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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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People And Society

Nationality
Noun Turkmen(s)
Adjective Turkmen

Ethnic groups
Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)

Languages
Turkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%

Religions
Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%

Population World Ranking: 118
5,054,828 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
27.5% (male 696,749/female 679,936)
15-64 years
68.4% (male 1,692,885/female 1,724,019)
65 years and over
4.1% (male 88,590/female 115,324) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 25.8 years
Male 25.4 years
Female 26.3 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 102
1.143% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 91
19.55 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 158
6.21 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 161
-1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urbanization
Urban population 50% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
2.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
ASHGABAT (capital) 637,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.77 male(s)/female
Total population
0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 89
67 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 60
Total 40.89 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 48.77 deaths/1,000 live births
Female
32.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 152
Total population 68.84 years
Male 65.87 years
Female 71.96 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 107
2.14 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 186
2.3% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
2.438 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density
4.06 beds/1,000 population (2007)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 160
Less than 0.1% (2007 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 156
Fewer than 200 (2007 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 150
Fewer than 100 (2004 est.)

Education expenditures
NA

Literacy
Definition
Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 98.8%
Male 99.3%
Female 98.3% (1999 est.)


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Turkmenistan (Ashgabat):


GPS points from Turkmenistan (Ashgabat)

Bol'shevik Mary Welayaty

Khodzhaguyma Balkan Welayaty

Gora Bova-chingiz Turkmenistan (general)

Gora Balakhana Turkmenistan (general)

Chash-kala Lebap Welayaty

Stantsiya Archman Turkmenistan (general)

Gora Syunt Turkmenistan (general)

Peschanaya Turkmenistan (general)




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