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Turkmenistan (2004)

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Turkmenistan 2004 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: 36.2% (male 904,627; female 857,601)

15-64 years: 59.7% (male 1,423,836; female 1,477,224)

65 years and over: 4.1% (male 76,670; female 123,211) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products cotton, grain; livestock
Airports 69 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 24

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 12

1,524 to 2,437 m: 8

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 45

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 36 (2003 est.)
Area total: 488,100 sq km

land: 488,100 sq km

water: negl.
Area - comparative slightly larger than California
Background Annexed by Russia between 1865 and 1885, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic in 1924. 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 were to be expanded. The Turkmenistan Government is actively seeking to develop alternative petroleum transportation routes in order to break Russia's pipeline monopoly.
Birth rate 27.82 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Budget revenues: $3.477 billion

expenditures: $3.908 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003 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 8.82 deaths/1,000 population (2004 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 (1984) Street, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 774000

mailing address: 7070 Ashgabat Place, Washington, D.C. 20521-7070

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 created water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan reached an agreement on improving water usage along the Amu Darya in 2004; delimitation of Caspian seabed remains unresolved
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 at one time the world's tenth-largest producer. Poor harvests in recent years have led to a nearly 46% decline in cotton exports. 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 particular, the 20% rate of GDP growth is a guess.
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)
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 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)
Exchange rates Turkmen manats per US dollar - 5,200 (2003), 5,200 (2002), 5,200 (2001), 5,200 (2000), 5,200 (1999);note - the official exchange rate has not varied for the last six 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: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president

note: NIYAZOV's term in office was extended indefinitely on 28 December 1999 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 in 2008 when NIYAZOV turns 70 and is constitutionally ineligible to run); note - President NIYAZOV was unanimously approved as president for life by the People's Council 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 $3.355 billion f.o.b. (2003 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 39.2%, Italy 18.1%, Iran 14.7%, Turkey 6.5% (2003)
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 - $27.88 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 24.8%

industry: 46.2%

services: 28.9% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $5,800 (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 23.1% (2003 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
Heliports 1 (2003 est.)
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 Western European markets; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan
Imports 20 million kWh (2001)
Imports $2.472 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment 60%, foodstuffs 15% (1999)
Imports - partners Russia 21.5%, Ukraine 15.3%, Turkey 9.4%, UAE 7.6%, Germany 4.2%, China 4.2% (2003)
Independence 27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
Industrial production growth rate 14% (2003 est.)
Industries natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
Infant mortality rate total: 73.13 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 76.9 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 69.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 9.5% (2003 est.)
International organization participation AsDB, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO
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: 3.72%

permanent crops: 0.14%

other: 96.14% (2001)
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 (supreme legislative body of up to 2,500 delegates, some of which are elected by popular vote and some of which are appointed; meets at least yearly) and a unicameral Parliament or Mejlis (50 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: People's Council - last held in April 2003; Mejlis - last held 19 December 2004 (next to be held December 2009)

election results: Mejlis - DPT 100%; seats by party - DPT 50; note - all 50 elected officials are members of the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan and are preapproved by President NIYAZOV

note: in late 2003, a new law was adopted, reducing the powers of the Mejlis and making the Halk Maslahaty the supreme legislative organ; the Halk Maslahaty can now legally dissolve the Mejlis, and the president is now able to participate in the Mejlis as its supreme leader; the Mejlis can no longer adopt or amend the constitution, or announce referendums or its elections; since the president is both the "Chairman for Life" of the Halk Maslahaty and the supreme leader of the Mejlis, the 2003 law has the effect of making him the sole authority of both the executive and legislative branches of government
Life expectancy at birth total population: 61.29 years

male: 57.87 years

female: 64.88 years (2004 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
Merchant marine total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 6,873 GRT/8,345 DWT

by type: combination ore/oil 1, petroleum tanker 1

registered in other countries: 2 (2004 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: 1,272,436 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 1,031,806 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 55,866 (2004 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 27 October (1991)
Nationality noun: Turkmen(s)

adjective: Turkmen
Natural hazards NA
Natural resources petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
Net migration rate -0.86 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Pipelines gas 6,549 km; oil 1,395 km (2004)
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 SHIKHMURADOV 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; the Union of Democratic Forces, a coalition of opposition-in-exile groups, is based in Europe
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 4,863,169 (July 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line 34.4% (2001 est.)
Population growth rate 1.81% (2004 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 (2003)
Religions Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.06 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 (2004 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: poorly developed

domestic: NA

international: country code - 993; 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 374,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 52,000 (2004)
Television broadcast stations 4 (government owned and programmed) (2004)
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 3.45 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate NA
Waterways 1,300 km (Amu Darya and Kara Kum canal important inland waterways) (2003)
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