Turkmenistan is unspoiled nature, outstanding heritage,
extraordinary people, fascinating arts and crafts, unforgettable adventure.
It is the last frontier, until recently the very outpost of the old Soviet Empire.
The country is mostly covered by the large, empty and very hot Kara Kum or Black
Sands desert, which for centuries has been Turkmenistans best defensive
weapon, successfully repelling outsiders, adventurers and armies.
The country is home to about 4 and a half million
Turkomen, who trace their descent from nomadic tribes living in the Altai Mountains
above Mongolia in the 5th century AD. By the 15th century the Turkomen had settled
in the area that is now Turkmenistan. A warm and friendly people, some of the
most appealing in Central Asia, the Turkomen dress in their traditional clothes
with huge sheepskin hats, long coats and boots and true to their nomadic traditions
are excellent horsemen. Turkmenistan is known for its wonderful Akhal Teke horses,
the ancestor of the Arabian racehorse.
The country is also famous for its carpets, known
as Bukhara carpets, because for centuries they were traded in Bukhara in Uzbekistan.
A visit to Turkmenistan will be a journey into a rich
and colourful past, still totally untouched by tourism where no one is considered
a stranger but a friend that has not yet been met.
Supporting a population of 4.5 million people, Turkmenistan
borders Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Main religion is Islam;
Official language is Turkmen yet Russian forms a common language of all groups.
Turkmenistan is the fourth largest natural gas producer in the world; there
is also a huge capacity of petroleum extraction. Turkmenistan is one of the
major producers of the best quality cotton.
Climate is continental but winters are short and not really cold
(0-10 C) summers are dry and hot (up to +49 C). The latitudinal position of
the territory of Turkmenistan is in the zone of non-tropical deserts, making
the country rather vulnerable to climate changes. The best times to visit are
April, May and early June and again September and October. The hottest days
are July and 20 August and during this time temperatures can reach 32 degrees
centigrade in Ashgabat, but the evenings cool down considerably.
Aliases: The Republic of Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan Republic