Turkmenistan is a country located in Central Asia. It borders Afghanistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan’s capital city is Ashgabat. The country was founded by Genghis Khan (1206–1227) during the 11th century as a collection of independent kingdoms under his rule until it unified into one nation under Ataturk (1925). Turkmenistan is known for its rich natural resources such as coal, gold, uranium and copper. The country is also famous for its unique culture including music, literature and art.
Turkmenistan is home to some of the most ancient civilizations in Central Asia: the Turcoman Empire (c. 1000 BC), the Turki Kingdom (c. 750–1050 AD), the Turki Berber Kingdom (1000–1300 AD) and the Turki Derg (1400–1530).
The first European contact with Turkmenistan occurred in 1883 when British explorer John Charles Young visited Turkestan. A year later, American adventurer William Henry Pratt explored the area in search of gold. Both were captured by the Turkish armies. In 1885, the British troops tried to assist John Young’s escape. They demanded the release of John Young in exchange for surrendering Prat and six other British officers.
The British refused to pay the ransom, but it was provided by a secret Native American association in the United States. Prat escaped from the fortress eight months after his capture, he later wrote a famous book about his escape, titled “Escape from Red Hand”.
In the years that followed, Turkmenistan was gradually annexed by Czarist Russia and incorporated into the Soviet Union during the 20th century. In 1924, the province of Turkmenistan became a separate republic within the Soviet system. It remained as such until modern day independence in 1991.
The country is still a one-party authoritarian state controlled by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who implemented a new constitution in February 2017.
Many of the Turkmen people are followers of Nsharrukh, the national religion of the country. Most of them live in rural areas and are known to be simple, hard working and peaceful. The country has a population of about 5 million people, most of them living in the fertile plains or desert areas.
There are different opinions on how to classify the language spoken by the Turkmen people. Some linguists group it under the Kipchak-Bolgar language family while others believe it falls under the Oghuz branch of languages. The first printed book in Turkmen was a religious work called “Jâmi’ ul-Akhbâr” which means “Collected Reports” written by Fârsî scholar Mahmud bin Nâser in the Arabic alphabet in the year 1814. In 1941, the Arabic alphabet was replaced by Latin and in 1993 it was replaced by a modified version of the Latin alphabet. Other written languages used in the country are Russian, Turkish and Gajal.
The city of Krasnovodsk is located on the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border. It was built by Czarist Russia in 1869 to ensure control of the region. The city was visited by several famous explorers such as Przhevalsky, Radde and Sven Hedin. The most interesting thing about the city of Krasnovodsk is its beautiful palace built on top of a hill, which offers a panoramic view of the region. Krasnovodsk is a great place to buy carpets in the bazaar and have a walk around the city.
The Parapamisus Mountains wind along the border between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The highest peak of the range is Mount Arlan at 4,973 meters (16,321 feet). The mountains are a great place for hiking and trekking. There are many caves in the area that are home to several species of bats.
The region experiences a subtropical arid climate and receives very little rainfall. The average temperature ranges from 11°C (52.8°F) in winter to 30°C (86°F) in summer. There is very little vegetation in the mountains, with grass and shrubs being the only plants that grow there. Several rivers flow through the mountains, with the largest being the Amu-Darya River.
The Kyzylkum Desert is located in the south of the country. It is the 15th largest desert on Earth and has a great cultural and historical significance to the country. It is believed that Nisa, a former city located near the current day city of Ashgabat was founded around 2000 years ago in the middle of the desert.
The Caspian Sea is located to the far north of the country. It is the world’s largest inland body of water and the world’s largest lake by surface area. The exact size of the lake is debated because the water is fresh, but the water’s salt concentration is very low, which causes it to be classified as a lake. It has great economic importance because it contains large amounts of crude oil and other petroleum products. The waters also provide great fishing opportunities in the form of sturgeon, herring, and carp.
The lake is bordered by Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.
The Dehleez Canyon is a canyon located in the far north of the country near the city of Serakhs. It is a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful landscape. The canyon features a natural bridge, which is a rock formation that creates a bridge-like formation across the canyon.
The Registan Desert is the 3rd largest desert in Turkmenistan located in the far south of the country. It is a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful landscape and enigmatic qualities. The desert features large sand dunes, rock formations and an oasis in the middle of the desert that has been turned into a park.
The Darvaza Gas Crater is a large burning gas crater located near the city of Derweze. The hole was discovered in 1971 when Soviet scientists were investigating the area for oil. The scientists drill incorrectly and the entire area collapsed, creating a giant hole filled with natural gas. Intense flames jet out from under the earth, which has made the hole an attractive tourist destination for thrill seekers who want to stand at the edge of the crater.
The world’s darkest place is located somewhere in the Köýt Basin in the far south of the country. The basin is a closed depression that does not face directly towards or away from the sun, which makes it very difficult to determine whether it’s night or day. The basin is located far from any towns or sources of light, so once the sun sets and there are no artificial light sources, the basin is plunged into complete darkness.
The Darial Pass is a mountain pass located in the Caucasus Mountains between Russia and Georgia. The pass has great historical and cultural significance to the country because it was through this pass that the ancient Turanian warrior, Togrul, led his people into Scythia and eventually established the Turanian Empire. The pass was also used by Alexander the Great during his campaign against Persia.
The Kopet Dag Mountains are a mountain range located in the far south of the country near the border with Iran. The mountains form a natural barrier between the two nations and are largely uninhabited other than by nomadic tribes of Turcomen.
In the years following the Communist revolution, Tajikistan was one of the four constituent republics of the Soviet Union. Following the events of Operation Barbarossa, the nation became increasingly isolated from the outside world due to the outbreak of the Second World War and was more or less left to its own devices by the USSR. During this time Tajikistan’s mountain ranges formed a natural barrier between itself and the rest of the Soviet Union. The nation was relatively self-sufficient thanks to its large mountain ranges containing numerous metals and other resources. During the Second World War, Stalin considered annexing the nation but ultimately decided against it because of its inaccessibility and self-sufficiency.
Due to its natural isolation Tajikistan was largely left to its own devices following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nation was relatively poor and had little in the way of natural resources or industry to exploit. As a result, it became one of the poorest republics in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Despite its lack of resources, the nation still maintained a strong military which was primarily used to defend its mountainous borders from potential aggressors. For years Tajikistan remained a deeply patriarchal society and was slow to embrace the changing global political order.
There were occasional border disputes with its neighboring states such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the former of which led to several small scale conflicts.
With the outbreak of the Second Bug War, Tajikistan was divided in its support for either side. Most of the nation’s military and government officials supported the Atlantic Defense Community due to their long standing relationship with the Russians. The majority of the population favored the Arat Confederacy out of anti-ISI sentiment and due to religious differences. Having secured the support of the government, ADC forces were able to move across the border with ease during the initial stages of the war. The Tajik military made up the majority of forces during the push through northern Arat.
As a result, the nation received little damage and was able to recoup its losses after the war.
During this time, several underground groups began to speak out against the government and its close ties to the Russians. While most of these were simply intellectuals complaining about the government, others were more extreme and some resorted to violence. The government did not take these groups too seriously at first and ignored them for the most part. With the formation of the Pan-Asian Security Alliance in 2040, Tajikistan became increasingly isolated from the global community. It began leaning even closer to its Russian allies and adopted a more hardline stance towards dissidents.
Tension between the government and dissidents rose throughout the 3040s. By the beginning of the 40s, violence had broken out on a small scale. The government greatly increased its military spending in an effort to crush the dissenters. Due to increased funding, the military was able to modernize and become a much more efficient fighting force. Despite this, they were still unable to crush the dissidents and violence only spread.
The government made some overtures to the newly formed Islamic Caliphate, but nothing ever came of it.
By the beginning of the 50s, the violence was starting to affect the government’s ability to maintain order across the country. The AC did not help matters by continually sending small guerrilla forces over the border to assist the rebels. In addition, a second rebel group had started to gain strength and claimed that the current corrupt leadership of Tajikistan needed to be overthrown.
By the middle of the 50s, Tajikistan was in a state of anarchy. The government had lost all control of the country outside of the capital city. Violent riots were common in even there and it was only due to a large number of military forces being stationed in and around the city that kept it from falling. Rebel forces had also managed to destroy several important petroleum and natural gas fields thus depriving the government of revenue and energy.
The government appealed to the AC for assistance, but the only help they were willing to provide was to send more guerrillas and arms. With no other options, the government turned to Russia for help. The Russians were more than happy to oblige.
Although the Russians claimed to be coming only to assist in restoring order, there were already plans in the works to divide up Tajik territory. Russia occupied the territory that had once been under the greatest control of the Tajik government and managed to retain much of the oil fields. It was here that they setup their military base. Russian forces managed to push the AC out of Tajik territory with little effort and drove deep into Arat. By this time, however, the Caliphate was more than prepared to deal with them.
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