Physical situation of the country
Formal name: Turkmenistan.
Short name: Turkmenistan.
Term for Citizens: Turkmenistani(s).
Date of Independence: October 27th, 1991
Area: 488,100 square kilometres.
Topography: 80% of the territory are plains with dominating deserts and 20% is occupied with mountains; the biggest rivers are the Amu-Darya and the Murghab.
Climate: Sharply continental, hot summer and cold winter; humidity is low.
Population: 5 million people in 2010; growth rate is 1.85% a year; 45% of population is urban and 55% is rural; population comprises more than 100 nationalities (tribes), 77% of the population are Turkmen.
Language: Turkmen is official language, but Russian is still commonly used.
Religion: Sunni Muslims - 85 %, other -15%.
Education: Compulsory 7 years education.
Major industries: Natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing, cotton, grain, and livestock.
Main trading partners: CIS, Hong Kong, Switzerland, US, Germany, Turkey, and Cyprus.
Ecology: There is a number of serious environmental problems, such as desertification, contamination of soil and water.
Health: Medical care is limited; however some efficient private practices have been introduced recently.
Culture: Turkmenistan has priceless archaeological finds; lots of historical monuments; traditional handicrafts and famous Turkmen carpets.
Popular tourist destinations: Ashgabat, Kunya Urgench, Merv (Mary) Oasis, Kugitang Nature Reserve, Repetek Biosphere Reserve.