Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia bordered by the Caspian Sea and largely covered by the Karakum Desert. It’s known for archaeological ruins including those at Nisa and Merv, major stops along the ancient trade route the Silk Road. Ashgabat, the capital, was rebuilt in Soviet-style in the mid-20th century and is filled with grand monuments honoring former president Saparmurat Niyazov. Most of Turkmenistan is dominated by the flat Garagum (or Kara Kum) Desert (north to south), a sandy, scrubby, arid expanse of land, with very little agricultural potential.  Along the Caspian Sea and the shorelines of Sarykamish Lake, land elevations below sea level stretch inland for many miles.

Key Cities

Key cities in Turkmenistan include: Ashgabat, Turkmenabat, Dasoguz, Mary, Balkanabat, Bayramaly, Turkmenbasy, Tejen, Abadan, Magdanly.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

Historically inhabited by the Indo-Iranians, the written history of Turkmenistan begins with its annexation by the Achaemenid Empire of Ancient Iran. In the 8th century AD, Turkic-speaking Oghuz tribes moved from Mongolia into present-day Central Asia. Turkmenistan Culture. Turkmenistan culture is slightly different from the cultural traditions of the neighboring Muslim states of Central Asia. The reason to this is that the ancestors of the Turkmen were nomadic tribes whereas the lands of modern Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were populated by settled tribes of farmers.

Brief Country History

Until 1991, Turkmenistan was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union and was known as the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic. From 1985 to 2006, it was ruled by a President for Life under a single-party system. This is part of the country’s written history which began with its conquest by ancient Persia before 4th century BC. The country remained as the territory of the Persian empire for several centuries until the 7th century AD when it was conquered by the Arabs and made part of Islam’s Middle Eastern culture. In the middle of the 11th century, Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan, on his way to the west, took control of the eastern region the Caspian Sea, that included Turkmenistan, and for next seven centuries, the Persian shahs, the khivan Khans, the emirs of Bukhara and the Afghanistan rulers fought for control of the country but it was in 1894 when Russia gained control of the country following a fight with Great Britain, and promptly incorporated it into its empire, making it as the Turkmen SSR, one of the six republics of the Soviet Union.

By 1917 political unrest started to increase in the country, leading to the Soviets losing their control of the country in 1927 to Turkmen Freedom, a national resistance movement. After being devastated by a powerful earthquake in 1948, the Turkmen people took a long march to be able to declare their independence from Russia on October 27, 1991, and to finally gain recognition of its independence on December 25, 1991, a day before the Soviet Union was dissolved. In 1991, Turkmenistan as a republic joined the United Nations. In 2008, the new government passed a resolution adopting a new constitution allowing a multiple political party system in the country.

Language (s) Written & Spoken

Turkmen is the official language of Turkmenistan under the 1992 Constitution. Closely related to the Turkish and Azerbaijani languages, it is spoken by about 72% of the population or 3 million people in the country.

Important Types of Commerce in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is located in Central Asia, where it is one of the world’s most rapidly developing economies. Many economists believe the economy of Turkmenistan is one of the fastest-growing in the world. This country has a gross domestic product (GDP) of $95.5 billion, as calculated for purchasing power. With a total population size of over 5.6 million individuals, this country has a lower than average labor force when compared to other Central Asian countries. The average GDP per person here was approximately $11,630 in 2016, which represents a decrease over the previous year. An estimated .4% of the population lives below the poverty line, an impressive accomplishment in this region of the world. The unemployment rate of Turkmenistan is reported at 11%, however, this number could be affected by the informal market.

The economy of Turkmenistan is largely reliant on the extraction and exploitation of natural resources, like natural gas and petroleum. For example, experts estimate that Turkmenistan is home to the 4th largest natural gas reserve in the world. Although the majority of this country is made up of a desert climate, the agricultural sector (which relies heavily on irrigation systems) is an important contributor to the national GDP and employs nearly half of the entire workforce.

Language Services US and others will provide working with Turkmenistan

Turkmen is the official language of Turkmenistan. For a company to get proper recognition and market share it is important to translate and localize its marketing campaign to Turkmen for getting the better half of the Turkmenistan market. Localization gives the consumer the impression that a product or service has been created specifically for them, demonstrating that the company cares. Showing respect for culture and language can add value to a brand and product – being ignorant can be disastrous. Translating correctly into the local market language is as important as sensitivity to cultural issues.

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