The Republic of Turkmenistan is a country in central Asia.
It has an area of 188,456 square miles (488,100) square kilometers.
More than 70% of Turkmenistan is made up of the plains of the Karakum Desert, one of the largest expanses of sand on Earth. The Karakum desert is full of barchans, shifting, crescent-shaped sand dunes. It is an extremely inhospitable place.
In the west of Turkmenistan are the Caspian Sea plains.
The Amu Darya River valley is in the north and the foothills of the Kopet Dag mountains are in the south.
Turkmenistan has a dry climate that ranges from very hot to very cold.
The capital of Turkmenistan is Ashgabat.
5,110,000 people live in Turkmenistan.
77% are Turkmen, 9% are Uzbek, 7% are Russian, 2% are Kazakh and 1% are Tatar.
The official language of Turkmenistan is Turkmen. Other languages spoken are Uzbek, Russian, Kazakh and Tatar.
87% of the people are Sunni Muslim and 11% are Christian Orthodox.
Income primarily comes from agriculture, oil and natural gas.
Irrigation is essential for agriculture.
The Karakum Canal in Turkmenistan, which runs from the Amu Darya River to the Caspian Sea, is used for irrigation. It can also be navigated for 280 miles (450 kilometers).
Cotton is the main crop.
The most important exports are natural gas,oil and cotton.
Turkmenistan is a one party state.
It became independent in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Previously, it was an Islamic republic of the Soviet Union, along with the other Islamic republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The official currency of Turkmenistan is the Manat, which is equal to 100 tenge.