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Turkmenistan History Timeline

Map of Turkmenistan
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Turkmenistan's Information

Flag of Turkmenistan
Land Area 469,930 km2
Water Area 18,170 km2
Total Area 488,100 km2
Population 5,291,317
Population Density 10.84 / km2
Government Type Presidential Republic; Authoritarian
GDP (PPP) $94.72 Billion
GDP Per Capita $17,300
Currency Manat (TMT)
Largest Cities
  • Ashgabat (727,700)
  • Turkmenabat (234,817)
  • Dasoguz (166,500)
  • Mary (114,680)
  • Balkanabat (87,822)
  • Bayramaly (75,797)
  • Turkmenbasy (68,292)
  • Tejen (67,294)
  • Abadan (39,481)
  • Yoloeten (37,705)


  • (600's BC) Turkmenistan was part of Persian Empire created by Cyrus the Great
  • (400's BC) Central Asia was conquered by Alexander the Great
600's AD - 1800's
  • (600's) Central Asia conquered by Arabs, converted to Islam
  • (900 - 1200) Region conquered by Genghis Khan; Mongols, Ohjuz Seljuk tribes immigrated from north
  • (1400 - 1600) Northern part of (present day) Turkmenistan ruled by Uzbed states of Khiva and Bukhara, southern part became under Persian rule
  • (1881) After Battle of Gok Tepe, Turkmenistan was incorporated into Russian Turkestan
  • (1916) Turkmens, Central Asians protested Russian decree conscripting them for non-combatant duties
  • (1921) Turkmenistan formed part of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR)
  • (1925) Turkmenistan became fully-fledged constituent republic of USSR
  • (1920's – 1930's) Protests against Soviet programs of agricultural collectivization, secularization
  • (1948) Earthquake devastated Ashgabat, over 100,000 killed
  • (1990 - 1967) Following completion of Karakum Canal, cotton production expanded in Turkmenistan
  • (1985) Saparmyrat Niyazov became leader of Turkmen Communist Party
  • (1989) Turkmen opposition set up Agzybirlik people's front
  • (1990) Turkmen Communist Party banned Agzybirlik people's front
  • (1990) Turkmen Parliament declared sovereignty, Saparmyrat Niyazov elected chairman
  • (1991) Saparmyrat Niyazov supported attempted coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader
  • (1991) Turkmenistan declared independence just before collapse of USSR, joined the Commonwealth of Independent States
  • (1992) New constitution adopted, president became head of government and head of state
  • (1992) Saparmyrat Niyazov re-elected
  • (1993) Manat introduced as national currency, economic reform began, foreign investment in oil and gas reserves encouraged
  • (1994) Saparmyrat Niyazov's term extended until 2002 by a referendum
  • (1997) Private ownership of land legalized
  • (1998) Natural gas pipline to Iran opened
  • (1999) Saparmyrat Niyazov voted president for life by Parliament
  • (1999) Death penalty abolished
  • (2000) President Niyazov announced he would step down by 2010, when he reached the age of 70
  • (2000) Plans for artificial lake to be built in Karakum desert announced. Scientists warned the plan could wreck the local environment
  • (2002) President Niyazov renamed the months of the year after his mother, a book he authored, the Ruhnama, and himself
  • (2002) President Niyazov's motorcade fired upon in capital by mercenaries acting for exiled opposition leaders, no injuries
  • (2002) Boris Shikhmuradov, opposition activist and former foreign minister, arrested for masterminding attack on President Niyazov's motorcade, sentenced to life imprisonment, 40 others convicted and jailed
  • (2003) Agreement signed with Russian Gazprom, Russia would buy 60bn cubic meters of Turkmen gas annually
  • (2003) 1993 dual citizenship agreement with Russia was cancelled, diplomatic row with Russia followed
  • (2004) President ordered giant ice palace to be built in the desert
  • (2004) Agreement on water resources, declaration of friendship signed by Turkmen and Uzbek presidents
  • (2005) Deputy Prime Minister Elly Kurbanmuradov, senior figure in energy sector was fired, jailed for 25 years on corruption charges
  • (2005) Head of presidential administration, Rejep Saparov, fired, sentenced to jail for 20 years on corruption charges
  • (2006) Substantial cuts to state pensions ordered by President Niyazov
  • (2006) Agreement signed with Beijing to build pipeline to supply Turkmen gas to China
  • (2006) Gazprom in Russia agreed to pay 54% more for Turkmen gas supplies
  • (2006) President Niyazov died of heart failure
  • (2007) Kurbanguly Berdmukhamedov won presidential election
  • (2007) Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan agreed to build new pipeline north of Caspian Sea
  • (2008) Gas supplies to Iran were cut by Turkmenistan, blamed technical problem and failure to pay by Iran. Iran accused Turkmenistan of wanting to double price
  • (2008) Turkmenistan reverted to traditional Georgian calendar
  • (2008) New constitution approved, included new larger, directly-elected Parliament, mulit-party system
  • (2008) First elections held under new constitution
  • (2009) Turkmenistan cut imports to Russia following explosion on main gas pipeline. Turkmenistan blamed Russia.
  • (2009) Pipeline for gas exports to China opened
  • (2010) Second gas pipeline to Iran opened
  • (2010) Turkmenistan agreed to supply up to 40bn cubic meters of gas annually for Nabucco pipeline
  • (2011) Explosion of stores of fireworks in Abadan caused widespread casualties and mass evacuation
  • (2011) Auditors confirmed Turkmenistan holds world's second largest gas field
  • (2012) President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov won new five-year term in presidential elections

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