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Turkmenistan (2003)

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Turkmenistan 2003 year

Administrative divisions 5 provinces (welayatlar, singular - welayat): Ahal Welayaty (Ashgabat), Balkan Welayaty (Balkanabat), Dashoguz 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)
Age structure 0-14 years: 36.8% (male 899,954; female 855,293)

15-64 years: 59.2% (male 1,386,606; female 1,438,333)

65 years and over: 4.1% (male 74,958; female 120,400) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products cotton, grain; livestock
Airports 76 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways total: 13

2,438 to 3,047 m: 9

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 63

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 10

under 914 m: 41 (2002)
Area total: 488,100 sq km

land: 488,100 sq km

water: 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 28.02 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $588.6 million

expenditures: $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: none

conventional short form: Turkmenistan

local long form: none

local short form: Turkmenistan

former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
Currency Turkmen manat (TMM)
Death rate 8.87 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $2.4 billion to $5 billion (2001 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Tracey A. JACOBSON

embassy: 9 Pushkin Street, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 774000

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [9] (9312) 35-00-45

FAX: [9] (9312) 39-26-14
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Mered Bairamovich ORAZOV

chancery: 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 588-1500

FAX: [1] (202) 588-0697
Disputes - international prolonged regional drought creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; Turkmenistan has not committed to follow either Iran or the other littoral states in the division of the Caspian Sea seabed and water column; ICJ decision expected to resolve dispute with Azerbaijan over sovereignty over Caspian oilfields; demarcation of land boundary with Kazakhstan is underway - maritime boundary not resolved
Economic aid - recipient $16 million from the US (2001)
Economy - overview Turkmenistan is largely desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and large gas and oil resources. One-half of its irrigated land is planted in cotton, making it the world's tenth-largest producer. 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 1998-2003, 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 by 38% in 2003, largely because of higher international oil and gas prices. Overall prospects in the near future are discouraging because of widespread internal poverty, the burden of foreign debt, and the unwillingness of the government to adopt market-oriented reforms. However, Turkmenistan's cooperation with the international community in transporting humanitarian aid to Afghanistan may foreshadow a change in the atmosphere for foreign investment, aid, and technological support. Turkmenistan's economic statistics are state secrets, and GDP and other figures are subject to wide margins of error. In any event, GDP increased substantially in 2003 because of a strong recovery in agriculture and rapid industrial growth.
Electricity - consumption 8.509 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 980 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 20 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 10.18 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 99.9%

hydro: 0.1%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya -81 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 (2002), 5,200 (2001), 5,200 (2000), 5,200 (1999), 4,890.17 (1998); note - the official exchange rate has not varied for the last four years; the unofficial rate has fluctuated slightly, hovering around 21,000 manats to the dollar
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

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

note: 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)

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 21 June 1992 (next 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 980 million kWh (2001)
Exports $2.97 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports 38.6 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities gas 57%, oil 26%, cotton fiber 3%, textiles 2% (2001)
Exports - partners Ukraine 49.7%, Italy 18%, Iran 13.1%, Turkey 6.2% (2002)
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 - $31.34 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 27%

industry: 50%

services: 23% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $6,700 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 21.1% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 40 00 N, 60 00 E
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
Highways total: 24,000 km

paved: 19,488 km

unpaved: 4,512 km (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.6%

highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
Illicit drugs transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and, to a lesser extent, Western European markets; limited illicit cultivation of opium poppy for domestic consumption; small-scale government-run eradication of illicit crops; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan
Imports 20 million kWh (2001)
Imports $2.25 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment 60%, foodstuffs 15% (1999)
Imports - partners Russia 19.8%, Turkey 12.8%, Ukraine 11.7%, UAE 10%, US 7.5%, China 6%, Germany 5.7%, Iran 4.4% (2002)
Independence 27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
Industrial production growth rate 1% (2002 est.)
Industries natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
Infant mortality rate total: 73.17 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 76.9 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 69.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5% (2002 est.)
International organization participation AsDB, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1
Irrigated land 17,500 sq km (2003 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president)
Labor force 2.34 million (1996)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 48%, industry 15%, services 37% (1998 est.)
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: 3.47%

permanent crops: 0.14%

other: 96.39% (1998 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 at least yearly) and a unicameral Assembly or Majlis (50 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: 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: 61.19 years

male: 57.72 years

female: 64.84 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98%

male: 99%

female: 97% (1989 est.)
Location Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Map references Asia
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Merchant marine total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 6,873 GRT/8,345 DWT

ships by type: combination ore/oil 1, petroleum tanker 1 (2002 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: 1,239,737 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 1,005,686 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 53,825 (2003 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 27 October (1991)
Nationality noun: Turkmen(s)

adjective: Turkmen
Natural hazards NA
Natural resources petroleum, natural gas, coal, sulfur, salt
Net migration rate -0.92 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Pipelines gas 6,634 km; oil 853 km (2003)
Political parties and leaders Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Saparmurat NIYAZOV]

note: formal opposition parties are outlawed; unofficial, small opposition movements exist underground or in foreign countries; the two most prominent opposition groups-in-exile have been Gundogar and Erkin; Gundogar was led by former Foreign Minister Boris SHIKHUMRADOV until his arrest and imprisonment in the wake of the 25 November 2002 assassination attempt on President NIYAZOV; Erkin is led by former Foreign Minister Abdy KULIEV and is based out of Moscow
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 4,775,544 (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line 34.4% (2001 est.)
Population growth rate 1.82% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Turkmenbasy
Radio broadcast stations AM 16, FM 8, shortwave 2 (1998)
Railways total: 2,440 km

broad gauge: 2,440 km 1.520-m gauge (2002)
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: 0.96 male(s)/female

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

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: poorly developed

domestic: NA

international: 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 3.5 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways the Amu Darya is an important inland waterway for Turkmenistan, as is the man-made Kara Kum canal
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