribaba
    Natural resources:
    petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 72% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 4.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 67.8% (2011 est.)
    forest: 8.8% (2011 est.)
    other: 19.2% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    19,950 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    the most densely populated areas are the southern, eastern, and northeastern oases; approximately 50% of the population lives in and around the capital of Ashgabat
    Natural hazards:
    earthquakes; mudslides; droughts; dust storms; floods
    Environment - current issues:
    contamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, water logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish the Aral Sea; soil erosion; desertification
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note:
    landlocked; the western and central low-lying desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateau
  • People and Society :: Turkmenistan
  • Population:
    5,411,012 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Nationality:
    noun: Turkmen(s)
    adjective: Turkmen
    Ethnic groups:
    Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)
    Languages:
    Turkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
    Religions:
    Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 25.66% (male 704,067 /female 684,581)
    15-24 years: 17.71% (male 482,094 /female 476,080)
    25-54 years: 43.52% (male 1,169,965 /female 1,185,159)
    55-64 years: 8.17% (male 208,328 /female 233,902)
    65 years and over: 4.93% (male 116,218 /female 150,618) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 52.7 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 46.5 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.2 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 16.1 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 28.3 years
    male: 27.8 years
    female: 28.8 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Population growth rate:
    1.1% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Birth rate:
    18.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Death rate:
    6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Net migration rate:
    -1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    Population distribution:
    the most densely populated areas are the southern, eastern, and northeastern oases; approximately 50% of the population lives in and around the capital of Ashgabat
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 51.6% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 2.46% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    810,000 ASHGABAT (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    42 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 33.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 39.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 26 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 70.7 years (2018 est.)
    male: 67.6 years (2018 est.)
    female: 73.9 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Total fertility rate:
    2.06 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    50.2% (2015/16)
    Health expenditures:
    2.1% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Physicians density:
    2.29 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    Hospital bed density:
    7.4 beds/1,000 population (2013)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 89.1% of population (2012 est.)
    rural: 53.7% of population (2012 est.)
    total: 71.1% of population (2012 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 10.9% of population (2012 est.)
    rural: 46.3% of population (2012 est.)
    total: 28.9% of population (2012 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 100% of population (2012 est.)
    rural: 98.2% of population (2012 est.)
    total: 99.1% of population (2012 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population (2012 est.)
    rural: 1.8% of population (2012 est.)
    total: 0.9% of population (2012 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    NA
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    18.6% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    3.2% (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Education expenditures:
    3% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 99.7% (2015 est.)
    male: 99.8% (2015 est.)
    female: 99.6% (2015 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 11 years (2014)
    male: 11 years (2014)
    female: 11 years (2014)
  • Government :: Turkmenistan
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Turkmenistan
    local long form: none
    local short form: Turkmenistan
    former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
    etymology: the suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so Turkmenistan literally means the "Land of the Turkmen [people]"
    Government type:
    presidential republic; authoritarian
    Capital:
    name: Ashgabat (Ashkhabad)
    geographic coordinates: 37 57 N, 58 23 E
    time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions:
    5 provinces (welayatlar, singular - welayat) and 1 independent city*: Ahal Welayaty (Anew), Ashgabat*, Balkan Welayaty (Balkanabat), Dasoguz Welayaty, Lebap Welayaty (Turkmenabat), Mary Welayaty

    note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

    Independence:
    27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
    National holiday:
    Independence Day, 27 October (1991)
    Constitution:
    history: adopted 18 May 1992 (2017)
    amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the total Assembly membership or absolute majority approval in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2016; note - in mid-2014, the president established a Constitutional Commission to initiate a process for developing constitutional reforms (2017)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Turkmenistan
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007)
    cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held in February 2024)
    election results: Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW reelected president in the first round; percent of vote - Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (DPT) 97.7%, other 2.3%
    Legislative branch:
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Mejlis (125 seats; members directly elected from single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 25 March 2018, although interim elections are held on an ad hoc basis to fill vacant sets
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - DPT 55, APT 11, PIE 11, independent 48 (individuals nominated by citizen groups); composition - men 94, women 31, percent of women 24.8%
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Turkmenistan (consists of the court president and 21 associate judges and organized into civil, criminal, and military chambers)
    judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president for 5-year terms
    subordinate courts: High Commercial Court; appellate courts; provincial, district, and city courts; military courts
    Political parties and leaders:

    Agrarian Party of Turkmenistan or APT [Bashim ANNAGURBANOW]
    Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Ata SERDAROW]
    Organization of Trade Unions of Turkmenistan
    Magtymguly Youth Organization
    Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs or PIE [Saparmyrat OVGANOW]
    Women's Union of Turkmenistan

    note: all of these parties support President BERDIMUHAMEDOW; a law authorizing the registration of political parties went into effect in January 2012; unofficial, small opposition movements exist abroad

    International organization participation:
    ADB, CIS (associate member, has not ratified the 1993 CIS charter although it participates in meetings and held the chairmanship of the CIS in 2012), EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Meret Bairamovich ORAZOW (since 14 February 2001)
    chancery: 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 588-1500
    FAX: [1] (202) 588-0697
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Allan MUSTARD (since 20 January 2015)
    embassy: No. 9 1984 Street (formerly Pushkin Street), Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 744000
    mailing address: 7070 Ashgabat Place, Washington, DC 20521-7070
    telephone: [993] (12) 94-00-45
    FAX: [993] (12) 94-26-14
    Flag description:
    green field with a vertical red stripe near the hoist side, containing five tribal guls (designs used in producing carpets) stacked above two crossed olive branches; five white stars and a white crescent moon appear in the upper corner of the field just to the fly side of the red stripe; the green color and crescent moon represent Islam; the five stars symbolize the regions or welayats of Turkmenistan; the guls reflect the national identity of Turkmenistan where carpet-making has long been a part of traditional nomadic life

    note: the flag of Turkmenistan is the most intricate of all national flags

    National symbol(s):
    Akhal-Teke horse; national colors: green, white
    National anthem:
    name: "Garassyz, Bitarap Turkmenistanyn" (Independent, Neutral, Turkmenistan State Anthem)
    lyrics/music: collective/Veli MUKHATOV

    note: adopted 1997, lyrics revised in 2008, to eliminate references to deceased President Saparmurat NYYAZOW

  • Economy :: Turkmenistan
  • Economy - overview:

    Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and significant natural gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for almost 8% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Hydrocarbon exports, the bulk of which is natural gas going to China, make up 25% of Turkmenistan’s GDP. Ashgabat has explored two initiatives to bring gas to new markets: a trans-Caspian pipeline that would carry gas to Europe and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Both face major financing, political, and security hurdles and are unlikely to be completed soon.

    Turkmenistan’s autocratic governments under presidents NIYAZOW (1991-2006) and BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 2007) have made little progress improving the business climate, privatizing state-owned industries, combatting corruption, and limiting economic development outside the energy sector. High energy prices in the mid-2000s allowed the government to undertake extensive development and social spending, including providing heavy utility subsidies.

    Low energy prices since mid-2014 are hampering Turkmenistan’s economic growth and reducing government revenues. The government has cut subsidies in several areas, and wage arrears have increased. In January 2014, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan devalued the manat by 19%, and downward pressure on the currency continues. There is a widening spread between the official exchange rate (3.5 TMM per US dollar) and the black market exchange rate (approximately 14 TMM per US dollar). Currency depreciation and conversion restrictions, corruption, isolationist policies, and declining spending on public services have resulted in a stagnate economy that is nearing crisis. Turkmenistan claims substantial foreign currency reserves, but non-transparent data limit international institutions’ ability to verify this information.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $103.7 billion (2017 est.)
    $97.41 billion (2016 est.)
    $91.72 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 84
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $37.93 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    6.5% (2017 est.)
    6.2% (2016 est.)
    6.5% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $18,200 (2017 est.)
    $17,300 (2016 est.)
    $16,500 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 96
    Gross national saving:
    23.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    24.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
    18.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 50% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 10% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 28.2% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 26.2% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -14.3% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 7.5% (2017 est.)
    industry: 44.9% (2017 est.)
    services: 47.7% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    cotton, grain, melons; livestock
    Industries:
    natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
    Industrial production growth rate:
    1% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Labor force:
    2.305 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 37.8% (2004 est.)
    industry: 14% (2004 est.)
    services: 37.8% (2004 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    11% (2014 est.)
    10.6% (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Population below poverty line:
    0.2% (2012 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
    highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    40.8 (1998)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Budget:
    revenues: 5.657 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 6.714 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    14.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -2.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Public debt:
    28.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    24.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    8% (2017 est.)
    3.6% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Central bank discount rate:
    5% (31 December 2014)
    5% (31 December 2013)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    19% (31 December 2017 est.)
    16% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Stock of narrow money:
    $1.326 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.255 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Stock of broad money:
    $12.23 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $5.632 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $28.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $13.09 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Market value of publicly traded shares:

    NA

    Current account balance:
    -$4.359 billion (2017 est.)
    -$7.207 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Exports:
    $7.458 billion (2017 est.)
    $6.987 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Exports - commodities:
    gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
    Exports - partners:
    China 83.7%, Turkey 5.1% (2017)
    Imports:
    $6.105 billion (2017 est.)
    $5.001 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Imports - commodities:
    machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $24.91 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $25.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Imports - partners:
    Turkey 24.2%, Algeria 14.4%, Germany 9.8%, China 8.9%, Russia 8%, US 6.6% (2017)
    Debt - external:
    $539.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $425.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $3.061 billion (2013 est.)
    $3.117 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Exchange rates:
    Turkmen manat (TMM) per US dollar -
    4.125 (2017 est.)
    3.5 (2016 est.)
    3.5 (2015 est.)
    3.5 (2014 est.)
    2.85 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Turkmenistan
  • Electricity access:
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    21.18 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Electricity - consumption:
    15.09 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Electricity - exports:
    3.201 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Electricity - imports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    4.001 million kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    100% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Crude oil - production:
    230,800 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Crude oil - exports:
    62,880 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    600 million bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    191,100 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    158,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    53,780 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    Natural gas - production:
    83.7 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Natural gas - consumption:
    43.4 billion cu m (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Natural gas - exports:
    40.3 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    7.504 trillion cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    67 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
  • Communications :: Turkmenistan
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 665,000 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 8.575 million (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 160 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: telecommunications network is gradually improving (2018)
    domestic: Turkmentelekom, in cooperation with foreign partners, has installed high-speed fiber-optic lines and has upgraded most of the country's telephone exchanges and switching centers with new digital technology; combined fixed-line and mobile teledensity is about 170 per 100 persons; Russia's Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), the only foreign mobile-cellular service provider in Turkmenistan, suspended operations in September 2017 due to the state-owned telecom company cutting MTS' access to international and long-distance communication services and Internet; Turkmenistan's first telecommunication satellite was launched in 2015 and is expected to greatly improve connectivity in the country (2018)
    international: country code - 993; linked by fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; an exchange in Ashgabat switches international traffic through Turkey via Intelsat; satellite earth stations - 1 Orbita and 1 Intelsat (2018)
    Broadcast media:
    broadcast media is government controlled and censored; 7 state-owned TV and 4 state-owned radio networks; satellite dishes and programming provide an alternative to the state-run media; officials sometimes limit access to satellite TV by removing satellite dishes (2007)
    Internet country code:
    .tm
    Internet users:
    total: 951,925 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 18% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 4,000 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
  • Transportation :: Turkmenistan
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 1 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 23 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,138,389 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    EZ (2016)
    Airports:
    26 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 21 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 9 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 9 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 5 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    under 914 m: 4 (2013)
    Heliports:
    1 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    7500 km gas, 1501 km oil (2013)
    Railways:
    total: 5,113 km (2017)
    broad gauge: 5,113 km 1.520-m gauge (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    Roadways:
    total: 58,592 km (2002)
    paved: 47,577 km (2002)
    unpaved: 11,015 km (2002)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Waterways:
    1,300 km (Amu Darya River and Kara Kum Canal are important inland waterways) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Merchant marine:
    total: 73 (2017)
    by type: general cargo 8, oil tanker 8, other 57 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Turkmenbasy
  • Military and Security :: Turkmenistan
  • Military branches:
    Turkmen Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2013)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18-27 years of age for compulsory male military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 20 years of age for voluntary service; males may enroll in military schools from age 15 (2015)
  • Transnational Issues :: Turkmenistan
  • Disputes - international:
    cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river statesfield demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2005 and with Uzbekistan in 2017, but Caspian seabed delimitation remains stalled with Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, and Kazakhstan due to indecision over how to allocate the sea's waters and seabedbilateral talks continue with Azerbaijan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian
    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    stateless persons: 3,851 (2017)
    Trafficking in persons:
    current situation: Turkmenistan is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Turkmen who migrate abroad are forced to work in the textile, agriculture, construction, and domestic service industries, while women and girls may also be sex trafficked; in 2014, men surpassed women as victims; Turkey and Russia are primary trafficking destinations, followed by the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and other parts of Europe; Turkmen also experience forced labor domestically in the informal construction industry; participation in the cotton harvest is still mandatory for some public sector employees
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Turkmenistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Turkmenistan was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the government made some progress in its law enforcement efforts in 2014, convicting more offenders than in 2013; authorities did not make adequate efforts to identify and protect victims and did not fund international organizations or NGOs that offered protective services; some victims were punished for crimes as a result of being trafficked (2015)
    Illicit drugs:
    transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and Western European markets; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan