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Turkmenistan vs. Kazakhstan

Introduction

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
BackgroundPresent-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. The area was ruled in antiquity by various Persian empires, and was conquered by Alexander the Great, Muslim armies, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. In medieval times, Merv (located in present-day Mary province) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russia in the late 1800s, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic; it achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited, have begun to transform the country. The Government of Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects and has attempted to diversify its gas export routes beyond Russia's pipeline network. In 2010, new gas export pipelines that carry Turkmen gas to China and to northern Iran began operating, effectively ending the Russian monopoly on Turkmen gas exports. In 2016, Russia and Iran halted their purchase of gas from Turkmenistan making China the only buyer of Turkmen gas. President for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy cabinet chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president. He was reelected in 2012 and again in 2017 with over 97% of the vote in both instances, in elections widely regarded as undemocratic.
"Ethnic Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated to the region by the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation. The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th century, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1936. Soviet policies reduced the number of ethnic Kazakhs in the 1930s and enabled non-ethnic Kazakhs to outnumber natives. During the 1950s and 1960s agricultural ""Virgin Lands"" program, Soviet citizens were encouraged to help cultivate Kazakhstan's northern pastures. This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) further skewed the ethnic mixture. Non-Muslim ethnic minorities departed Kazakhstan in large numbers from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s and a national program has repatriated about a million ethnic Kazakhs back to Kazakhstan. These trends have allowed Kazakhs to become the titular majority again. This dramatic demographic shift has also undermined the previous religious diversity and made the country more than 70% Muslim. Kazakhstan's economy is larger than those of all the other Central Asian states largely due to the country's vast natural resources. Current issues include: developing a cohesive national identity, expanding the development of the country's vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets, diversifying the economy, enhancing Kazakhstan's economic competitiveness, and strengthening relations with neighboring states and foreign powers.
"

Geography

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
LocationCentral Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural (Zhayyq) River in easternmost Europe
Geographic coordinates40 00 N, 60 00 E
48 00 N, 68 00 E
Map referencesAsia
Asia
Areatotal: 488,100 sq km
land: 469,930 sq km
water: 18,170 sq km
total: 2,724,900 sq km
land: 2,699,700 sq km
water: 25,200 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly more than three times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than California
slightly less than four times the size of Texas
Land boundariestotal: 4,158 km
border countries (4): Afghanistan 804 km, Iran 1,148 km, Kazakhstan 413 km, Uzbekistan 1,793 km
total: 13,364 km
border countries (5): China 1,765 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,212 km, Russia 7,644 km, Turkmenistan 413 km, Uzbekistan 2,330 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked); note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)
0 km (landlocked); note - Kazakhstan borders the Aral Sea, now split into two bodies of water (1,070 km), and the Caspian Sea (1,894 km)
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
none (landlocked)
Climatesubtropical desert
continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid
Terrainflat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west
vast flat steppe extending from the Volga in the west to the Altai Mountains in the east and from the plains of western Siberia in the north to oases and deserts of Central Asia in the south
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 230 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya -81 m (Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water level that fluctuates above and below the elevation of Vpadina Akchanaya, the lake has dropped as low as -110 m)
highest point: Gora Ayribaba 3,139 m
mean elevation: 387 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Vpadina Kaundy -132 m
highest point: Khan Tangiri Shyngy (Pik Khan-Tengri) 6,995 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium
Land useagricultural land: 72%
arable land 4.1%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 67.8%
forest: 8.8%
other: 19.2% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 77.4%
arable land 8.9%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 68.5%
forest: 1.2%
other: 21.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land19,950 sq km (2012)
20,660 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsNA
earthquakes in the south; mudslides around Almaty
Environment - current issuescontamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, water logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish the Aral Sea; desertification
radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with former defense industries and test ranges scattered throughout the country pose health risks for humans and animals; industrial pollution is severe in some cities; because the two main rivers that flowed into the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, it is drying up and leaving behind a harmful layer of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then picked up by the wind and blown into noxious dust storms; pollution in the Caspian Sea; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - notelandlocked; the western and central low-lying desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateau
world's largest landlocked country; Russia leases approximately 6,000 sq km of territory enclosing the Baykonur Cosmodrome; in January 2004, Kazakhstan and Russia extended the lease to 2050
Population distributionthe most densly populated areas are the southern, eastern, and northeastern oases; approximately 50% of the population lives in and around the capital of Ashgabat
most of the country displays a low population density, particularly the interior; population clusters appear in urban agglomerations in the far northern and southern portions of the country

Demographics

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Population5,291,317 (July 2016 est.)
18,360,353 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 25.95% (male 695,752/female 677,166)
15-24 years: 19.04% (male 506,856/female 500,647)
25-54 years: 42.86% (male 1,125,058/female 1,142,870)
55-64 years: 7.59% (male 189,464/female 212,330)
65 years and over: 4.56% (male 105,140/female 136,034) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 25.68% (male 2,336,444/female 2,378,769)
15-24 years: 14.66% (male 1,371,133/female 1,319,938)
25-54 years: 42.5% (male 3,808,164/female 3,994,781)
55-64 years: 9.77% (male 784,035/female 1,008,935)
65 years and over: 7.4% (male 470,485/female 887,669) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 27.5 years
male: 27 years
female: 28 years (2016 est.)
total: 30.3 years
male: 29 years
female: 31.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.13% (2016 est.)
1.09% (2016 est.)
Birth rate19.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
18.7 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 0.94 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.78 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.53 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 35.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 42.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 20.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 70.1 years
male: 67.1 years
female: 73.3 years (2016 est.)
total population: 70.8 years
male: 65.6 years
female: 75.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.08 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.28 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
0.21% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Turkmen(s)
adjective: Turkmen
noun: Kazakhstani(s)
adjective: Kazakhstani
Ethnic groupsTurkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)
Kazakh (Qazaq) 63.1%, Russian 23.7%, Uzbek 2.9%, Ukrainian 2.1%, Uighur 1.4%, Tatar 1.3%, German 1.1%, other 4.4% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
23,100 (2015 est.)
ReligionsMuslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%
Muslim 70.2%, Christian 26.2% (mainly Russian Orthodox), other 0.2%, atheist 2.8%, unspecified 0.5% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
500 (2015 est.)
LanguagesTurkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
"Kazakh (official, Qazaq) 74% (understand spoken language), Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the ""language of interethnic communication"") 94.4% (understand spoken language) (2009 est.)
"
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.6% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2014)
total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2016)
Education expenditures3% of GDP (2012)
3.1% of GDP (2009)
Urbanizationurban population: 50% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.94% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 53.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.86% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 89.1% of population
rural: 53.7% of population
total: 71.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10.9% of population
rural: 46.3% of population
total: 28.9% of population (2012 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.4% of population
rural: 85.6% of population
total: 92.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.6% of population
rural: 14.4% of population
total: 7.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 98.2% of population
total: 99.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 1.8% of population
total: 0.9% of population (2012 est.)
improved:
urban: 97% of population
rural: 98.1% of population
total: 97.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 3% of population
rural: 1.9% of population
total: 2.5% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationASHGABAT (capital) 746,000 (2015)
Almaty 1.523 million; ASTANA (capital) 759,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate42 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
12 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight9.2% (2006)
3.7% (2011)
Health expenditures2.1% of GDP (2014)
4.4% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density2.29 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
3.27 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density4 beds/1,000 population (2012)
7.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate18.8% (2014)
23.5% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth24.6 years (2006 est.)
25 years (2013 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 47.9
youth dependency ratio: 41.7
elderly dependency ratio: 6.1
potential support ratio: 16.3 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 50.3
youth dependency ratio: 40.1
elderly dependency ratio: 10.1
potential support ratio: 9.9 (2015 est.)

Government

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Country name"conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Turkmenistan
local long form: none
local short form: Turkmenistan
former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: the suffix ""-stan"" means ""place of"" or ""country,"" so Turkmenistan literally means the ""Land of the Turkmen [people]""
"
"conventional long form: Republic of Kazakhstan
conventional short form: Kazakhstan
local long form: Qazaqstan Respublikasy
local short form: Qazaqstan
former: Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: the name ""Kazakh"" derives from the Turkic word ""kaz"" meaning ""to wander,"" recalling the Kazakh's nomadic lifestyle; the Persian suffix ""-stan"" means ""place of"" or ""country,"" so the word Kazakhstan literally means ""Land of the Wanderers""
"
Government typepresidential republic; authoritarian
presidential republic
Capitalname: Ashgabat (Ashkhabad)
geographic coordinates: 37 57 N, 58 23 E
time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Astana
geographic coordinates: 51 10 N, 71 25 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
note: Kazakhstan has two time zones
Administrative divisions5 provinces (welayatlar, singular - welayat) and 1 independent city*: Ahal Welayaty (Anew), Ashgabat*, Balkan Welayaty (Balkanabat), Dashoguz Welayaty, Lebap Welayaty (Turkmenabat), Mary Welayaty
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
14 provinces (oblyslar, singular - oblys) and 2 cities* (qalalar, singular - qala); Almaty (Taldyqorghan), Almaty*, Aqmola (Kokshetau), Aqtobe, Astana*, Atyrau, Batys Qazaqstan [West Kazakhstan] (Oral), Mangghystau (Aqtau), Ongtustik Qazaqstan [South Kazakhstan] (Shymkent), Pavlodar, Qaraghandy, Qostanay, Qyzylorda, Shyghys Qazaqstan [East Kazakhstan] (Oskemen), Soltustik Qazaqstan [North Kazakhstan] (Petropavl), Zhambyl (Taraz)
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses); in 1995, the Governments of Kazakhstan and Russia entered into an agreement whereby Russia would lease for a period of 20 years an area of 6,000 sq km enclosing the Baykonur space launch facilities and the city of Bayqongyr (Baykonur, formerly Leninsk); in 2004, a new agreement extended the lease to 2050
Independence27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holidayIndependence Day, 27 October (1991)
Independence Day, 16 December (1991)
Constitutionhistory: adopted 18 May 1992
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the total Assembly membership or absolute majority approval in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2008; note - in mid-2014, the president established a Constitutional Commission to initiate a process for developing constitutional reforms (2017)
history: previous 1937, 1978 (preindependence), 1993; latest approved by referendum 30 August 1995, effective 5 September 1995
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic on the recommendation of Parliament or the government; the president has the option of submitting draft amendments to Parliament or directly to a referendum; passage of amendments to Parliament requires three-fourths majority vote of both houses and the signature of the president; passage by referendum requires absolute majority vote by more than one-half of the voters in at least two-thirds of the oblasts, major cities, and the capital, followed by the signature of the president; amended several times, last in 2017 (2017)
Legal systemcivil law system with Islamic law influences
civil law system influenced by Roman-Germanic law and by the theory and practice of the Russian Federation
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held in February 2024)
election results: Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW reelected president; percent of vote - Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW 97.7%, other candidates 2.3%
"chief of state: President Nursultan Abishuly NAZARBAYEV (chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 22 February 1990, elected president 1 December 1991)
head of government: Prime Minister Bakytzhan SAGINTAYEV (since 9 September 2016); First Deputy Prime Minister Askar MAMIN (since 13 September 2016)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 April 2015 (next to be held in 2020); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president, approved by the Mazhilis; note - constitutional amendments in May 2007 shortened the presidential term from 7 to 5 years and established a 2-consecutive-term limit; NAZARBAYEV has official status as the ""First President of Kazakhstan"" and is allowed unlimited terms
election results: Nursultan Abishuly NAZARBAYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Nursultan Abishuly NAZARBAYEV (Nur Otan) 97.8%, other 2.2%
"
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Mejlis (125 seats; members directly elected from single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 15 December 2013 (next to be held in December 2018), although interim elections are held on an ad hoc basis to fill vacant sets
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 47, Organization of Trade and Unions of Turkmenistan 33, Women's Union of Turkmenistan 16, Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs 14, Magtymguly Youth Organization 8, independents 7; note - all of these parties support President BERDIMUHAMIDOW
description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (47 seats; 32 members indirectly elected by majority two-round vote by the oblast-level assemblies and 15 members appointed by the president; members serve 6-year terms, with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years) and the Mazhilis (107 seats; 98 members directly elected in a single national constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms and 9 indirectly elected by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, a 350-member, presidentially appointed advisory body designed to represent the country's ethnic minorities)
elections: Senate - last held on 1 October 2014 (next to be held in 2017); Mazhilis - last held on 20 March 2016 (next to be held by 2021)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Nur Otan 16; Mazhilis - percent of vote by party - Nur Otan 82.2%, Ak Zhol 7.2%, Communist People's Party 7.1%, other 3.5%; seats by party - Nur Otan 84, Ak Zhol 7, Communist People's Party 7
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Turkmenistan (consists of the court president and 21 associate judges and organized into civil, criminal, and military chambers)
judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president for 5-year terms
subordinate courts: High Commercial Court; appellate courts; provincial, district, and city courts; military courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Republic (consists of 44 members); Constitutional Council (consists of 7 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges proposed by the president of the republic on recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council and confirmed by the Senate; judges normally serve until age 65 but can be extended to age 70; Constitutional Council - the president of the republic, the Senate chairperson, and the Majilis chairperson each appoints 1 member for a 3-year term and each appoints 1 member for a 6-year term; chairperson of the Constitutional Council appointed by the president of the republic for a 6-year term
subordinate courts: regional and local courts
Political parties and leadersAgrarian Party of Turkmenistan or APT [Ovezmyrat ENERMYRADOV]
Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Kasymguly BABAYEW]
Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs or PIE [Orazmammet MAMMEDOW]
note: a law authorizing the registration of political parties went into effect in January 2012; unofficial, small opposition movements exist abroad
Ak Zhol (Bright Path) Party or Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol [Azat PERUASHEV]
Auyl National Patriotic Party [Ali BEKTAYEV] (Auyl is a September 2015 merger of the Patriots’ Party and the Auyl Social Democratic Party)
Birlik (Unity) [Serik SULTANGALI] (Birlik is an April 2013 merger of Adilet (Justice; formerly Democratic Party of Kazakhstan) and Rukhaniyat (Spirituality))
Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan [Vladislav KOSAREV]
National Social Democratic Party or NSDP [Zharmakhan TUYAKBAY]
Nur Otan (Radiant Fatherland) Democratic People's Party [Nursultan NAZARBAYEV] (the Agrarian, Asar, and Civic parties merged with Otan)
Political pressure groups and leadersnone
Adil-Soz [Tamara KALEYEVA]
Chairman of Bureau's Council [Roza AKYLBEKOVA]
Confederation of Free Trade Unions [Larissa KHARKOVA]
Foundation for Support of Civil Initiatives [Nurul RAKHIMBEK]
International Legal Initiative [Aina SHORMANBAYEVA]
Kazakhstan International Bureau on Human Rights [Yevgeniy ZHOVTIS]
Legal Media Centre (sometimes known as the North Kazakhstan Legal Media Centre) [Diana OKREMOVA]
Public Foundation for Parliamentary Development [Zauresh BATTALOVA]
Republican Network of International Monitors [Daniyar LIVAZOV]
Transparency International [Natalya KOVALEVA]
International organization participationADB, CIS (associate member, has not ratified the 1993 CIS charter although it participates in meetings and held the chairmanship of the CIS in 2012), EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO
ADB, CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEU, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EITI (compliant country), FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer), ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Mered Bairamovich ORAZOW (since 14 February 2001)
chancery: 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-1500
FAX: [1] (202) 588-0697
chief of mission: Ambassador Yerzhan KAZYKHANOV (since 24 April 2017)
chancery: 1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 232-5488
FAX: [1] (202) 232-5845
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Allan MUSTARD (since 20 January 2015)
embassy: No. 9 1984 Street (formerly Pushkin Street), Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 744000
mailing address: 7070 Ashgabat Place, Washington, DC 20521-7070
telephone: [993] (12) 94-00-45
FAX: [993] (12) 94-26-14
chief of mission: Ambassador George KROL (since 18 March 2015)
embassy: Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Ave. No 3, Astana 010010
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [7] (7172) 70-21-00
FAX: [7] (7172) 54-09-14
Consulate(s) General: Almaty
Flag descriptiongreen field with a vertical red stripe near the hoist side, containing five tribal guls (designs used in producing carpets) stacked above two crossed olive branches; five white stars and a white crescent moon appear in the upper corner of the field just to the fly side of the red stripe; the green color and crescent moon represent Islam; the five stars symbolize the regions or welayats of Turkmenistan; the guls reflect the national identity of Turkmenistan where carpet-making has long been a part of traditional nomadic life
note: the flag of Turkmenistan is the most intricate of all national flags
"a gold sun with 32 rays above a soaring golden steppe eagle, both centered on a sky blue background; the hoist side displays a national ornamental pattern ""koshkar-muiz"" (the horns of the ram) in gold; the blue color is of religious significance to the Turkic peoples of the country, and so symbolizes cultural and ethnic unity; it also represents the endless sky as well as water; the sun, a source of life and energy, exemplifies wealth and plenitude; the sun's rays are shaped like grain, which is the basis of abundance and prosperity; the eagle has appeared on the flags of Kazakh tribes for centuries and represents freedom, power, and the flight to the future
"
National anthem"name: ""Garassyz, Bitarap Turkmenistanyn"" (Independent, Neutral, Turkmenistan State Anthem)
lyrics/music: collective/Veli MUKHATOV
note: adopted 1997, lyrics revised in 2008, following the death of President Saparmurat NYYAZOW, to eliminate references to him
"
"name: ""Menin Qazaqstanim"" (My Kazakhstan)
lyrics/music: Zhumeken NAZHIMEDENOV and Nursultan NAZARBAYEV/Shamshi KALDAYAKOV
note: adopted 2006; President Nursultan NAZARBAYEV played a role in revising the lyrics
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)Akhal-Teke horse; national colors: green, white
golden eagle; national colors: blue, yellow
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Turkmenistan
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kazakhstan
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Economy - overviewTurkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and significant natural gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for roughly 9% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Hydrocarbon exports (mainly natural gas) make up 25% of Turkmenistan’s GDP, the bulk of which is natural gas going to China. Ashgabat has explored two initiatives to bring gas to new markets: a trans-Caspian pipeline that would carry gas to Europe and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Both face major financing and security hurdles and are unlikely to be completed soon.

Turkmenistan’s autocratic governments under presidents NIYAZOW (1991-2006) and BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 2007) have made little progress improving the business climate, privatizing state-owned industries, and combatting corruption, limiting economic development outside the energy sector. High energy prices in the mid-2000s allowed the government to undertake extensive development and social spending, including providing heavy utility subsidies.

Low energy prices since mid-2014 are hampering Turkmenistan’s economic growth and reducing government revenues. The government has cut subsidies in several areas, and wage arrears have increased. In January 2014, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan devalued the manat by 19%, and downward pressure on the currency continues. There is a widening spread between the official exchange rate (3.49 TMM per US dollar) and the black market exchange rate (approximately 7 TMM per US dollar). Currency depreciation, corruption, isolationist policies, and limited spending on public services has resulted in a stagnate economy that is nearing crisis. Turkmenistan claims substantial foreign currency reserves, but non-transparent data limit international institutions’ ability to verify this information.
Kazakhstan, geographically the largest of the former Soviet republics, excluding Russia, possesses substantial fossil fuel reserves and other minerals and metals, such as uranium, copper, and zinc. It also has a large agricultural sector featuring livestock and grain. The government realizes that its economy suffers from an overreliance on oil and extractive industries and has made initial attempts to diversify its economy by targeting sectors like transport, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, petrochemicals and food processing for greater development and investment.

Kazakhstan's vast hydrocarbon and mineral reserves form the backbone of its economy. Chevron-led Tengizchevroil announced a $36.8 billion expansion of Kazakhstan’s premiere Tengiz oil field in July 2016. Meanwhile, the super-giant Kashagan field finally launched production in October 2016 after years of delay and an estimated $55 billion in development costs.

Kazakhstan is landlocked and depends on Russia to export its oil to Europe. It also exports oil directly to China. In 2010, Kazakhstan joined Russia and Belarus to establish a Customs Union in an effort to boost foreign investment and improve trade. The Customs Union evolved into a Single Economic Space in 2012 and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in January 2015. In part due to weak commodity prices, Kazakhstan’s exports to EAEU countries declined 23.5% in 2016. Imports from EAEU countries to Kazakhstan declined 13.7%.

The economic downturn of its EAEU partner, Russia, and the decline in global commodity prices from 2014-2015 contributed to an economic slowdown in Kazakhstan, which continues to experience its slowest economic growth since the financial crises of 2008-09. In 2014, Kazakhstan devalued its currency, the tenge, and announced a stimulus package to cope with its economic challenges. In the face of further decline in the ruble, oil prices, and the regional economy, Kazakhstan announced in 2015 it would replace its currency band with a floating exchange rate, leading to a sharp fall in the value of the tenge. Since reaching a low of 391 to the dollar in January 2016, the tenge has modestly appreciated, helped by somewhat higher oil prices.

Despite some positive institutional and legislative changes in the last several years, investors remain concerned about corruption, bureaucracy, and arbitrary law enforcement, especially at the regional and municipal levels. An additional concern is the condition of the country’s banking sector, which suffers from low liquidity, poor asset quality, and a lack of transparency. Investors also question the potentially negative effects on the economy of a contested presidential succession as Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan NAZARBAYEV, who turns 77 in 2017, has not announced whether he will seek reelection in 2019.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$94.72 billion (2016 est.)
$89.95 billion (2015 est.)
$84.46 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$468.8 billion (2016 est.)
$464.2 billion (2015 est.)
$458.9 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate5.3% (2016 est.)
6.5% (2015 est.)
10.3% (2014 est.)
1% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
4.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$17,300 (2016 est.)
$16,700 (2015 est.)
$15,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$25,700 (2016 est.)
$26,300 (2015 est.)
$26,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 13.2%
industry: 47.7%
services: 39.2% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 4.6%
industry: 31.8%
services: 57.9% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line0.2% (2012 est.)
2.7% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
lowest 10%: 4.3%
highest 10%: 22% (2013 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)5.5% (2016 est.)
6.4% (2015 est.)
14.6% (2016 est.)
6.7% (2015 est.)
Labor force2.305 million (2013 est.)
8.964 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 48.2%
industry: 14%
services: 37.8% (2004 est.)
agriculture: 18.1%
industry: 20.4%
services: 61.6% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate11% (2014 est.)
10.6% (2013)
4.9% (2016 est.)
5% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index40.8 (1998)
26.3 (2013)
31.5 (2003)
Budgetrevenues: $5.523 billion
expenditures: $5.818 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $23.35 billion
expenditures: $27.25 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesnatural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, uranium, iron and steel; tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate-1% (2015 est.)
-1.1% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscotton, grain, melons; livestock
grain (mostly spring wheat and barley), potatoes, vegetables, melons; livestock
Exports$8.756 billion (2016 est.)
$10.38 billion (2015 est.)
$35.28 billion (2016 est.)
$46.29 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesgas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
oil and oil products, natural gas, ferrous metals, chemicals, machinery, grain, wool, meat, coal
Exports - partnersChina 68.7%, Turkey 4.9% (2015)
China 15.1%, Russia 12.3%, France 9.3%, Germany 7.9%, Italy 6.7%, Greece 4.1% (2015)
Imports$7.467 billion (2016 est.)
$8.198 billion (2015 est.)
$24.5 billion (2016 est.)
$33.65 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
machinery and equipment, metal products, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersTurkey 25.1%, Russia 12.3%, China 11%, UAE 9.1%, Kazakhstan 5.2%, Germany 4.6%, Iran 4.5% (2015)
Russia 32.9%, China 25.9%, Germany 4.2% (2015)
Debt - external$502.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$454.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$147.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$153.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesTurkmen manat (TMM) per US dollar -
4.25 (2016 est.)
3.5 (2015 est.)
3.5 (2014 est.)
2.85 (2013 est.)
2.85 (2012 est.)
tenge (KZT) per US dollar -
348.5 (2016 est.)
221.73 (2015 est.)
221.73 (2014 est.)
179.19 (2013 est.)
149.11 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$10.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$13.62 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$30.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$28.07 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$7.605 billion (2016 est.)
-$5.054 billion (2015 est.)
-$8.156 billion (2016 est.)
-$5.464 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$36.57 billion (2016 est.)
$128.1 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$3.061 billion (2013 est.)
$3.117 billion (2012 est.)
$148.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$139.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$744 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.737 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$26.23 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate5% (31 December 2014)
5% (31 December 2013)
11% (10 April 2017)
12% (9 January 2017)
Stock of domestic credit$28.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$13.09 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$60.94 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$50.83 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.326 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.255 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$13.45 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.933 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$12.23 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$5.632 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$60.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$50.25 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues15.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-0.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
-3% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 50%
government consumption: 10.9%
investment in fixed capital: 26.7%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 33.9%
imports of goods and services: -21.6% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 54.1%
government consumption: 11.9%
investment in fixed capital: 23.5%
investment in inventories: 6.4%
exports of goods and services: 29.3%
imports of goods and services: -25.2% (2015 est.)
Gross national saving20.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
9.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
-22.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
25.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
27.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
27.7% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Electricity - production22.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
94.49 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption13 billion kWh (2014 est.)
91.66 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports3.2 billion kWh (2014 est.)
2.9 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
644.2 million kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production243,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
1.621 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
145,800 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - exports70,740 bbl/day (2013 est.)
1.292 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - proved reserves600 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
30 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves7.504 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
2.407 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production76 billion cu m (2014 est.)
21.38 billion cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - consumption30.2 billion cu m (2014 est.)
13.1 billion cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - exports45.79 billion cu m (2014 est.)
13.7 billion cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2014 est.)
2.2 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity4.275 million kW (2014 est.)
22.06 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels100% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
87% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
13% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
0.3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production173,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
228,600 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption145,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
186,300 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports47,830 bbl/day (2013 est.)
846 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
44,490 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy67 million Mt (2013 est.)
257.8 million Mt (2014 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 648,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 4,143,100
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 23 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 7.842 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 150 (July 2015 est.)
total: 31.39 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 173 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: telecommunications network is gradually improving
domestic: Turkmentelekom, in cooperation with foreign partners, has installed high-speed fiber-optic lines and has upgraded most of the country's telephone exchanges and switching centers with new digital technology; combined fixed-line and mobile teledensity is about 160 per 100 persons; Russia's Mobile Telesystems, the only foreign mobile-cellular service provider in Turkmenistan, had its operating license suspended in December 2010 but was able to resume operations in September 2012; Turkmenistan's first telecommunication satellite was launched in 2015 and is expected to greatly improve connectivity in the country
international: country code - 993; linked by fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; an exchange in Ashgabat switches international traffic through Turkey via Intelsat; satellite earth stations - 1 Orbita and 1 Intelsat (2015)
general assessment: inherited an outdated telecommunications network from the Soviet era requiring modernization
domestic: intercity by landline and microwave radio relay; number of fixed-line connections is inadequate; mobile-cellular usage increased rapidly and the market is now highly mature - subscriber base exceeds 170 per 100 persons
international: country code - 7; international traffic with other former Soviet republics and China carried by landline and microwave radio relay and with other countries by satellite and by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (2017)
Internet country code.tm
.kz
Internet userstotal: 785,000
percent of population: 15% (July 2015 est.)
total: 13.23 million
percent of population: 72.9% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediabroadcast media is government controlled and censored; 7 state-owned TV and 4 state-owned radio networks; satellite dishes and programming provide an alternative to the state-run media; officials sometimes limit access to satellite TV by removing satellite dishes (2007)
state owns nearly all radio and TV transmission facilities and operates national TV and radio networks; there are 3 TV channels: Kazakhstan, KAZsport, Balapan; and 4 radio stations: Kazakh Radiosy, Shalkar, Astana, and Classic; some former state-owned media outlets have been privatized; households with satellite dishes have access to foreign media; a small number of commercial radio stations operate along with state-run radio stations; recent legislation requires all media outlets to register with the government and all TV providers to broadcast in digital format by 2018; broadcasts reach 98.63% of the population as well as neighboring countries (2017)

Transportation

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Railwaystotal: 2,980 km
broad gauge: 2,980 km 1.520-m gauge (2014)
total: 14,184 km
broad gauge: 14,184 km 1.520-m gauge (4,056 km electrified) (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 58,592 km
paved: 47,577 km
unpaved: 11,015 km (2002)
total: 97,418 km
paved: 87,140 km
unpaved: 10,278 km (2012)
Waterways1,300 km (Amu Darya and Kara Kum canal are important inland waterways) (2011)
4,000 km (on the Ertis (Irtysh) River (80%) and Syr Darya (Syrdariya) River) (2010)
Pipelinesgas 7,500 km; oil 1,501 km (2013)
condensate 658 km; gas 12,432 km; oil 11,313 km; refined products 1,095 km; water 1,465 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Turkmenbasy
major seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Aqtau (Shevchenko), Atyrau (Gur'yev)
river port(s): Oskemen (Ust-Kamenogorsk), Pavlodar, Semey (Semipalatinsk) (Irtysh River)
Merchant marinetotal: 11
by type: cargo 4, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 1 (2010)
total: 11
by type: cargo 1, petroleum tanker 8, refrigerated cargo 1, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 3 (Austria 1, Ireland 1, Turkey 1) (2010)
Airports26 (2013)
96 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 21
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
total: 63
over 3,047 m: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 25
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 4 (2013)
total: 33
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 13 (2013)
Heliports1 (2013)
3 (2013)

Military

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Military branchesTurkmen Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2013)
Kazakhstan Armed Forces: Land Forces, Navy, Air Defense Forces (2017)
Military service age and obligation18-27 years of age for compulsory male military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 20 years of age for voluntary service; males may enroll in military schools from age 15 (2015)
18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 2 years, but Kazakhstan is transitioning to a largely contract force; military cadets in intermediate (ages 15-17) and higher (ages 17-21) education institutes are classified as military service personnel (2017)

Transnational Issues

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Disputes - internationalcotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2005, but Caspian seabed delimitation remains stalled with Azerbaijan, Iran, and Kazakhstan due to Turkmenistan's indecision over how to allocate the sea's waters and seabed; bilateral talks continue with Azerbaijan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian
Kyrgyzstan has yet to ratify the 2001 boundary delimitation with Kazakhstan; field demarcation of the boundaries commenced with Uzbekistan in 2004 and with Turkmenistan in 2005; ongoing demarcation with Russia began in 2007; demarcation with China was completed in 2002; creation of a seabed boundary with Turkmenistan in the Caspian Sea remains under discussion; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea
Illicit drugstransit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and Western European markets; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan
significant illicit cultivation of cannabis for CIS markets, as well as limited cultivation of opium poppy and ephedra (for the drug ephedrine); limited government eradication of illicit crops; transit point for Southwest Asian narcotics bound for Russia and the rest of Europe; significant consumer of opiates
Refugees and internally displaced personsstateless persons: 5,744 (2016)
stateless persons: 8,451 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook