Republic of Turkmenistan
Political Status: Turkmenian districts of former Bukhara and Khorezm republics added to autonomous Turkistan Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on October 27, 1924; became constituent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on May 12, 1925; declared independence as Republic of Turkmenistan on October 27, 1991; present constitution adopted May 18, 1992.
Area: 188,456 sq. mi. (488,100 sq. km.).
Population: 4,483,251 (1995C); 4,905,000 (2006E).
Major Urban Center (2005E): ASHGABAT (ASHKHABAD, 559,000).
Official Language: Turkmen.
Monetary Unit: Manat (official rate November 2, 2007: 5,148 manats = $1US).
President and Prime Minister: Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMMEDOV (Democratic Party of Turkmenistan); elevated from deputy prime minister to acting president and prime minister on December 21, 2006, following the death of Gen. Saparmurad Atayevich NIYAZOV (Saparmyrat NYYAZOW; ...