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Turkmenistan 2014



In a small village in eastern Turkmenistan, six-year-old Ay`jan nervously smiles as she rides her family’s donkey for the first time. With the guidance of her grand­mother she is taking her favorite cow, Gyzyl, out to the field to graze.
Turkmenistan was once an important stop on the Silk Road. This historically nomadic country is made up of five tribes and family ties are still very important. Elaborate marble buildings and palaces are scattered across the capital city, and yet many Turkmens still use the simple means of transportation of a cart and donkey.
Photo © 2011 Summer Leeper
Peace Corps Volunteer, Turkmenistan 2008-2010

Central Asia

Area 488,100 km2 (RANK 53)

Arable 4.5%

Capital Ashgabat (637K)

Population 5,054,828 (10/km2)

Literacy 99%

Life expectancy 69 yrs

HIV/AIDS <0.1% (> 200 adults)

In poverty 30%

Military 3.4% of GDP (RANK 34 of 195)

Languages Turkmen 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%

Religions Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%

Gov’t Presidential Republic

GDP/capita $8,500

Agriculture cotton, grain, melons, livestock

Industry gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber

PCVs 1993-2013, TTD 734

Adult Books

Sacred Horses, The Memoirs of a Turkmen CowboySacred Horses, The Memoirs of a Turkmen Cowboy
by Jonathan Maslow, 1994

Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (March 15, 1994)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0679408758

Book Description
Natu­ralist/filmmaker, Maslow, profiles the dedication of owners/breeders and their struggles to preserve the fabled, once endangered Akhal-Teke horses.

Kids' Books

Waiting for the Owl’s Call
by Gloria Whelan

Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1585364183
Age Range: 5-8 years
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press, 2009


Film: Karakum
Directors: Arend Agthe; Uzmann Saparov (1994)

Documentary: Shadow of the Holy Book
Director: Arto Halonen (2006)

Documentary: Turkmenistan – Christmas in Ashgabat
Producer: BBC Radio 3 (2005)

Documentary: Black Sands
Also see review at IMDB
Director: Anastasis Agathos (2008)

Focus Word

Focus Word for 2014 - "Home"

Turkmen (official): oy (oy)
Russian: dom (dohm)

Copyright © Julie Olsen

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