What is the Capital of Turkmenistan? Ashgabat is the capital of Turkmenistan. The city is also the largest city in Turkmenistan at the same time.
Ashgabat is located 26 km from the Iranian border south of the country. The other name of the city, which is established in an abundance on an oasis in the middle of the desert is “City of Love”.
When did Ashgabat Become the Capital?
Ashgabat began to develop around a Russian Army Base in the region in 1881. The connection to the Trans-Caspian Railway led to the connection of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the Caspian Sea, which resulted in the city’s continuous expansion from 1885. Between 1919-1927 the name of the city was ‘Poltorazk’.
In 1924 Ashgabat became the capital of Turkmenistan in the Soviet Union. As a result of the devastating earthquake of October 5, 1948, the city was totally damaged and rebuilt later. In 1962 Ashgabat’s connection to the Karakum Canal was made. This water channel is one of the longest water channels in the world and has connection to the Amu Darya River which flows 600 kilometers from the east.
On October 27, 1991, Ashgabat became the capital city by declaring Turkmenistan its independence.
Features of Ashgabat
Ashgabat has a population of 1.03 million according to the 2012 data. The surface area is 440 square kilometers. There is a hard land climate in the city. Temperatures vary greatly between days and years. In the seasonal periods, sandstorms are widespread in Iran and Afghanistan. Ashgabat’s annual average temperature is 15.4 degrees.
The city has a harbor and an international airport, and is also an important industrial center. Especially Machinery, Electrotechnical, Textile and Food industries are important.
The city is Turkmenistan’s industry (window glass, all kinds of glassware, cotton, silk fabric, agricultural tools, canned food) and culture center (Academy of Sciences, university, medicine, agriculture schools, film studios). 50% of the city’s population consists of Russians, 30% are native Turkmen, and the rest are ethnic communities (Uzbek, Tatar, Ukrainian, etc.).
Important Places to See in Ashgabat
There are many monuments in the city. The reason for the existence of so many monuments is the desire to convey the feeling of freedom after Turkmenistan’s independence to future generations. The most important monuments and sculptures are; “Neutrality Monument” monument, “Turkmenbashi” Saparmurat Niyazov’s gold-plated sculpture, Earthquake Memorial, A Monument of Akhal-Teke Horses. The National Museum of History and the National Museum of Ethnography are two institutions exhibiting Turkmen culture.
The Presidential Palace is also a must see in Independence Square. Kipchak Mosque, which is the biggest mosque in Central Asia, opened its worship in 2004. The mosque, built entirely from marble, has an area of 18 thousand square meters. The walls rise to 55, four minarets rise to 80 meters. There is a cemetery next to the old Turkmen leader Niyazov. All of this kind of Niyazov family lies in the form of a mausoleum. Tolkuchka Bazaar in Ashgabat, 8 km north of the city, is definitely one of the places to visit.