Info on Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan was one of the Republics of the former USSR that proclaimed independence on October 27, 1991. It shares borders with Kazakhstan in the north, Uzbekistan in the north and north-east, Iran in the south and Afghanistan in the southeast. It has an area of 488,100 square kms and stretches 650 kms from north to south and 1,100 km from east to west. 80% of the country is covered by the Karakum desert. The main river of Turkmenistan is Amu Darya, which enters the country from Afghanistan and flows along the north-eastern borders before it enters Uzbekistan. The Karakum canal carries the waters of Amu Darya across the desert and is the main source of drinking water and irrigation. Historically, Turkmenistan was at the crossroads of different cultures and empires. Merv was one of world's largest ancient cities on the Silk route in the beginning of the 13th century and Konye Urgench was a major centre of culture. Most interesting landmarks in Turkmenistan are ruins of ancient cities and fortresses.