Turkmenistan. On January 1, the Turkmenistan currency devalued by about 19% as a result of the sharp fall of the Russian ruble. The low oil prices pushed the Turkmen economy, which is based on gas and oil. According to COUNTRYAAH, Ashgabat is the capital of Turkmenistan which is located in Central Asia. President Gurbanguli Berdimuchammedov said that the economy needs to be widened so that revenue outside energy is fivefold by 2020.
When Berdimuchammedov visited the EU in the spring to discuss, among other things, gas supplies, issues of human rights were raised with him. According to Amnesty, Turkmenistan is one of the world’s worst repressive states. Berdimuchammedov announced an amnesty for more than 1,200 prisoners, but it was unclear what their crimes were.
Turkmenistan was the third worst country on Reporters Without Borders list of press freedom in the world. Only worse were Eritrea and North Korea.
During the year, a 21 meter high gilded equestrian statue was inaugurated, where Berdimuchammedov sits on an achaltekeer horse on top of a white marble cliff. The monument was named the Protector, called the leader.
In July, Berdimuchammedov dismissed a number of ministers and other civil servants accused of corruption and curbing economic reforms. In a short time, about 80 officials were reported to have been prosecuted. At the same time, it was announced that the country’s GDP grew by just over 9% during the first half of the year.
US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Turkmenistan in November and met Berdimuchammedov. Kerry explained that oppression by political opponents could backfire and favor the radicalism feared by the leaders of Central Asia. Kerry raised 87 “urgent prisoners” that the United States would like to see released, though without making any promises. It was the first US Secretary of State to visit Turkmenistan since 1992.
During the year, Berdimuchammedov ensured that Turkmenistan entered Guinness’s record book by 4 166 people singing cannon. The song was “Forward, Just Forward My Dear Turkmenistan”, a toned poem written by Berdimuchammedov. The choir appeared in a huge herb, the traditional round nomad tent. The author and dictator participated in the song and played synthesizer.
Area: 488,100 km2 (world ranking: 52)
Population density: 12 per km2 (as of 2017, world ranking: 113)
Official languages: Turkmen
Gross domestic product: 42.4 billion US $; Real growth: 6.5%
Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 6650 US$
Currency: 1 Turkmenistan manat (TMT) = 100 tenge
Queen-Luise-Str. 31, 14195 Berlin
Telephone 030 30102451,
Fax 030 30102453
Head of State and Government: Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Outside: Rasit Meredow National Day
5 regions and capital district
State and form of government
Constitution of 2016
Parliament: Assembly (Mejlis) with 125 members, election every 5 years
Direct election of the head of state every 7 years
Suffrage from 18 years of age
Population: Turkmen, last census 2012 (preliminary) : 4,751,120 residents.
86% Turkmen, 6% Uzbeks, 5% Russians; Minorities of Kazakhs, Tatars, Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Belarusians and others
Cities (with population): (as of 2004) Asgabat 827,500 residents, Turkmenabat 256,000, Dasoguz 210,000, Mary 159,000, Balkanabat 139,000, Turkmenbasy (formerly Krasnowodsk) 86,800
Religions: 89% Muslims (Sunnis), 9% Orthodox and others (as of 2006)
Languages: Turkmen; Languages of the minorities, especially Russian Employed
By economic sector: no information
Unemployment (in% of all economically active persons)
Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 8.0%
Foreign trade: Import: 6.0 billion US $ (2017); Export: US $ 7.0 billion (2017)