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Turkmenistan, republic in the southwestern portion of Central Asia, bordered on the north by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, on the east by Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, on the south by Afghanistan and Iran, and on the west by the Caspian Sea. Ashgabat is Turkmenistan’s capital and largest city.

In Turkmen, the official language, the name of the republic is Turkmenistan Respublikasy (Republic of Turkmenistan). Turkmens constitute the dominant ethnic group. Turkmenistan was formerly the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It became an independent country in 1991 and adopted its first post-Soviet constitution in 1992.


For younger readers

Cartlidge, Cherese. The Central Asian States. Lucent, 2002. Discussion of Turkmenistan and the other former Soviet Central Asian republics, for readers in grades 6 to 12.

Kort, Michael. Central Asian Republics. Facts on File, 2003. For readers in grade 7 and up.

Lerner Geography Department. Turkmenistan: Then & Now. Lerner, 1993. For readers in grades 5 to 8.


Curtis, Glenn E., ed. Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan: Country Studies. Library of Congress, 1997. From a series of area studies handbooks.

Dawisha, Karen, and Bruce Parrott, eds. Conflict, Cleavage and Change in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Cambridge University Press, 1997. Detailed analyses by leading experts.

Gleason, Gregory. The Central Asian States—Discovering Independence. Westview, 1997. General background on five Central Asian countries.

Kaplan, Robert D. The Ends of the Earth: A Journey to the Frontiers of Anarchy. Knopf, 1997. Part travelogue and part memoir of the author's journey across West Africa and Central Asia.

Manz, Beatrice F., ed. Central Asia in Historical Perspective. Westview, 1994. History, with much coverage of the 20th century and some information on post-independence development.

Undeland, Charles, and Nicholas Platt. The Central Asian Republics: Fragments of Empire, Magnets of Wealth. Asia Society, 1994. A brief but valuable introduction to developments in five Central Asian nations since they gained their independence from the Soviet Union.


Nissman, David, B.S., Ph.D. President of the Turkic Information Center.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

Turkmens, Caspian Sea, Ashgabat, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR, independent country, largest city, Iran, capital, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, republic, east, official language

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