far. *'''Darvaza (Karakum)''' — Probably Turkmenistan's single most famous site, at this spot near the former town of Darvaza, an oil rig accidentally struck a large pocket of natural gas in 1971. The rig collapsed into the cavern, resulting in a large crater filled with fire. It was decided to let the fire burn rather than let the poisonous gas escape into the nearby town. The fire burns to this day and it is popular as being easily mistakable for the gates of Hell. * Pay a visit to '''Kow Ata underground sulphur lake''', found in the mountains an hour or so outside Ashgabat. It is possible to swim in the year-round warm, mineral rich, and medicinal waters. Expect a walk down increasingly slippery steps, and a corrugated shack to change in - unless you're handy with your towel. ''Kow Ata'' means ''Father of the Lakes''. The cave is more than 200 metres long, 20 metres high and at some point more than 50 metres wide. The water has a constant temperature of 33 to 37 degrees Celsius. Archaeological sites * '''Altin Depe''' * '''Anau''' (Anew) * '''Gonur Depe''' * '''Jeitun''', Mesolithic settlement on a sand dune in the Kara Kum desert, 30 km north of Ashgabat * '''Merv''' with Erk Kala, Giaur Kala, Kyz Kala and Sultan Kala * '''Namazga Depe''' * '''Nissa''', one of the most important cities of the Parthian Empire, 19 km west of Ashgabat Medieval Monuments thumb 270px The harsh landscape of the Karakum Desert (File:Karakum Desert rotated.jpg) * '''Abiverd''', medieval city (10th to 18th cent.) * '''Abu Said Mithkene Mausoleum''' (11th to 15th cent.) * '''Astana-baba''', 15 km from Mount Atamurat, country estate of Omar-Kali with mausoleum and mosque * '''Dayakhaty''', near Turkmenabad, caravan serai (11th cent.) * '''Darganata''', medieval city, mausoleum (11th to 15th cent.) * '''Dekhistan''', historical area in Western Turkestan, big Mashat cemetery, Shir Kabir Mausoleum (10th cent), ruins of Missirian city (10th to 15th cent.) * '''Devkesengala''', North West of Konye Urgench, fortress, mausoleums, * '''Ekedeshik''', near Tagtabazar, near the Afghanistan border, about 245 km South of Mary, cave settlement with more than 40 rooms, dating back to the Early Middle Ages, eventually a Buddhist monastery * '''Geok-tepe''', place of a bloody battle between Turkmen and Russians in 1881, * '''Imukshir''', near Tara, ancient city, fortifications * '''Konye Urgench''', remains of the capital of Horezmshah with magnificent architectural monuments, * '''Mane Baba Mausoleum''', about 40 km south of Tejen in the Khaka region. The mausoleum was built in the 11th and 12th cenmturies over the grave of the famous Sufi teacher and philosopher ''Abu Said Maneyi'' (968-1049). The legend tells that Abu Said met ''Abu Ali Ibn Sina (Avicenna)'' for a conversation that lasted three days. Afer this conversation Abi Said said: 'Ibn Sina knows everything that I see' and Ibn Sina answered: 'Abu Said sees everything that I know'. * '''Parau''', medieval settlement, Parau-bibi and Parau-ata (12th cent.) * '''Sarakhs''', ancient city with the Mausoleum of Abul-Fazi ("Sarakhs-baba" and Yarti-Gummez * '''Seyitdzhemaledin Mosque''', masterpiece of Muslim architecture (15th cent.) * '''Shakhsenem''', medieval settlement, mosque * '''Talkhatan-baba''', 30 km west of Mary, mausoleum (12th cent.) * '''Tasharvat''', 38 km West of Balkanabat, big medieval fortress Nature Reserves thumb 280px Camels grazing in front of Great Kyz Kala, Merv (File:Great Kyz Kala.jpg) * '''Köpet Dag Nature Reserve''' in the mountains near Ashgabat * '''Syunt Hasarday Nature Reserve''' in the mountains south of the Ashgabat - Turkmenbashi road, * '''Esenguly Nature Reserve''' on the Caspian Sea near the border to Iran * '''Krasnovodsk Nature Reserve''' on the Caspian Sea south of Turkmenbashi, * '''Gaplangyr Nature Reserve''' in the Karakum Desert. * '''Quzilqum Nature Reserve''' along the Amur Darja on the border to Uzbekistan, * '''Amur Darja Nature Reserve''' along the Amur Darja on the border to Uzbekistan, north of Turkmenabat. * '''Repetek Nature Reserve''' in the desert on the road between Mary and Turkmenabat, * '''Kugitang Nature Reserve''' in the mountains in the south east of the country on the border to Uzbekistan. You will need a ''special permit'' in order to visit a nature reserve, and it will be necessary to apply for it through a travel agent well in advance. Pilgrims' Shrines ''Shrine pilgrimage (ziyarat)'' and its underlying beliefs have played an important role in islamization of Central Asia as well as in creating and sustaining communal identity up to the present day. Recent research suggests that Musilm "holy men" (Sufi shaykhs) were key players in the conversion to Islam due to their knowledge of Inner Asian pre-Islamic religious traditions and their ability to translate the meaning of Islam to the local population. The prominent position of ancestor worship in Turkmen traditions is shown by the fact that the progenitor of a tribe or community is often ascribed to "islamizers" among the Turkmen. The burial sites of these Muslim founding fathers became a focus of veneration and were accompanied by what is called "Muslim shamanism": ancestral spirits were identified with the companions of the "Saint-progenitor". The communities also accepted saints with outstanding spiritual, intellectual or physical powers. Thus the burial sites of Islamic saints, local rulers, learned scholars, warriors or pre-Islamic figures have become shrines. Turkmen tradition also recognizes six non-Turkmen ''öwlat'' groups, which trace their lineage to the first caliphs of Islam, e.g. the progenitor of the öwlat group Ata is ''Gözli Ata'' who in the 14th cent. came from 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
, his "outstanding creative ability," and the fact that neither teacher had seen in Mosolov any anti-Soviet disposition. On July 15, 1938, Mosolov's sentence was commuted to a five-year exile—he could not live in Moscow, Leningrad, or Kiev until 1942. Sitsky (#Sitsky94), "Man of Steel," p. 64. His quick release, having only served eight months of his eight year sentence, was possible because he had been imprisoned not on political charges but on an overblown accusation of "hooliganism" brought by Mosolov's enemies in the Composers' Union. Taruskin (#Taruskin01), ''Defining Russia Musically'', p. 92n19. The Soviet Union was dissolved (Dissolution of the Soviet Union) by the end of 1991, resulting in 14 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia (Georgia (country)), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) declaring their independence from the Soviet Union and the bulk of the country being succeeded by the Russian Federation. Communism was abandoned in Albania and Yugoslavia between 1990 and 1992, the latter splitting into five successor states by 1992: Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia), Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (later renamed Serbia and Montenegro, and later still split into two states, Serbia and Montenegro). Czechoslovakia too was dissolved three years after the end of communist rule, splitting peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992. http: www.cecl.gr RigasNetwork databank Constitutions Yugoslavia.html The impact was felt in dozens of Socialist countries (List of socialist countries). Communism was abandoned in countries such as Cambodia (People's Republic of Kampuchea), Ethiopia (People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia), and Mongolia (1990 Democratic Revolution in Mongolia) and South Yemen. The collapse of Communism led commentators to declare the end of the Cold War. - align center rowspan 2 December 8 bgcolor #FFDDDD '''Turkmenistan''' gains independence from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Ashgabat is the capital. - Saw-scaled viper style "width:35%" Southeastern Arabian Peninsula (Oman, Masirah and eastern UAE (United Arab Emirates)), southwestern Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan (including Urak near Quetta and Astola Island off the Makran Coast (Makran)), India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. - * The various Turkic (Turkic peoples) and Iranian (Iranian peoples) hybrid traits pertaining to culture, dynasties as well population genetics of various peoples in Central Asia, as well as parts of West Asia (Southwest Asia) and South Asia. ''See also'': Persianate, Turko-Persian Tradition * The Oghuz (Oghuz languages) and Iranian (Iranian Languages) speaking countries such as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan whose cultures are based and or have been heavily influenced by the Perso-Islamic culture (Persianate society) and who are a part of the Iranian Cultural Continent (Greater Iran) Sh.J. Boss, on the Encyclopaedia Iranica: ''"Comprehensive research project about the ''Iranian Cultural Continent'' thrives on Riverside Drive"'', Columbia College Today (Columbia College of Columbia University), (LINK) . * The Turkic (Turkic languages) speaking minorities of Iran, e.g. Azeris, Qashqais. (See Iranian Turks (disambiguation).) '''Rolan Gusev''' ( Wikipedia:Turkmenistan Dmoz:Regional Asia Turkmenistan commons:category:Turkmenistan
is considered part of the Karakum Desert. Turkmenistan is one of just two Stalinist countries in existence (the other being North Korea) and the government is in firm control of nearly everything, although, surprisingly, tourism is welcomed as long as you don't discuss politics or the omnipresent police or military. The cult of personality the previous president created for himself is truly amazing and reminders of the Turkmenbashi's legacy are everywhere. The traditional life of the Turkmen is that of nomadic shepherds, though some have been settled in towns for centuries. The country is known for its fine carpets (one is even featured in its flag) and horses. It is a fairly poor country, that has been isolated from the world. Other than that, billions have been spent on modernization in Ashgabat, Turkmenbashi, and many other cities in post Soviet times. And also, the country has extensive oil and gas reserves being developed, with recently opened pipelines to China, Iran, and soon Azerbaijan. Turkmenistan is also the second wealthiest country in Central Asia. Understand thumb Statue of Turkmenistan's "former all-powerful President for Life" Saparmurat Niyazov. (File:Golden Niyazov.jpg) North Korea may get all the press, but even Kim Il-sung's cult of personality fades when compared to the surreal totalitarian state set up by Turkmenistan's former all-powerful President for Life '''Saparmurat Niyazov'''. He adopted the title '''Turkmenbashi''' ("Father of All Turkmen"), named the city of Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnovodsk) after himself, and built a 15m tall golden statue that rotates to face the sun in the capital Ashgabat. The month of January was renamed ''Turkmenbashi'' after himself, while the month of April and the word "bread" became ''Gurbansoltan Eje'', the name of Niyazov's mother. Decrees emanating from Niyazov's palace have banned, among other things, lip synching, long hair, video games and golden tooth caps. Through it all, Serdar Saparmurat Turkmenbashi the Great (his official title) pretended to remain modest, once remarking that "I'm personally against seeing my pictures and statues in the streets - but it's what the people want". Niyazov's government also spent billions in renovating the country, shut down libraries and hospitals, and even wrote the Ruhnama, a spiritual book to improve the Turkmen people. Since Niyazov's abrupt if unlamented death in December 2006, his successor Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has slowly peeled back the worst excesses of the Turkmenbashi. The Ruhnama has lost its popularity, Berdimuhamedov has continued in the process restoring pensions and old names, while cementing on his own slightly more subdued cult of personality. One thing of importance to any visitors who smoke cigarettes or cigars: it is forbidden to smoke 'in a public place'. Generally, this means 'outside'. Smoking at any of the bazaars is a definite no-no, as there were two major bazaar fires in 2006-2007. While it bothers non-smokers, those who enjoy tobacco products can enjoy them inside most restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs. A good rule of thumb - if you don't see anyone else smoking, you shouldn't. People The people of Turkmenistan are predominantly '''Turkmen''', also spelled Turkoman, in both ethnicity and language. Turkmenistan traditionally was home to sizeable Russian and German populations, but they largely emigrated to their mother countries following the break up of the Soviet Union. According to the 1995 census 77 percent of the population are Turkmen, 9 percent Uzbek and 7 percent Russian. According to the ''Ruhmana'', the Turkmens originated from ''Oguz Han'' and all Oguz people descend from Oguz Han's 24 grandsons. The original homeland of the Oguz tribes was the Ural-Altay region of Central Asia. The ''Orhun inscriptions'' (6th cent.) mentions the "six Oghuz tribal union", referring to the unification of the six Turkic tribes. This was the first written reference to Oghuz, dated to the period of the Göktürk Empire. The ''Book of Dede Korkut'', the historical epic of the Oghuz Turks, was written in the 9th and 10th cent. They migrated westwards in the area of the Aral Sea and the Syr Darya Basin in the 10th cent. A clan of the Oghuz, the ''Seljuks'' took over Islam, entered Persia in the 11th cent. and founded the Great Seljuk Empire. The name Oghuz is derived from the word 'ok', meaning 'arrow' or 'tribe' and an archer shooting an arrow was shown on the flag of the Seljuk Empire. The term Oghuz was gradually supplanted by the Turks themselves by ''Türkmen'' or ''Turcoman''. This process was completed in the 13th cent. The main tribes of the Turkmen are the ''Tekke'' (around the oases of Ahal, Tejen and Merv), the ''Ersari'' (along the Amu Darya), the ''Yomud'' (in the Balkan Region and Khorzem Oasis) and the ''Goklen'' in the Southwest. Terrain thumb The Kopetdag Mountains rising above the Ahal Plain (File:Ahal.jpg) Turkmenistan is largely covered by desert, with intensive agriculture located in irrigated oases. One-half of its irrigated land is planted with cotton, making it the world's tenth largest producer. About 80% of Turkmenistan's surface is covered by the biggest desert in Central Asia, the ''Karakum (Black Sand)'', which forms together with the ''Kyzylkum (Red Sand)'' in Uzbekistan the fourth biggest desert in the world. The Karakum covers about 350,000km². The ''Kopet Dagi Mountains'' (Many Mountains) in Southern Turkmenistan form the border to Iran. In the ''Kugitang Mountains'' in North East Turkmenistan is the highest mountain of the country, the ''Airbaba'' (3,117 m). The lowest point of the country is the ''Akdzhak depression'', 80 m below sea level. The country measures about 1,100 km from West to East and about 650 km from North to South. Holidays *1 Jan: New Year *12 Jan: Remembrance Day (Battle of Geok Depe) * Feb 19: National Flag Day (Birthday of Saparmurat Niyazov) * Mar 8: Women's Day * March 21–22: Nowruz (Navrouz: Spring festival) thumb 280px Ertugrul Gazi Mosque, Ashgabat (File:Ertugrul Gazi Mosque in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.jpg) * First Sunday in April: Drop of Water is a Grain of Gold Day * Apr 27: Ahalteke Horse Day * May 9: Victory Day * May 18: Day of Revival and Unity * May 19: Holiday of Poetry of Magtymguly * Last Sunday in May: Turkmenhaly bairamy - Carpet Day * Second Sunday in August: Melon Festival * Oct 6: Remembrance Day (to remember the earthquake of 1948) *27 and 28 Oct : Independence Day *First Saturday in Nov: Health Day *17 Nov: Student Youth Day * Last Sunday in Nov: Harvest Festival *30 Nov: Bread Day * First Sunday in Dec: Good Neighbourliness Day *12 Dec: Neutrality Day Climate Turkmenistan has a continental climate with long hot summers. Winters are not too cold. The average temperature is 26-34°C in summer and -4°C to 4°C in winter. However, in northern regions the temperature in winter months can decrease to -20°C. Read * ''Colin Thubron'', The Lost Heart of Asia, Penguin, 1994 * ''Daily Life in Turkmenbashy's Golden Age'' by Sam Tranum * ''Joe & Azat'' by Jesse Lonergan Regions While the provinces are a helpful way to break down large Turkmenistan into regional travel areas, bear in mind that there is one geographical region present throughout them all, dominating the country—the brutal desert wasteland that is the Karakum. Wikipedia:Turkmenistan Dmoz:Regional Asia Turkmenistan commons:category:Turkmenistan
Dashhowuz provinces. Turkmenistan.ru (February 7, 2006), ''PKFHSPKFHS event&sort date_desc Construction of Trans-Karakum railway nears completion in Turkmenistan''. Retrieved February 8, 2006. * February 13 – Genesee and Wyoming (Genesee and Wyoming Inc) (G&W) announces that it has sold its 50% share in operations (the other 50% was owned by Wesfarmers
and along the border with Uzbekistan. Once construction is completed, the official opening ceremony is expected to be held at the new Ichoguz station (train station) on the border between Ahal (Ahal Province) and Daşoguz (Daşoguz Province) provinces. Turkmenistan.ru (February 7, 2006), ''event&sort date_desc Construction of Trans-Karakum railway nears completion in Turkmenistan
, Kuwait and in some parts of Africa, namely Kenya, and Tanzania (Tabora has a large community). Small communities of Baluch people also live in Europe (particularly Sweden, Norway, Denmark & England) and in Perth, Australia (Perth, Western Australia), where they arrived in the 19th century. In 1974, when VAZ 2121 development was almost finished, the engineers from Tolyatti began working on an amphibian off-roader (amphibious car), VAZ 2122 'Reka' ('River') based on VAZ-2121 'Niva' underpinnings. It was intended to be sold to the Soviet Ministry of Defence (Ministry of Defence (Soviet Union)). Six evolutions of prototypes were built, and much development work was done. The car was tested in an experimental military unit, on the proving grounds of the Ministry of Defence (Ministry of Defence (Russia)), and in the Turkmenistan Karakum Desert. VAZ-2122 received very positive feedback, by 1987 VAZ had finished all development work, and the car was ready for production. catchment Wikipedia:Turkmenistan Dmoz:Regional Asia Turkmenistan commons:category:Turkmenistan
. '''Qashqadaryo Province''' (
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
of and first year after World War II the Academy consisted of 8 divisions (Physico-Mathematical Science, Chemical Sciences, Geological-Geographical Sciences, Biological Science, Technical Science, History and Philosophy, Economics and Law, Literature and Languages); 3 committees (one for coordinating the scientific work of the Academies of the Republics, one for scientific and technical propaganda, and one for editorial and publications), two commissions (for publishing popular scientific
maximum damage in battle. From the notes of Nuniz (Nilakanta Sastri 1955, p288) Distribution It is a species of bird native to Asia with its initial home range spanning from Iran, the entire South Asia including Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka; as well as Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, to Malaysia, peninsular Thailand, Indo-China
'' (retrieved 10 August 2006). The ancient ashiks were called by various names such as ''bakhshi'' (Baxşı), dede (Dede (religious figure)) (dədə), and uzan or ozan. Among their various roles, they played a major part in perpetuation of oral tradition, promotion of communal value system and traditional culture of their people. These wandering bards or troubadours are part of current rural and folk culture of Azerbaijan, and Iranian Azerbaijan, Turkey, the Turkmen Sahra
'''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.