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Turkmenistan 2024



At a community gathering in Anau, a small city near Turkmenistan’s capital of Ashgabat, some of the participants step outside after a feast to enjoy the dappled afternoon sunlight. They have come dressed in their best to celebrate the community’s accomplishments of the past year. Their clothing reflects Turkmenistan’s traditional women’s wear: long-sleeved caftan-like dresses finely decorated with braid or with geometric or floral embroidery at the neck and wrists, and complemented by flowing headscarves that are typically tied at the back of the head and covering a small traditional style of cap.

John Donelson © 2019
PCV Ghana 1965–1966
Secondary School Math & Science Teacher


Central Asia

Area 188K mi2; 488K km2

Arable 4%

Population 5.7 (30/mi²; 12/km²)

Gov’t Presidential republic; authoritarian

Capital Ashgabat (902K)

GCP/Capita $15,000

Unemployment 5%

In Poverty 0.2%

Infant Mortality 37/1K live births (36th)

Life expectancy 72 yrs

Median Age 29 yrs

Literacy 100%

Languages Turkmen (official), Uzbek, Russian, other

Religions Muslim 93%, Christian 6%, other/unspecified 1%

Health 6% of GDP

Education 3% of GDP (158th)

Military 2% of GDP (70th)

Labor Force Agriculture 48%, industry 13%, services 38%

PCVs 1993–2013 CURRENT: 27, TTD: 734

Adult Books

Unknown Sands: Journeys Around the World’s Most Isolated Country
By John W. Kropf

Genre: Nonfiction, travelogue
Publisher: Dusty Spark (2006)
ISBN-10: 0976356511
ISBN-13: 978-0976356516

Long thought of as a vast and fearsome desert virtually impenetrable by outsiders but now known for its vast wealth of natural gas reserves, Turkmenistan remains largely veiled in mystery. While working there as the Country Director for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the author resolves to lift that veil at least partially by exploring the country’s length and breadth. His very personal story of discovery includes accounts of Turkmenistan’s tumultuous and intriguing history along the ancient Silk Road to broaden the context of his eye-witness present-day profiles of the land and its people.

"Kropf's peek at this isolated corner of a shrinking world is a fascinating narrative bound to hook adventurers." (Publishers Weekly)

Kids' Books

Cultures of the World: Turkmenistan
By MaryLee Knowlton

Format: HC/LB 144 pts.; col. Illus & maps
ISBN-13: 0761420142
ISBN-13: 978-0-76142-014-9
Age Range: 10–13 yrs / Grades 7–9
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish/Benchmark, Rye Brook, NY, 2006

Examines the geography, history, government, and economy of Turkmenistan along with the lifestyle, religion, language, festivals, and foods common among the country's people.


Film: Çapar (Courier)
Genre: Historial drama
Director: Wepa Isangulyyew
Country: Turkmenistan
Release Date: 2022
Language: Turkmen
Run Time: 2 hr 20 minutes

A young man sets off on a long journey, on the orders of the Turkmen ruler. Many adventures, trials, and exciting enounters await him.


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