What is Turkmenistan known for?

huge oil

a 1,000 mile gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Multan, in Pakistan at a cost of about $2 billion. Also considered was a route from Iran to Multan which was seen as feasible due to Iran's huge oil and gas reserves. However, In 1996 when the Sanctions against Iran were imposed, the FBI blocked the plan, and it was forcibly cancelled. A proposed 400 mile extension from Multan to New Delhi would bring some of the gas into India's network of gas pipelines at a cost of $600

history past

drinking tap water.''' Tap Water in Turkmenistan is known to contain traces of toxic metals, and this can cause long-term health problems. Fruits and vegetables should be peeled before consumption. Avoid dairy products as they are not pasteurized. Respect Because of the nation's history (past and current), Turkmen avoid talking politics, and you should too. Turkmens are notoriously xenophobic—not in a hostile way, but in a suspicious and wary way, no doubt a product of having had to stay


Turkestan, a center of Sufi teaching, in order to carry on his teachings in Western Turkmenistan. The legends describe him as an extremely powerful saint, outdoing other saints in miracle performances and winning large numbers of followers. * '''Ak Ishan''' * '''Gözli Ata''', about 160 km north of Balkanabat. ''Gözli Ata'' ("Father Eye") was a famous Sufi teacher of the 12th cent. It is told that he was able to recognioze the good and the evil in the soul of all men. He was killed by the Mongols and buried here, next to his wife ''Bibi Aysulu''. * '''Ibrahim Sultan''' * '''Ismamut Ata''' * '''Kyrk Giz''', in a spectacular caynon in the Kugitang Nature Reserve * '''Kyrk Molla''' at Konye Urgench * '''Malik Baba''' * '''Mohammed Ibn Zaid Mausoleum''' * '''Nedjmeddin Kubra Mausoleum''' at Konye Urgench * '''Parau Bibi Shrine''', about halfway between Ashgabat and Balkanabat, about 20 km north west of Gyzylarbat and about 8 km south of the main road, in the village of Paraw. The shrine is set 100 meters up a rocky mountainside overlooking the village and the steppe. It consists of a white mausoleum-like structure, a guest house and a roofed platform where the pilgrims congregate and have meals. According to the legend ''Paraw Bibi'' was a beautiful and virtuous maiden. A jealous woman wanted to hand over Paraw Bibi to invaders in exchange for the promise not to attack the village. Paraw Bibi cursed the woman and let her turn into black stone. When the enemy attacked, Paraw Bibi ordered the mountain to split into two parts so that she was able to enter it and to preserve her purity and virtue. The locals built a shrine to Paraw Bibi, as they believed that because of her bravery and refusal to submit she was a true hero blessed by the holy breath of the prophets. It is reported that at least at the end of the Soviet era pilgrims from all over western Turkmenistan visited the shrine, seeking fertility and a cure from insanity. * '''Shibly Baba''' thumb 280px Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum at Merv (File:Sultan Sanjar mausoleum.jpg) * '''Khoja Yusup Baba (Hemedani)''' is a large complex in southeastern Turkmenistan near Bairam Ali, on the territory of the ancient state of Merv. ''Khoja Yusuf Hamadani'' is a well known figure in Islamis history. He is considered as the first in a line of Sufi masters from which the lineages of the most important Sufi orders Naqshbandi and Yasavi are derived, and is described as an exemplary Muslim, pious and unpretentious, devoted to Islamic scholarship and deeply inspired by his work to promote Islam. He died in 1140 and his body was interred at Merv, presumably at the site carrying his name. In the Soviet era the Moseque of Khoja Yusup Baba was declared an official architectural monument and one of the four official mosques in entire Turkmenistan. It is popular belief that two pilgrimages to Khoja Yusup Baba equal one to Mecca. The pilgrims circle the tomb from right to left, surrounding the tomb three times. Most people repeatedly touch the wall of the tomb with both hand and bring their hands to the face. Some even kiss the wall. After they had completed the circling they sit together while the caretaker recites a blessing. When the blessing os finished they give the caretaker offerings of money. In the complex is a well said to contain holy water. Women tie small strips of cloth on the branches of the bushes or trees that line the path leading to the well. These strips signify prayers or wishes to the saint. For the same reason pilgrims set up two old bricks in the form of an upside-sown "V". Miniature imitation cradles made from sticks and cloth are set up by women hoping for the saint's aid in order to become fertile. * '''Baba Gambar''' has several shrines. The best known is in southeastern Turkmenistan, about 120 km south of Mary: It is often considered as an example how a pre-Islamic deity was transformed into an Islamic saint. According to Islamic legend ''Ganbar'' was the stableman of Ali and caretaker of his horse Duldul. In Turkmen legends Ganbar is considered as the patron of musicians and creator of the first ''dutar'', the traditional two-string music instrument. According to the legend Ali remarked that Duldul was ill and underfed. When he questionned Gambar, Gambar did not give an answer. Then, Ali saw Gambar playing the dutar to Duldul. When Ali confronted Gambar, Gambar commanded the earth to swallow him and fled underground to Mecca, saying that the two will meet again on judgment day. The site consists of the shrine-mausoleum, a "chile agach" and a tree the leaves of which have the shape of dutar tuning pegs. It is claimed that the tree grew from Gambar's original dutar and that its roots lead to the underground passage through which Gambar fled. * '''Hazret(i) Ali''' is located about 12 km southwest of Ashgabat, near the village of Bagir and the archaeological site of Nisa. The small mosque, called "namazga" (hall of prayer), is considered as a place where ''Ali'' prayed when he was promoting Islam. Impressions in the rocks are said to have com from Ali's hands and from the hooves of his horse Duldul. * '''Khoja Alem Baba''' is located near the town of Kaka, about 130 km south east of Ashgabat. It is an excellent example of a small, local shrine, serving one specific village only due to "öwlat" (clan lineage). The tomb is housed in a clay mausoleum with two chambers, an entrance or sitting area and the tomb chamber proper. Tomb and chamber are decorated with votive offerings and objects connected with Khoja Alem Baba. Sites as Khoja Alem Baba are very common in Turkmenistan. Apparently Turkmen tradition stipulated that each community has an "öwlüya" and by this way has access to the protection provided. Get in Most all nationalities need a visa to enter Turkmenistan. For independent travel, a short transit visa can be obtained, but a full visa may be difficult. Most border guards are young conscripts and a small bribe can ease your entry at the border and roadblocks. Arranging a tour will make things much easier, as the company can help in getting the LOI and visa. Bear in mind that you might well have to be met by a guide, regardless of how you enter Turkmenistan. This can be particularly important, especially if your inward journey is delayed as is possible when entering across the Caspian Sea by boat. When you enter Turkmenistan your bags usually will be searched with an X-ray machine. You will have to fill a green Entry Travel Pass, an immigration card and a customs declaration. List all your valuables that you bring with you in the customs declaration, make sure that it is stamped and keep a copy with you. You will have to show it again when you leave the country. Vaccinations The World Health Organization recommends vaccinations against diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tetanus, typhoid and chickenpox (varicella). In addition, vaccinations against meningitis, rabies and tuberculosis are recommended for long term travellers. Visa It is strongly recommended that you apply for a Turkmenistan visa before travelling to Turkmenistan. It is reported that travellers applying for visa at Ashgabat airport have been detained in the transit area of the airport for several days due to missing documents. Registration thumb 280px Statue in Balkanabat (File:Balkanabat.jpg) All foreigners entering Turkmenistan have to pay a '''registration fee''' of US$ 12 (2012) and will receive a green entry and departure card. Take particular care of the '''departure card''', as it must be presented when leaving the country. Foreigners staying for more than 3 days in Turkmenistan must '''register''' with IVOR in Ashgabat, Asady köcesi, phone 391337 or with IVOR branch offices in other towns. You are responsible for registration, even when staying in a hotel. The hotel will give you a confirmation of the accommodation only. This confirmation and the receipt for the registration fee paid when entering the country have to be presented to IVOR. Two photos are required. Registration will be stamped into your passport. You have to give notice to the IVOR in order to be permitted to leave the country. This notice will be stamped into the passport as well. Border controls will check if you have registration and notice to leave stamped into your passport. Travel permits '''Travel permits''' are required for many border regions. You do not need a travel permit for Ashgabat, Merv, Turkmenabat and Balkanabat. Transit visas allow you to travel along the main roads on your way to the next country on your itinerary. It is, however, absolutely necessary to have a travel permit for the following regions: * in ''Western Turkmenistan'': for Bekdash, Turkmenbashi, Haza, Dekistan, Yangykala, Gyzletrek, Nokhur and surroundings, * in ''Northern Turkmenistan'': for the entire region of Dashogus including Konye Urgench, Dargan-Ata and Gazachak, * in ''Eastern Turkmenistan'': for Farab, Atamurat (Kerki) and surroundings, Kugitang Nature Reserve, Tagtabazar and Serkhetabat. By plane '''Turkmenistan Airlines ''' has direct flights to Ashgabat from Abu Dhabi, Almaty, Amritsar, Bangkok, Beijing, Birmingham, Delhi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Kiev, London, Minsk, Moscow, and Saint Petersburg. Look out for the portrait of Sapamurat 'Turkmenbashi' Niyazov at the front of the cabin. The schedules are often less-than-convenient, and there unfortunately is no website for the airlines with flights listed. It's usually best to visit the webpage of the airport from which you are departing to find the schedule. ''Turkish Airlines'' flies to Ashgabat from Istanbul. ''Lufthansa'' flies from Frankfurt to Ashgabat. See Ashgabat page for more detailed information. FlyDubai offers service from Dubai', UAE's DXB airport to Ashgabat. By train There is a railway connection to Russia and Iran, but no train crosses the border at any point of the country. By car If you want to enter Turkmenistan with your own car, you need a liability insurance. The green International Insurance Card is not valid in Turkmenistan. In addition you have to pay an additional tax for the government subsidized fuel prices, depending on the distance of your travel in Turkmenistan. This tax has to be paid on the border in US dollars. Be prepared to have long waiting times at border controls. By vehicle, you can get in through Kazakhstan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. The road from Kazakhstan to Turkmenistan is in terrible condition. If you don't have an SUV, the drive from Zhanaozen to the border may take up to 3 hours. The drive from the border to Garabogaz may take another 3 hours. Make sure to bring enough supplies since the border post is really isolated. Paperwork may take a long time but everything is very straightforward and people are really friendly and helpful. Very few tourists cross this border. By bus thumb 280px Horse riders at the Independence Day Parade in Ashgabat (File:Independence Day Parade - Flickr - Kerri-Jo (162).jpg) Visitors holding visas can enter Turkmenistan from all neighbouring countries. Checks at the border usually take one or two hours and maybe even more. Border points are open daily from 09:00 to 18:00. From Iran Since no public transportation goes across the Turkmen border, to get to Ashgabat in Turkmenistan from Mashhad (Iran), the following option is the most convenient: * Take a bus to Quchan: every 2 hours from 06:30. Cost: 8000 rial. Duration: 2h30. * From Quchan, take a private taxi to Bajgiran (village at the border). Cost: 60,000 rial for 2, or less if you can. Duration: about 1h. * At Bajgiran, go to the border (opening time: 07.30-15.30 Iran time). Crossing the border can take up to 2 hours. Turkmen police will ask for an entry tax of $10 (per person) + $2 of bank fees (per group), to be paid in US dollars only. * In the Turkmenistan side, take a taxi to Ashgabat, which can cost up to $15 per person. Duration: about 1h. From Uzbekistan Each crossing may require 15 minutes' walk across no-mans land, sometimes sharded taxis are available. There are three crossings from Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan: * '''Farab''' from Bukhara: Take a taxi from Bukhara to the border (USD8) or a shared taxi to Uzbek Olot (Qarakul) and then a taxi to the border. From the border it is about 45 km to Turkmenabat. A taxi should cost about USD5 and a seat in a shared taxi less than USD1. * '''Dashgous''' from Khiva or Ugench: Take a taxi from Khiva or Urgench to the border for about USD10 and another one on the Turkmenistan side from the border to Dashgous for about USD1. * '''Khojeli''' from Nukus in Karalpakstan: Take a taxi for the 30 minutes drive from Nukus to the border for about USD10 or public transport from Khojeli for about USD1 and a taxi for the 10 minutes drive to Konye Urgench for about USD1. From Kazakhstan It is two hours' drive from Zhanaozen to the Turkmenistan border and another 40 minutes drive from the border on a dirt road to the city of Karabogas (formerly Bekdash) The last 50km on each side of the border is a very bad dirt road. (approx. USD100 private car or KZT10,000 per person shared). From Karabogas there is a good road to Turkmenbashi with fine views on the Caspian Sea. About 60km south of Karabogas the road crosses a bridge over the channel connecting the Caspian Sea with the inland gulf. By boat Several popular travel guides discuss travelling by “ferry” across the Caspian Sea from Baku, Azerbaijan, to the port of Turkmenbashy in western Turkmenistan. Some people have faced problems attempting to travel to Turkmenistan by boat. Travellers should be aware that these “ferries” are in fact cargo ships (Freighter travel) that take on some passengers incidental to their primary function. Passengers are generally not provided food or water on these ships, and sleeping and sanitary facilities are likely to be rudimentary. Travellers should be aware that ships arriving at the port of Turkmenbashy often wait days offshore for outgoing ships to vacate the dock to allow incoming ships to disembark. Some people have spent more than a week offshore while their ship awaited permission to enter the port, and they have run out of stores of food and water, or had their Turkmen visas expire before they could be used. For this and other reasons travellers, especially those who plan to enter Turkmenistan by boat, are discouraged from using transit visas to enter Turkmenistan. Get around thumb 350px National Museum, one of Turkmenbashi's grand constructions. (Image:National Museum of Turkmenistan.jpg) By plane Internal flights are possible on Turkmenistan Airlines which flies daily between Ashgabat, Mary, Turkmenbashi, Dashoguz and a couple other destinations. Flights are subsidised, and due to fuel costs, extremely cheap. Prices are around $5 US for a flight from Ashgabat to Mary or Dashoguz. Turkmenistan Airlines operates with a new fleet of Boeing 717s, purchased in 2001. Be aware that you might not be able to photograph freely in and around the airport, though this is not unheard of elsewhere. By boat The Amu Darya is an important inland waterway for Turkmenistan. By car At least in Ashgabat, like in much of the former Soviet Union, "taxis" are mostly unofficial - and can be hailed by flagging down a car by the roadside. Haggle, and agree on the destination and price in advance - knowledge of Russian will definitely come in handy. The roads in Ashgabat and Turkmenbashi are in great condition. The road from Turkmenbashi to Ashgabat is currently being upgraded to a two lane, dual carriageway. The usual sensible precautions apply here. If your instincts suggest that something might be not quite right, then it's best to go with your instincts. Roadblocks are in place throughout the country. You will be stopped and asked for your passport and car papers. Although inconvenient, this process won't take too long. Drive on the right. Minimum age: 17. International permit required. Speed limit: 60km h in urban areas, 90 to 120km h on highways. Police may also stop you for no reason. Just be polite and don't pay them a bribe. Radar guns may be used to measure your speed. If caught speeding you should negotiate a price, a few dollars should be fine in most cases. By train It is possible to travel by train between some of the major cities in Turkmenistan, but journeys are slow (up to 16 hours from Ashgabat to Turkmenbashi) - so unless you have a specific interest, plane travel is the best way to get around the country. Rail service in Turkmenistan is provided by ''Turkmendemiryollari (Turkmenistan Zeleznice)'', Ashgabat, phone 3632 255545, fax 3632 473858. On the principal trains they offer soft and hard accommodation with sleeping and dining cars. Tourist using rail services in Turkmenistan must expect to pay higher charges than local people and to pay tickets in foreign currency. ''Turkmendemiryollari (Turkmenistan Zeleznice)'' operates trains from Ashgabat to Turkmenbashi and via Mary to Turkmenabat and return. Talk Around 70% of the people in Turkmenistan speak Turkmen (Turkmen phrasebook), and 50% speak decent Russian (Russian phrasebook). If you are unable to speak Turkmen, then Russian would be your best bet to communicate. Not everyone has the time, resources, or money to learn Turkmen. However, out of respect, and due to the fact only 50% of the people speak Russian, learning basic Turkmen would be advisable. Turkmen (Turkmen phrasebook) was written in a Cyrillic alphabet during Soviet times and is now written in a Latin alphabet. Uzbek is widely understood in Turkmenistan, due to both languages sharing common Turkic traits. Kazakh is also understood in the country (because of Turkic traits), yet very few Turkmen will understand Kazakh. Not many Turkmens will have a basic understanding of English, even in the capital city. See thumb 280px Nisa Fortress (File:Nisa Fortress.jpg) * Ashgabat * Karakum Desert * Konye Urgench * Merv * Yangykala Canyon Do * '''Horse trekking''' with '''Akhal Teke horses''': Orexca offers a 12 day Turkem Akhalteke Horse Ride Wonders of the Karakum Desert with transfer from Ashgabar to Geokdepe Stud Farm, ride through the North East of the Karakum Desert to Tummekli, to the nomadic villages of Chyria, Gurrukly, Hakysh Gongurajy, Orazsahet and to the Geokdepe Reservoir. * '''Hiking''' in the Kugitang Nature Reserve (travel permit required) or in the mountains around Nokhur. * Wikipedia:Turkmenistan Dmoz:Regional Asia Turkmenistan commons:category:Turkmenistan


and Afghanistan. The lawyer Shalva Shavgulidze was also named as a member of Alasania's team. Representatives from most of Georgian opposition parties attended the presentation; most of them expressed their interest in cooperating with Alasania's newly formed party. Irakli Alasania Presents His Political Team. ''Georgia Today''. February 20, 2009. Two days after the announcements were made Gia Karkarashvili, former

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Wikipedia:Turkmenistan Dmoz:Regional Asia Turkmenistan commons:category:Turkmenistan

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Nuclear Programme , 16 October 2007, Rbc.ru where he met with Iranian President (President of Iran) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

unique part

, as well as to the Baltic States. Thus, it gained sound reputation of a stable and reliable gas supplier. History. Up to date, gas production and distribution remains core corporate business. However, ITERA’s geographic priorities gradually switched to Russia. Gas and oil is a substantial but not unique part of ITERA's business. Since the mid-2000s ITERA is being deeply involved in civil engineering civil construction

;ref Itera. Electric power is becoming another promising area for ITERA business development. The Company commenced construction of a steam-gas power cogeneration plant with a capacity of 900 mW in Nizhny Novgorod Region. Thus, the Region will receive not only electric power it needs so badly, but also additional jobs. Gas and oil is a substantial but not unique part of ITERA's business. Since the mid-2000s ITERA is being deeply

interest history

author accessdate 28 January 2015 A natural gas field in the country known as Door to Hell draws frequent media attention and more recently, also touristic interest. History In the 8th century AD, Turkic (Turkic languages)-speaking Oghuz (Oghuz Turks) tribes moved from Mongolia into present-day Central Asia. Part of a powerful confederation of tribes, these Oghuz formed the ethnic basis of the modern Turkmen population

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people." The office of the president said recorded music and lip synching has "a negative effect on the development of singing and musical art." In a cabinet meeting broadcast on national television, Niyazov said "Unfortunately, one can see on television old voiceless singers lip-synching their old songs. Don't kill talents by using lip synching... Create our new culture." Wikipedia:Turkmenistan Dmoz:Regional Asia Turkmenistan commons:category:Turkmenistan


'''Turkmenistan''' ( ), formerly known as '''Turkmenia''', is one of the Turkic states (List of Turkic states and empires) in Central Asia. Turkmenistan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the northeast and east, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west.

Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. In medieval times Merv (today known as Mary) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world, and an important stop on the Silk Road, a caravan route used for trade with China until the mid-15th century. Annexed by the Russian Empire in 1881, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement (Russian Civil War) in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkmen SSR); it became independent upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Turkmenistan's GDP growth rate of 11% in 2012 comes on the back of several years of sustained high growth, albeit from a very basic undiversified economy powered by export of a single commodity. Although it is wealthy in natural resources in certain areas, most of the country is covered by the Karakum (Black Sand) Desert (Karakum Desert). Since 1993, citizens have received government-provided electricity, water and natural gas free of charge on a guarantee scheduled to last until 2030. Turkmenistan's Leader Promises Citizens Free Gas, Electricity and Water Through 2030

Turkmenistan was ruled by President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov (called "Türkmenbaşy", "Leader of the Turkmens") until his sudden death on 21 December 2006. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow was elected the new president on 11 February 2007. According to Human Rights Watch, "Turkmenistan remains one of the world’s most repressive countries. The country is virtually closed to independent scrutiny, media and religious freedoms are subject to draconian restrictions, and human rights defenders and other activists face the constant threat of government reprisal." President Berdymukhamedov promotes a personality cult in which he, his relatives, and associates enjoy unlimited power and total control over all aspects of public life.

A natural gas field in the country known as Door to Hell draws frequent media attention and more recently, also touristic interest.

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