Top 10 facts about Turkmenistan
Yesterday was Independence Day in Turkmenistan, celebrating the 25th anniversary of its independence from the Soviet Union on October 27, 1991. Daily Express marked 10 interesting facts about the country for its readers.
1. Bordering Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iran, Turkmenistan is 80 per cent covered in desert.
2. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow is its President. Hery Rajaonarimampianina of Madagascar is the world’s only president with a longer surname.
3. There is a carpet museum in the capital, Ashgabat, with over 1,000 different carpets.
4. Russia, Iran and Qatar are the only countries with more natural gas reserves than Turkmenistan.
5. Until 1929 Turkmen was written in Arabic script; from 1929-1938 they used the Latin alphabet; from 1939-1991 Cyrillic (Russian) was used, and since 1991, a Latin alphabet again.
6. Almost 90 per cent of workers are employed by the government.
7. The population density of Turkmenistan is only 11 people per square kilometre.
8. “Roll out your carpet and I shall read your soul,” (Turkemnistan saying).
9. Turkmenistan exports over 41 billion cubic metres of gas every year.
10. Since 1993 free gas, electricity and water were supplied to citizens of Turkmenistan. Since 1994 however some restrictions have been in place.