Turkmenistan is a desert country situated in Central Asia. Bordered by the Caspian Sea, Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, this country was once part of the Soviet Republic. Since its independence in 1991, the country has remained isolated and impoverished.

Turkmenistan has rich natural gas reserves, but corrupt government leaders have kept most of the wealth for themselves. People here lack basic resources, such as health care and education.

Image of  Marble building city in Turkmenistan

Fun Facts

  • 5.1 million people live in Turkmenistan.
  • Turkmenistan has 188,456 square miles of land.
  • Arabic and Kurdish are the official languages.
  • The life expectancy in Turkmenistan is 59 years.


  1. Isolated: separate, apart
  2. Impoverished: poor; without resources
  3. Corrupt: greedy, dishonest

Learn More

Visit National Geographic to learn more about Turkmenistan .

Extra Credit

Question: Does Turkmenistan have ethnic conflicts like many other countries in the region?

Answer: Turkmenistan still has a nomadic tribal culture, but the people are peaceful for the most part.