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Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia. It has a population of 5,171,943 and a territory of 488,100 square kilometers (the second largest in Central Asia after that of Kazakhstan); it is bordered by Kazakhstan on the northwest, Uzbekistan on the northeast, Afghanistan on the southeast, Iran on the south, and the Caspian Sea on the west. Turkmenistan was a Union republic of the Soviet Union until October 1991, when it declared independence. The country has the world’s fourth-largest natural gas reserves. Its capital is Ashgabat. This entry reviews Turkmenistan’s history, including conflicts and conquests, and its status in the contemporary post-Soviet world and current security threats.

History of Turkmenistan

Until the Russian conquest of Central Asia in the 19th century, the Turkmens were fundamentally organized as ...

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