Turkmenistan is a young independent and neutral state situated in the south-west of Central Asia. Total territory of the country is 491,2 thousand km. Adjacent countries bordering Turkmenistan are as follows; Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are in west-north and north-east, Iran and Afghanistan are in the south and north-east. Total amount of the population accounts for 5,5 million people. 80% of population is Turkmens and 20% is other nationalities.
Ashgabat is the capital of Turkmenistan and was founded in 1881. From 1919 to 1927 it was named as Poltorask then renamed to Ashgabat (according to Arabic translation “eshk” means love “abad” city- city of love). Population of Ashgabat is 800.000 people (2002).
The bulk of the country territory is occupied by the Karakum desert (Central, Zaunguz and north-eastern). In the west a mountainous system of Maly and Bolshoy Balkan is located, in the east- Kopetdagh mountains, in the south – the foothills of Kopetdagh and in the south-east- the foothills of Paropamiz (badkhyz and Karabil areas).
Climate is sharp continental, drought, with hot and dry summer season.
The average temperature in January is +4C, in July +28C.
The first and life time President of neutral and independent Turkmenistan is Saparmurat Turkmenbashi.
Administrative centers: Anau(Akhal velayat), Balkhanabat (Balkan velayat), Turkmenabat (Lebap velayat), Mary (Mary veayat).


Reference from : Tourism Turkmenistan, Ashgabat 2003, no 14, pg15