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Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. The area was ruled in antiquity by various Persian empires, and was conquered by Alexander the Great, Muslim crusaders, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. 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. Annexed by Russia in the late 1800s, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic; it achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited, have begun to transform the country. Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects. The Turkmen Government is actively working to diversify its gas export routes beyond the still important Russian pipeline network. In 2010, new gas export pipelines that carry Turkmen gas to China and to northern Iran began operating, effectively ending the Russian monopoly on Turkmen gas exports. President for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy cabinet chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president; he was reelected in February 2012.


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Transportation

Airports World Ranking: 126
26 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 21
Over 3,047 m 1
2,438 to 3,047 m 9
1,524 to 2,437 m 9
914 to 1,523 m 2 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 5
1,524 to 2,437 m 1
Under 914 m 4 (2012)

Heliports
1 (2012)

Pipelines
Gas 7,352 km; oil 1,457 km (2010)

Railways World Ranking: 56
Total 2,980 km
Broad gauge 2,980 km 1.520-m gauge (2008)

Roadways World Ranking: 75
Total 58,592 km
Paved 47,577 km
Unpaved 11,015 km (2002)

Waterways World Ranking: 55
1,300 km (Amu Darya and Kara Kum canal are important inland waterways) (2011)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 110
Total 11
By type
Cargo 4, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 1 (2010)

Ports and terminals
Turkmenbasy


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  Turkmenistan (Ashgabat):


  GPS points from Turkmenistan (Ashgabat)

Iolotanskoye Vodokhranilishche Turkmenistan (general)

Danata Balkan Welayaty

Staraya Kara-khan-kala Ahal Welayaty

Stantsiya Geok-syur Turkmenistan (general)

Pereval Kalai Turkmenistan (general)

Kolodets Gulay Turkmenistan (general)

Karakumskiy Kanal Turkmenistan (general)

Kara-singer Balkan Welayaty




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