Turkmenistan Independence Day: Top 10 facts about the diverse Asian country

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1. The capital of Turkmenistan is Ashgabat, which means “City of Love” or “City of Devotion”.

2. The only country whose one-word common name in English is longer than that of Turkmenistan is Liechtenstein.

3. Turkmenistan has the world’s fourth largest natural gas reserves, behind Russia, Iran and Qatar.

4. With the Karakum desert covering 80 per cent of Turkmenistan, the population density of the country is only 10 people per square kilometre.

5. The president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, was his predecessor’s dentist.

6. The city of Merv in Turkmenistan may have been the world’s largest city around 1150.

7. Alcohol sales were banned in Ashgabat before the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games were held there this August.

8. Turkmenistan is the only former Soviet Republic that has never won an Olympic medal.

9. Turkmenistan is an anagram of “mistaken turn” or “Kent naturism”.

10. Smoking outside or in public places such as restaurants is illegal in Turkmenistan.

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