General information about Turkmenistan
On October 27, 1991, Turkmenistan became an independent State, and since then this date has been marked as the Independence Day. On December 12, 1995, Turkmenistan was recognized as a permanently neutral State by the resolution of the UN General Assembly with the unanimous support of 185 member States. At present Turkmenistan has established diplomatic relations with 142 countries.
Turkmenistan is a democratic, law-based, secular State. The form of government is a Presidential republic. The political structure of the Turkmen state is formed in accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan, adopted on May 18, 1992 (the revised on September 14, 2016). The Сonstitution of Turkmenistan is the basic law of the State. According to that law, Turkmenistan’s state structure is based on the principle of separation of powers into legislative, executive and judicial branches which act independently and balance each other. Constitutionally fixed norms and provisions are directly applicable. Laws and other legal acts that contradict the Constitution have no legal force.
The people of Turkmenistan is the bearer of sovereignty and the sole source of State power.
The State guarantees the freedom of religions and confessions and their equality before the law. Religious organizations are separate from the State and may not interfere in State affairs or fulfil state functions. The public education system is separate from religious organizations and is secular.
The President of Turkmenistan is the highest official of Turkmenistan. He is the Head of the State and executive power. The President of Turkmenistan chairs the Cabinet of Ministers – the Government of Turkmenistan. The President of Turkmenistan is the guarantor of the country’s independence and neutral status of Turkmenistan, its territorial integrity; of respect for the Constitution; and of fulfilment of international obligations. The President of Turkmenistan is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan.
Legislative power is exercised by the supreme representative body – the Mejlis (Parliament) of Turkmenistan, which consists of 125 deputies, elected in accordance with the territorial election districts for a term of 5 years. The elections of the deputies of the Mejlis are carried out by the citizens of Turkmenistan on the basis of nationwide, equal and direct electoral law by secret ballot on alternative platforms.
Judicial power in Turkmenistan resides solely in the courts. The judicial branch is meant to safeguard the rights and freedoms of citizens and the legally protected interests of the State and society.
The territory of Turkmenistan covers 491, 21 thousand sq km. Its territory stretches for 1100 km from west to east and extends for 650 km from north to south. In the north Turkmenistan borders with the Republic of Kazakhstan, in the north-east and in the east Turkmenistan shares borders with the Republic of Uzbekistan, in the south-east Turkmenistan borders with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and in the south – with the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the west the country’s natural boundary is the Caspian Sea, through which Turkmenistan borders with the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The population of Turkmenistan is more than 6.2 million people. Turkmenistan is a multinational state. There are more than 100 nations and ethnic groups living in the country.
The Turkmen language is the state language. The use of their native language is guaranteed to all citizens of Turkmenistan. The educational institutions of Turkmenistan ensure learning of three languages – Turkmen, English and Russian. In addition, the higher educational institutions and some specialized secondary schools include study of French, Chinese, German, Japanese and some other foreign languages.
The national currency is manat, put into circulation on November 1, 1993. Currently, the ratio of the national currency to a freely convertible currency is: 3,50 manats = 1 US dollar.
Administrative and territorial structure
The capital city of Turkmenistan is Ashgabat, which is an administrative and territorial unit with province-wide powers (velayat). Ashgabat consists of 6 districts (etraps): Bagtyyarlyk district, Berkararlyk district, Kopetdag district, Archabil district, Abadan district and Rukhabat district.
Turkmenistan is divided into 5 provinces – Ahal, Balkan, Dashoguz, Lebap and Mary. Each province is divided into districts. There are 50 districts, 24 towns, including 15 towns district-wide, 76 villages and 553 rural councils (rural municipal units) and 1903 rural settlements in Turkmenistan.
The major national holidays:
New Year – January 1;
Day of the State Flag of Turkmenistan – February 19;
International Women’s Day – March 8;
National Spring Holiday – March 21-22;
Victory Day – May 9;
the Day of the Constitution and the Day of Revival, Unity and Poetry of Magtymguly – May 18;
National Commemoration Day – October 6;
Turkmenistan’s Independence Day - October 27-28;
National Holiday of Turkmenistan – the Day of Neutrality – December 12.
Specific dates of annually marked holidays Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr are determined in accordance with the decrees of the President of Turkmenistan.
The most important area of social policy is also the development of tourism. The main task of the State Committee on Tourism of Turkmenistan is to promote international tourism as the most profitable areas of the tourism industry. New tourist routes will be opened in order to attract more foreign tourists, as well as measures are taken to improve the quality of services.
In the practice of tourism enterprises of Turkmenistan more than 200 hiking trails, intended for local and foreign tourists. We are working on the development of new routes and the inclusion of new routes in the existing facilities. This activity covers, in particular, the National Tourist Zone "Avaza", the attractions of Koytendag district, the Karakum desert, the canyon of Sumbar and others.
To date, three major sites of historical and architectural significance - Kunyaurgench, Merv and Nisa - included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Each of them is a huge cultural and scientific value and all of them have long been favorite places for foreign visitors. In the future, necessary steps will be taken in order to include amazing sites of Koytendag and other natural sites to the list of the UNESCO’s world legacy. In this regard, the relevant work is carried out on the improvement of natural scenic corners Koytendag in order to create favorable conditions for tourists - for the construction of hotels and other providing systems.
Turkmenistan has several times given entries in the Guinness Book of Records. In particular, the country first was noted in the Book of Records for the world's largest handmade carpet area of 301 sq.m. Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat is recognized as the white marble city in the world. The list of world records are included other sights of the Turkmen capital - the world's tallest flagpole in front of the National Museum of Turkmenistan, sculptural complex "Oguzhan" locate at the entrance to the international airport of Ashgabat and a huge star of Oguz Khan Broadcasting Center "Turkmenistan" and the wheel Ferris Ashgabat cultural and entertainment center «Älem».