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Map of Turkmenistan in Central Asia

Turkmenistan, formerly also known as Turkmenia, is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia.


Turkmenistan is bordered by Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, Uzbekistan to the east and northeast, Kazakhstan to the northwest and the Caspian Sea to the west.

Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. In medieval times Merv (today known as Mary) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road.


In the eighth century A.D., Turkic-speaking Oghuz tribes moved from Mongolia into present-day Central Asia. Part of a powerful confederation of tribes, these Oghuz formed the ethnic basis of the modern Turkmen population. In the tenth century, the name "Turkmen" was first applied to Oghuz groups that accepted Islam and began to occupy present-day Turkmenistan.[1] There they were under the dominion of the Seljuk Empire, which was composed of Oghuz groups living in present-day Iran and Turkmenistan.[2] Turkmen soldiers in the service of the empire played an important role in the spreading of Turkic culture when they migrated westward into present-day Azerbaijan and eastern Turkey.[3]

In the twelfth century, Turkmen and other tribes overthrew the Seljuk Empire.[4] In the next century, the Mongols took over the more northern lands where the Turkmens had settled, scattering the Turkmens southward and contributing to the formation of new tribal groups.[9] The sixteenth and eighteenth centuries saw a series of splits and confederations among the nomadic Turkmen tribes, who remained staunchly independent and inspired fear in their neighbors. By the sixteenth century, most of those tribes were under the nominal control of two sedentary Uzbek khanates, Khiva and Bukhoro.[5] Turkmen soldiers were an important element of the Uzbek militaries of this period. In the nineteenth century, raids and rebellions by the Yomud Turkmen group resulted in that group's dispersal by the Uzbek rulers.[6] According to Paul R. Spickard, "Prior to the Russian conquest, the Turkmen were known and feared for their involvement in the Central Asian slave trade."[7][8]

Largest cities or towns of Turkmenistan

S.No. City name Province Population
1 Ashgabat Capital 727 700
2 Türkmenabat Lebap 234 817
3 Daşoguz Dasoguz 166 500
4 Mary Mary 114 680
5 Balkanabat Balkan 87 822
6 Baýramaly Mary 75 797
7 Türkmenbaşy [[Balkan 68 292
8 Tejen Ahal 67 294
9 Abadan Ahal 39 481
10 Magdanly Lebap 34,745

Notable persons

External links


  1. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (February 2007).
  2. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (February 2007).
  3. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (February 2007).
  4. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (February 2007).
  5. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (February 2007).
  6. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (February 2007).
  7. Paul R. Spickard (2005) "Race and nation: ethnic systems in the modern world". Routledge. p.260. ISBN 0415950031
  8. The Indian diaspora in Central Asia and its trade, 1550-1900". Scott Cameron Levi (2002). p.68. ISBN 9004123202

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