Tag: Turkmenistan

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

According to abbreviationfinder, Ashgabat is the capital and the main economic center of Turkmenistan. It is located in the Karakum desert, in an oasis, next to the Kopet Dag Mountains, near the border with Iran. Its population is approximately 1,031,992 residents in 2008.

History

Ashgabat is in a certain way a young city, in its beginnings it was a village founded in 1818 with the same name and from which it developed. It is located near the original site of Nisa, the old capital of the Parthians, and the ruins of the city of Konjikala on the Silk Road, which was razed by the Mongols.

The Russian army built a fort on an elevation near the village in 1869, which attracted many merchants and artisans to the area, due to the security provided by the military presence. In 1884. Russia annexed the region, and dedicated itself to developing the city as a commercial nucleus due to its proximity to the territory of Persia, which was under British influence. The city was considered at that time as a modern and elegant city, with many shops, hotels, and European-style buildings.

After Soviet control in 1917 the city was renamed Poltoratsk, in honor of a local revolutionary. The name of Ashgabat, in Russian “Ashjabad”, was restored in 1927. At this point, the city began a dizzying growth and industrialization launched by the Soviet government, which was stopped on October 6, 1948 by a strong earthquake measuring 9 on the Richter scale. It is estimated that the disaster killed more than 110,000 people (2/3 of the city’s total population).

In 1991, Turkmenistan proclaimed its independence, and Ashgabat became the national capital of the new state.

Geography

Location

It is located in the Karakum desert, in an oasis, next to the Kopet Dag Mountains, near the border with Iran.

Climate

It has an arid climate, summers are hot and dry and winters are mild and short. The average temperature in July is 38.2 ° C. and the highest recorded is 54 ° C. It rarely snows. Annual Rainfall is only 227 millimeters (8.94 inches), the wettest months are March and April.

Population

It has a population of approximately 950,000 residents. Which is mostly Sunni Muslim. There are also Christians of Russian and Armenian origin. See population of Turkmenistan.

Economy

The city of Ashgabat is the main commercial and financial center of Turkmenistan. The main lines of the city’s economy are the production of textiles, cotton and the metallurgical industry.

Transport

The city has an airport, Ashgabat Airport, and has a network of trolley buses. At the beginning of 2013, President Gurganbulí Berdimujammédov reported on the construction in the capital of a new international airport that would be available by 2016

Art and culture

Places of interest

The earthquakes destroyed most of the old city, essentially the one in 1948. Therefore, the city of Ashgabat does not have the eastern old town that other cities in the region have.

Various art and history museums can be distinguished in the city. It also highlights its famous botanical garden, as well as some modern mosques.

Turkmenistan

Culture

The people of Turkmenistan have traditionally been mostly nomadic horse herders, and even today, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the attempts of urbanization of the Turkmen have not been very successful. They had never really formed a cohesive nation or ethnic group, until they were forced into it by Josef Stalin in the 1930s. Yet they are still divided into clans, and each clan has its own dialect and its own distinctive dress. Turkmens are known for the manufacture of Yomut rugs. These are very elaborate and colorful fabrics, which also serve as a distinction between clans. Turkmens are Sunni Muslims, but like most nomadic regions, they combined the doctrines of Islam with spiritual practices from the pre-Islamist period. As a consequence, they do not have the concept of religious militancy. A Turkmen can be easily identified by the traditional telpek hat, made from sheepskin, black and large. Also included in traditional garments are baggy pants, knee-high boots, and cotton coats.

Economy

The two main economic resources of Turkmenistan are cotton (it became the 10th largest producer in the world) and hydrocarbons. The country has significant oil and gas reserves, which provide a growing portion of its income as prices rise and desertification reduces cotton production. Despite the fact that Turkmenistan was one of the countries of the Euro-Asian zone of the former USSR that suffered the least from the economic consequences of the disintegration, the difficult relations with the former Soviet republics have even led to the boycott of its exports, especially by of Ukraine and growing debts of several of its neighbors who buy hydrocarbons from it.

During the Nyýazow presidency, a large part of the profits obtained were used for the beautification programs of the capital and worship of the president, without significant parts of the country’s population having benefited. In 2004, the unemployment rate was around 60%, and a similar percentage of the population lived under the poverty line according to 2003 statistics. According to a decree of August 14, 2003, water, gas, electricity and salt must be provided by the government.

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan