Main Content

Central Asia :: Turkmenistan Print
Page last updated on December 03, 2018
View 3 photos of
TURKMENISTAN
  • Introduction :: Turkmenistan
  • Background field listing
    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 field listing
    Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    40 00 N, 60 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Asia
    Area field listing
    total: 488,100 sq km
    land: 469,930 sq km
    water: 18,170 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly more than three times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than California
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 4,158 km
    border countries (4): Afghanistan 804 km, Iran 1148 km, Kazakhstan 413 km, Uzbekistan 1793 km
    Coastline field listing
    0 km (landlocked); note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)
    Maritime claims field listing
    none (landlocked)
    Climate field listing
    subtropical desert
    Terrain field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
    Land use field listing
    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 field listing
    19,950 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    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 field listing
    earthquakes; mudslides; droughts; dust storms; floods
    Environment - current issues field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    5,411,012 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Turkmen(s)
    adjective: Turkmen
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)
    Languages field listing
    Turkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
    Religions field listing
    Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%
    Age structure field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    total: 28.3 years
    male: 27.8 years
    female: 28.8 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Population growth rate field listing
    1.1% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Birth rate field listing
    18.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Death rate field listing
    6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Net migration rate field listing
    -1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    Population distribution field listing
    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 field listing
    urban population: 51.6% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 2.46% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    810,000 ASHGABAT (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio field listing
    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 field listing
    42 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    2.06 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    50.2% (2015/16)
    Health expenditures field listing
    2.1% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Physicians density field listing
    2.29 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    7.4 beds/1,000 population (2013)
    Drinking water source field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    NA
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    18.6% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    3.2% (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Education expenditures field listing
    3% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Literacy field listing
    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) field listing
    total: 11 years (2014)
    male: 11 years (2014)
    female: 11 years (2014)
  • Government :: Turkmenistan
  • Country name field listing
    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 field listing
    presidential republic; authoritarian
    Capital field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 27 October (1991)
    Constitution field listing
    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 field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    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 field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing

    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    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) field listing
    Akhal-Teke horse; national colors: green, white
    National anthem field listing
    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 field listing

    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) field listing
    $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) field listing
    $37.93 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    6.5% (2017 est.)
    6.2% (2016 est.)
    6.5% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $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 field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    agriculture: 7.5% (2017 est.)
    industry: 44.9% (2017 est.)
    services: 47.7% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    cotton, grain, melons; livestock
    Industries field listing
    natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    1% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Labor force field listing
    2.305 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 48.2%
    industry: 14%
    services: 37.8% (2004 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    11% (2014 est.)
    10.6% (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Population below poverty line field listing
    0.2% (2012 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
    highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index field listing
    40.8 (1998)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 5.657 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 6.714 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    14.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -2.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Public debt field listing
    28.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    24.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    8% (2017 est.)
    3.6% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Central bank discount rate field listing
    5% (31 December 2014)
    5% (31 December 2013)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Commercial bank prime lending rate field listing
    19% (31 December 2017 est.)
    16% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Stock of narrow money field listing
    $1.326 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.255 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Stock of broad money field listing
    $12.23 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $5.632 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Stock of domestic credit field listing
    $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 field listing

    NA

    Current account balance field listing
    -$4.359 billion (2017 est.)
    -$7.207 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Exports field listing
    $7.458 billion (2017 est.)
    $6.987 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Exports - partners field listing
    China 83.7%, Turkey 5.1% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
    Imports field listing
    $4.571 billion (2017 est.)
    $5.215 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Imports - commodities field listing
    machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
    Imports - partners field listing
    Turkey 24.2%, Algeria 14.4%, Germany 9.8%, China 8.9%, Russia 8%, US 6.6% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $24.91 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $25.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Debt - external field listing
    $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 field listing
    $3.061 billion (2013 est.)
    $3.117 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Exchange rates field listing
    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 field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    21.18 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    15.09 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Electricity - exports field listing
    3.201 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    4.001 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    67,790 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    600 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    191,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    160,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    53,780 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    Natural gas - production field listing
    77.45 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    39.31 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    38.14 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    7.504 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    100.5 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
  • Communications :: Turkmenistan
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 665,000 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 8.575 million (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 160 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Telephone system field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    .tm
    Internet users field listing
    total: 951,925 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 18% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    EZ (2016)
    Airports field listing
    26 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    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 field listing
    total: 5 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    under 914 m: 4 (2013)
    Heliports field listing
    1 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    7500 km gas, 1501 km oil (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 5,113 km (2017)
    broad gauge: 5,113 km 1.520-m gauge (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    Roadways field listing
    total: 58,592 km (2002)
    paved: 47,577 km (2002)
    unpaved: 11,015 km (2002)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Waterways field listing
    1,300 km (Amu Darya River and Kara Kum Canal are important inland waterways) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 73 (2017)
    by type: general cargo 8, oil tanker 8, other 57 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Turkmenbasy
  • Military and Security :: Turkmenistan
  • Military branches field listing
    Turkmen Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2013)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    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 field listing
    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 field listing
    stateless persons: 3,851 (2017)
    Trafficking in persons field listing
    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 field listing
    transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and Western European markets; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan