Turkmenistan is Located in Central Asia

Turkmenistan is situated in Central Asia. Its area is of density the population is 8.7 persons per sq km. The capital of the country is Ashgabat.

In the north Turkmenistan borders upon Kazakstan, in the east on Uzbekistan, in the south east on Afghanistan, and in the south on Iran. In the west a natural border is the Caspian Sea. The desert Kara Kum occupies most of the country.

Ashgabat is the capital of sovereign Turkmenistan. The city was founded in 1881 as a military fortification to replace the village of Ashgabat. For the past century, this small village has grown into a prosperous city with a population.

Located in a seismic area, Ashgabat suffered a destructive earthquake in 1948. The city was restored at a rapid rate, and a new beautiful and comfortable Ashgabat with wide green streets, nice buildings, park and fountains rose from the ruins. Special anti seismic structures of reinforced concrete were used for the reconstruction.

Ashgabat is a major industrial centre of Turkmenistan today, featuring more than 50 factories, including an oil equipment plant, glass works, spinning mills, silk factories. Carpets making in Ashgabat has gained international renown. The Turkmen Academy of Science was established in 1951 and has been operating in many crucial areas of research through 18 of its institutes, including the Institute of Desert, the Sun research and production amalgamation and the Institute for Seismology. Ashgabat also has nine colleges, dozens of secondary special and vocational schools. The capital city of Turkmenistan boasts four theatres, a philharmonic society, cinema halls and museums.

Tourist facilities, especially outside of the capital city of Ashgabat, are not highly developed.

The Turkmen language belongs to the Turkic group and is the State language in Turkmenistan; the second important language is Russian. Since 1996 the Turkmen have used the Latin alphabet.

During the transitional period the Cyrillic alphabet is being used as well. The basic religions are the Sunni branch of Islam and Orthodox Christianity.

Many of the goods and services taken for granted in North American and Western European countries are not yet available. Travel within the country can be difficult due to limited infrastructure and government imposed internal travel restrictions.

Visible police and military presence in Turkmenistan is common. Both uniformed and plainclothes officials frequently ask to see passports, visas, migration cards, and SARF registrations. Travellers should ask to see identification if they are not certain that the person requesting the information is an official. These documentation checks, and residence and vehicle searches, are common. Security personnel maintain checkpoints on major roads.

Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Turkmenistan Rental Site

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