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Turkmenistan (2001)

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Turkmenistan 2001 year

Administrative divisions 5 welayatlar (singular - welayat): Ahal Welayaty (Ashgabat), Balkan Welayaty (Nebitdag), Dashhowuz Welayaty (formerly Tashauz), Lebap Welayaty (Charjew), Mary Welayaty

administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
Age structure 0-14 years:
37.88% (male 891,758; female 852,104)

15-64 years:
58.09% (male 1,313,303; female 1,360,690)

65 years and over:
4.03% (male 70,800; female 114,589) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products cotton, grain; livestock
Airports 76 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:
4 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
41 (2000 est.)
Area total:
488,100 sq km

488,100 sq km

0 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than California
Background Annexed by Russia between 1865 and 1885, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic in 1925. It achieved its independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. President NIYAZOV retains absolute control over the country and opposition is not tolerated. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves could prove a boon to this underdeveloped country if extraction and delivery projects can be worked out.
Birth rate 28.55 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$588.6 million

$658.2 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)
Capital Ashgabat
Climate subtropical desert
Coastline 0 km; note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)
Constitution adopted 18 May 1992
Country name conventional long form:

conventional short form:

local long form:

local short form:

Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
Currency Turkmen manat (TMM)
Death rate 8.98 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $2.5 billion (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Steven R. MANN

9 Pushkin Street, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 774000

mailing address:
use embassy street address

[9] (9312) 35-00-45

[9] (9312) 51-13-05
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Mered ORAZOV

2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

[1] (202) 588-1500

[1] (202) 588-0697
Disputes - international Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined among Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan
Economic aid - recipient $27.2 million (1995)
Economy - overview Turkmenistan is largely desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and huge gas (fifth largest reserves in the world) and oil resources. One-half of its irrigated land is planted in cotton, making it the world's tenth largest producer. Until the end of 1993, Turkmenistan had experienced less economic disruption than other former Soviet states because its economy received a boost from higher prices for oil and gas and a sharp increase in hard currency earnings. In 1994, Russia's refusal to export Turkmen gas to hard currency markets and mounting debts of its major customers in the former USSR for gas deliveries contributed to a sharp fall in industrial production and caused the budget to shift from a surplus to a slight deficit. With an authoritarian ex-communist regime in power and a tribally based social structure, Turkmenistan has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton sales to sustain its inefficient economy. Privatization goals remain limited. In 1998-2000, Turkmenistan suffered from the continued lack of adequate export routes for natural gas and from obligations on extensive short-term external debt. At the same time, however, total exports rose sharply because of higher international oil and gas prices. Prospects in the near future are discouraging because of widespread internal poverty and the burden of foreign debt. IMF assistance would seem to be necessary, yet the government is not as yet ready to accept IMF requirements. Turkmenistan's 1999 deal to ship 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas through Russia's Gazprom pipeline helped alleviate the 2000 fiscal shortfall. Inadequate fiscal restraint and the tenuous nature of Turkmenistan's 2001 gas deals, combined with a lack of economic reform, will limit progress in the near term.
Electricity - consumption 4.785 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 4.1 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 1.1 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 8.371 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Vpadina Akchanaya -81.00 m; note - 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)

highest point:
Gora Ayribaba 3,139 m
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; 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
Ethnic groups Turkmen 77%, Uzbek 9.2%, Russian 6.7%, Kazakh 2%, other 5.1% (1995)
Exchange rates Turkmen manats per US dollar - 5,200 (January 2001), 5,200 (January 2000), 5,350 (January 1999), 4,070 (January 1997), 2,400 (January 1996)
Executive branch chief of state:
President and Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Saparmurat NIYAZOV (since 27 October 1990, when the first direct presidential election occurred); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government:
President and Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Saparmurat NIYAZOV (since 27 October 1990, when the first direct presidential election occurred); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Council of Ministers appointed by the president

NIYAZOV's term in office was extended indefinitely on 28 December 1999 by the Assembly (Majlis) during a session of the People's Council (Halk Maslahaty)

president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 21 June 1992 (next scheduled to be held NA); note - President NIYAZOV was unanimously approved as president for life by the Assembly on 28 December 1999); deputy chairmen of the cabinet of ministers are appointed by the president

election results:
Saparmurat NIYAZOV elected president without opposition; percent of vote - Saparmurat NIYAZOV 99.5%
Exports 4.1 billion kWh (1999)
Exports $2.4 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities gas 33%, oil 30%, cotton fiber 18%, textiles 8% (1999)
Exports - partners Ukraine, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description green field with a vertical red stripe near the hoist side, containing five carpet guls (designs used in producing rugs) stacked above two crossed olive branches similar to the olive branches on the UN flag; a white crescent moon and five white stars appear in the upper corner of the field just to the fly side of the red stripe
GDP purchasing power parity - $19.6 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


32% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $4,300 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 16% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 40 00 N, 60 00 E
Geography - note landlocked
Highways total:
22,000 km

18,000 km (these roads are said to be hard-surfaced, and include, in addition to conventionally paved roads, some that are surfaced with gravel or other coarse aggregate, making them trafficable in all weather)

4,000 km (these roads are made of unstabilized earth and are difficult to negotiate in wet weather) (1996)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
31.7% (1998)
Illicit drugs limited illicit cultivator of opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption; limited government eradication program; increasingly used as transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia to Russia and Western Europe; also a transshipment point for acetic anhydride destined for Afghanistan
Imports 1.1 billion kWh (1999)
Imports $1.65 billion (c.i.f., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment 60%, foodstuffs 15% (1999)
Imports - partners Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, Germany, US, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan
Independence 27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
Industrial production growth rate 18% (2000 est.)
Industries natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
Infant mortality rate 73.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 14% (2000 est.)
International organization participation AsDB, CCC, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) NA
Irrigated land 13,000 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president)
Labor force 2.34 million (1996)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 44%, industry 19%, services 37% (1996)
Land boundaries total:
3,736 km

border countries:
Afghanistan 744 km, Iran 992 km, Kazakhstan 379 km, Uzbekistan 1,621 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

26% (1993 est.)
Languages Turkmen 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Legal system based on civil law system
Legislative branch under the 1992 constitution, there are two parliamentary bodies, a unicameral People's Council or Halk Maslahaty (more than 100 seats, some of which are elected by popular vote and some of which are appointed; meets infrequently) and a unicameral Assembly or Majlis (50 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

People's Council - NA; Assembly - last held 12 December 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)

election results:
Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; note - all 50 elected officials preapproved by President NIYAZOV; most are from the DPT
Life expectancy at birth total population:
61 years

57.43 years

64.76 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


97% (1989 est.)
Location Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Map references Commonwealth of Independent States
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Merchant marine total:
1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,459 GRT/8,865 DWT

ships by type:
container 1 (2000 est.)
Military branches Ministry of Defense (Army, Air and Air Defense, Navy, Border Troops, and Internal Troops), National Guard
Military expenditures - dollar figure $90 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 3.4% (FY99)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
1,173,500 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
952,218 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
48,292 (2001 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 27 October (1991)
Nationality noun:

Natural hazards NA
Natural resources petroleum, natural gas, coal, sulfur, salt
Net migration rate -1.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 250 km; natural gas 4,400 km
Political parties and leaders Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Saparmurat NIYAZOV]

formal opposition parties are outlawed; unofficial, small opposition movements exist underground or in foreign countries
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 4,603,244 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line 58% (1999 est.)
Population growth rate 1.85% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Turkmenbashi
Radio broadcast stations AM 16, FM 8, shortwave 2 (1998)
Radios 1.225 million (1997)
Railways total:
2,187 km

broad gauge:
2,187 km 1.520-m gauge (1996 est.)
Religions Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%
Sex ratio at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
0.62 male(s)/female

total population:
0.98 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
poorly developed


linked by cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; a new telephone link from Ashgabat to Iran has been established; a new exchange in Ashgabat switches international traffic through Turkey via Intelsat; satellite earth stations - 1 Orbita and 1 Intelsat
Telephones - main lines in use 363,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 4,300 (1998)
Television broadcast stations 3 (much programming relayed from Russia and Turkey) (1997)
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
Total fertility rate 3.58 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways the Amu Darya is an important inland waterway for Turkmenistan
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