Turkmenistan Recent History

It is the southern and western part of western Turkestan. The capital is Ashabad. According to Abbreviationfinder, an acronym site which also features history of Turkmenistan, the country, already from the X-XI century, took the name of Turkmenistan from the Turkish descent populations of Central Asia, gradually reached to occupy it.

In particular, the Seljukids, from their leader Selgiuq, prevailed over all and founded kingdoms that were maintained, with varying luck, until the fourteenth century. Then there were the Turks who founded the Ottoman Empire, replacing that of the Selgiudichi, and also the Turcomans who, with their confederations of the “white ram” and the “black ram”, allied themselves, towards 1478, with Venice and the Byzantines, to drive out the Ottomans.

Then the Turkmen spread to Syria, Anatolia and all of Persia; they merged with the local populations, and slowly, losing much of their nomadism, they became sedentary peoples; the territory was the object of struggles of conquest and, among the pretenders, there were the Khan Ozber of Kiva and the Shah of Persia.

But in the nineteenth century, after a strenuous defense, they had to submit to the preponderance of the strength of the Russians, from whom they were, in fact, subjugated.

The country remained dependent on Russia until the Tsarist government ended here with the revolution of 1917. Then, with the rebellions of all its Khanati satellites, Russia, now Bolshevik, was forced to make concessions; and on April 14, 1921 it established 5 autonomous Federated Republics, including that of Turkmenistan.

Since then, as the Soviet Socialist Republic, it followed the same events as the Soviet Union until 1989, when, with the advent of Gorbachev, each republic was able to reign over its own destiny.

During all that period the country underwent a strong Russification to which was added a severe campaign for the total destruction of Islam. The population was unsatisfied, especially the intellectual class.

Not having had the opportunity, the country had not produced a political opposition, so that in the first elections of 1989, the Communist Party of Turkmenistan did not suffer any conflict.

Turkmenistan Recent History

Little by little, efforts were made to pave the way for cautious democratization with the formation of an independence movement, the Popular Front, more tied to the problems of language and culture than to political ones. But he was immediately banned and on January 7, 1990 in the elections for the Supreme Soviet the only participating party was the communist one. President S. Niyazov was elected president, first secretary of the party since 1985. However, in May of that same year, Turkmen was established as the official language and on 22 August the full sovereignty of the Republic was declared.

Between 1991 and 1992 various important events occurred in order to consolidate the country’s national entity, but also internationally. The cooperative union with Moscow was renewed in March, independence was proclaimed on 27 October and the name changed to the Republic of Turkmenistan, on 2 March 1992 it was admitted to the United Nations and close relations developed with the Central Asian republics. as well as trade agreements with Turkey and Iran. Towards the latter state, Turkmenistan looked with increasing attention because, having a developed and modern network of highways, it represented a safer way for the export, without crossing the Caspian Sea, of the gas of which Turkmenistan was, and is still a great producer.

Meanwhile, President Niyazov had taken over the central power of the republic, including that of prime minister.

It reduced press freedom, the right to associations and the rights of ethnic minorities. Basically he had established a half-dictatorship. Despite this, in the 1992 elections he obtained 99.5% of the votes and then in January 1994 with a popular referendum he also saw his presidential term extended until 2002.

With this style of government, however, he managed to keep the state in a secular position, which did not affect relations with the countries of the former Soviet Union or those with Muslim states. But the most important thing was that in the Turkmen territory there were no conflicts between the different ethnic groups and religious denominations until then.

However, the country, declared neutral, as already recognized by the United Nations since 1995, was still dependent on Russia for economic matters and continued its commitments within the Community of Independent States (CIS) for some time. Indeed, in this regard, like Uzbekistan, it had also cultivated the intention to represent the leading role.

But over time the commitments with the Community had been thinned out and no process of integration with other peoples had started. So much so that all citizens of the Community who had expressed a desire to visit the country, since March 1999, the obligation to obtain an entry visa was imposed, and this also applied to the Russians.


As a neutral country, Turkmenistan did a great deal to try to settle the issues that had brought the civil war to Tajikistan. As many peace actions had been carried out to resolve the Russian-Afghan conflict.

Niyazo, a charismatic and ambitious man, wanted to bring Turkmenistan to a completely unknown international level. He thought of raising the capital, Asgabat, in the same way as other major world capitals and did everything possible to attract from the other countries the funding necessary for the construction of large luxury hotels, a new intercontinental airport and a splendid monumental “Government Palace”., The latter, in the intentions of the president, was to serve as a venue for regional negotiations but, above all, for conferences and meetings of global importance.

You may also like...