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Turkmenistan is a Turkic country in Central Asia. The name Turkmenistan is derived from Persian, meaning "land of the Turkmen". The name of its capital, Ashgabat, derived from Persian as well, loosely translating as "the city of love". Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the southwest, Uzbekistan to the northeast, Kazakhstan to the northwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west. According to CIA World Factbook 2006 figures, Turkmenistan ranks 5th in the world for GDP growth rate. Although it is wealthy in natural resources in certain areas, most of the country is covered by the Karakum (Black Sands) Desert. It has a single-party system, and was ruled by President for Life SaparmuratNiyazov until 21 December 2006, when he died of cardiac arrest. Presidential elections were held on 11 February 2007. GurbangulyBerdimuhammedow was declared the winner with 89% of the vote. He was sworn in on 14 February 2007.
At 188,457 mi² (488,100 km²), Turkmenistan is the world's 52nd-largest country. It is slightly smaller than Spain, and somewhat larger than the US state of California.
Over 80% of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert. The center of the country is dominated by the Turan Depression and the Karakum Desert. The Kopet Dag Range, along the southwestern border, reaches 2,912 meters (9,553 ft). The Turkmen Balkan Mountains in the far west and the Kugitang Range in the far east are the only other significant elevations. Rivers include the Amu Darya, the Murghab, and the Tejen.
The climate mostly consists of an arid subtropical desert, with little rainfall. Winters are mild and dry, with most precipitation falling between January and May. The area of the country with the heaviest precipitation is the Kopet Dag range.
The Turkmen shore along the Caspian Sea is 1768 km long. The Caspian Sea is entirely landlocked, with no access to the ocean.
The major cities include Ashgabat, Türkmenba?y (formerly Krasnovodsk) and Da?oguz.
Turkmen Domain Country Information Turkmen Domain Registrar Turkmen World Wide Domain Registration Turkmen Country Code Top Level Domain .tm Domain Information Turkmen Country Information Turkmenistan Country Information