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Turkmenbashy, Balkan Province, Turkmenistan

latitude: 39.9679, longitude: 53.0063
Browse map of Turkmenbashy 39°58′04.44″ N, 53°00′22.68″ E
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Turkmenbashy is a city in Balkan Province, Turkmenistan at latitude 39°58′04.44″ North, longitude 53°00′22.68″ East.

Notes on the City of Turkmenbashy

Turkmenbashy features a major seaport on the Caspian Sea, a resort zone, and an international airport. It is in Balkan Province (Balkan welaýaty), Turkmenistan.


Known since the 1880s as Krasnovodsk and Kyzyl Suw ("red water"), after independence it was renamed in honor of the first president of Turkmenistan, Saparmurad Niyazov (Turkmen: Saparmyrat Nyýazow), who styled himself Türkmenbaşy (Turkmen for "head Turkmen"). Prior to the Russian Imperial period, it was called Şagadam (Russian: Шагадам, English: Shagadam).[1] This last name is used today for the city football team and is the name of a major downtown street.

The name in Turkmen is spelled Türkmenbaşy. Using U.S. Board of Geographic Names standard transliteration, this is rendered in the Latin alphabet minus diacritical marks as "Turkmenbashy". This is the preferred spelling of the city's name when using the standard Latin alphabet.

The name in Russian is spelled Туркменбаши. This can create confusion if the Russian version of the name is transliterated into English using standard U.S. Board of Geographic Names transliteration, since the Russian letter и is transliterated into Latin as i, yielding the incorrect spelling "Turkmenbashi". Since the official language of Turkmenistan is Turkmen, transliteration from the original Turkmen is authoritative.

Please see Turkmenistan: General Naming Conventions

Boroughs of Turkmenbashy

As of 9 November 2022, the borough of Kenar was formally abolished, leaving Turkmenbashy officially with only one borough (uly etrap), Awaza etraby. A borough is headed by a presidentially appointed häkim (mayor), meaning the city of Turkmenbashy features two mayors, one for the entire city, and one for the borough within the city.[2][3][4]

The rest of the city not in Awaza, however, is commonly referred to as Kenar etraby.[5] The former Kenar etraby (Kenar District), with an area of 7,262 hectares, was created in July 2013 by decree of the Turkmenistan Parliament, which decree also created Awaza etraby, which covers 9,660 hectares.[6]

In May 2016 a parliamentary decree formally abolished Kenar village.[7][8] Kenar had previously been called Ufra, an acronym for "Fortified fort of the Russian Army" (Укреплённый форт российской армии), a name dating to imperial times.

The Awaza borough (etrap) consists of the Awaza resort zone, the international airport, and two microdistricts (kiçi etrapçalar), numbered I and II, wherein are located municipal government structures, including the borough mayor's office (Awaza Etrap Häkimligi). The resort zone itself consists wholly of tourist facilities.

The only other city in Turkmenistan with boroughs is the capital, Ashgabat.

Points of Interest

Awaza National Tourist Zone

The Awaza (Avaza) National Tourist Zone is located on the peninsula west of downtown Turkmenbashy, in the Awaza borough of Turkmenbashy city. It features roughly three dozen hotels and some large recreational facilities, plus a sanitorium.[9]

Turkmenbashy International Seaport

The Turkmenbashy International Seaport was expanded at a cost of $1.5 billion by the Turkish construction firm Gap Inşaat in a multi-year project completed in 2018. The seaport has a capacity of 300,000 passengers, 400,000 TEU (containers), 75,000 semi-trailers, including 4 million tons of breakbulk cargo per year, with an overall annual capacity of 17 million tons. A dedicated polyethylene/polypropylene terminal is rated at 120,000 tons per year.[10] The seaport also features a small hotel, the Ýüpek Ýoly (Silk Road), a medical clinic, and fire station. The seaport is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest seaport below mean sea level.[11]

Turkmenbashy International Airport

The Turkmenbashy International Airport has operated since 2010. The domestic airline, Turkmenistan Airlines, connects Turkmenbashy with four domestic destinations: Ashgabat, Dashoguz, Mary, and Turkmenabat. Belgian cargo carrier Cargolux uses this airport as a refueling stop, but there is no scheduled international passenger service.[12][13][14]

Turkmenbashy Oil Refinery

The oil refinery in Turkmenbashy has been described as "flagship of Turkmenistan’s oil refinery industry." It "produces unleaded gasoline, aviation and technical kerosene, jet and diesel fuel, fuel oil, lubricating oils, polypropylene, heating oil, light gas oil, oil electrode coke, liquefied gas, construction and road bitumen and other petrochemical products..."[15]

Decrees Related to the City of Turkmenbashy

See Also

Вы можете помочь! You can help!

  • The boundaries of the two boroughs (Awaza etraby and Kenar etraby) need to be drawn. Границы крупных районов города (Awaza etraby и Türkmenbaşy etraby) еще надо нарисовать.
  • The location of the häkimlik for Turkmenbashy city needs to be mapped.


  1. Turkmenistan Academy of Sciences (1970). “Toponym Dictionary of Turkmenistan” (in Turkmen). Ylym. 
  2. “Рассмотрены вопросы совершенствования административно-территориального устройства велаятов” (in ru). Государственное информационное агентство Туркменистана (TDH) - Туркменистан сегодня. 22 October 2022. 
  3. “Постановление Меджлиса Милли Генгеша Туркменистана” (in ru). Государственное информационное агентство Туркменистана (TDH) - Туркменистан сегодня. 10 November 2022. 
  4. “Türkmenistanyň Milli Geňeşiniň Mejlisiniň Karary” (in tk). «Turkmenistan: Golden age». 10 November2022. 
  5. “Задержаны глава банка и валютчики, незаконно торговавшие долларами”. Хроника Туркменистана. 6 July 2018. 
  6. “ПОСТАНОВЛЕНИЕ МЕДЖЛИСА ТУРКМЕНИСТАНА от 29 июля 2013 года №420-IV Об образовании новых этрапов в городе Туркменбаши Балканского велаята”. 29 July 2013. 
  7. “Балканский велаят: административно-территориальные изменения”. 27 May 2016. 
  8. “ПОСТАНОВЛЕНИЕ МЕДЖЛИСА ТУРКМЕНИСТАНА Об административно-территориальных вопросах Балканского велаята”. 27 May 2016. 
  9. “AWAZA PEARL OF TOURISM” (in English). 
  10. “Растет потенциал транспортного комплекса Туркменистана” (in Russian). Нейтральный Туркменистан. 31 July 2018. p. 2. 
  11. “Today the port of Turkmenbashi” (in English). 
  12. “Türkmenbaşy halkara howa menzili” (in English). 
  13. Komarov, Vladimir (7 April 2016). “«Cargolux Airlines International S.A.» вдвое увеличит число транзитных грузовых рейсов, выполняемых авиакомпанией через аэропорт Туркменбаши” (in Russian). Altyn Asyr. 
  14. “В аэропортах Туркменистана самолёты Cargolux пользуются льготным тарифом при дозаправке” (in Russian). turkmenportal.com. 25 October 2018.