country in Central Asia

Turkmenistan is a country in Central Eurasia bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north, east and northeast, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest and the Caspian Sea to the west. Ashgabat is the capital and largest city. It is one of the six independent Turkic states. With a population of 6.5 million, Turkmenistan is the 35th most-populous country in Asia and has the lowest population of the Central Asian republics while being one of the most sparsely populated nations on the Asian continent.


  • USCIRF makes an important point, i.e., that states can persecute religious majorities, not only religious minorities. It claims such is the case in Turkmenistan, where the government is engaged in a harsh “repression of Muslims who deviate from the state’s preferred interpretation of Islam.” One problem is that what this interpretation is, is unclear. …Turkmenistan punishes both the Muslims who are not religious enough and those who are too religious, but finding a logic in the behavior of officials and the police, often dictated by the bribes they receive, is difficult.
    …[A]ll believers whose freedom of religion is violated in Turkmenistan should feel supported by the international community.