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Turkmenistan, Central Asia
latitude: 39.08, longitude: 59.51
Browse map of Turkmenistan 39°04′48.00″ N, 59°30′36.00″ E
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Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia at latitude 39°04′48.00″ North, longitude 59°30′36.00″ East.

OpenStreetMap images (and underlying map data) are freely available under OpenStreetMap License.

Notes on Turkmenistan

Administrative Subdivisions

Turkmenistan: Political and Administrative Subdivisions
Administrative Level Notes Examples
A National Government
B Province (welaýat). Headed by presidentially appointed governor (häkim). Balkan Province, Ahal Province, Dashoguz Province, Mary Province, Lebap Province
C City (şäher) with the status of a province (welaýat). Law stipulates population over 500,000 and status as "economic, political and cultural center of Turkmenistan." Headed by presidentially appointed mayor (häkim). Ashgabat
D Districts (etrap, район) of provinces, or boroughs (etrap, район) of Ashgabat or Turkmenbashy. Subordinated to provincial or Ashgabat/Turkmenbashy city government; headed by a presidentially appointed häkim. Berkararlyk etrap of Ashgabat, Ak Bugdaý etrap of Ahal Province, Awaza etrap of Turkmenbashy, Ýölöten etraby of Mary Province
E Cities (şäher, город) with status of such a district (etrap, район). Law stipulates such cities must have population over 30,000 and be the administrative center of a province (welaýat); headed by a presidentially appointed häkim. Änew, Turkmenabat, Mary, Balkanabat, Dashoguz
F Cities/towns (şäher/şäherçe, город/городок/поселок городского типа) "in a district" (etrap, район). Law stipulates a settlement with population over 8,000 and an industrial plant, construction and transport organizations, public utilities, public housing, network of social-cultural organizations, and trading organizations. "Cities and towns in a district" are headed by a geňeş (council) chaired by an elected arçyn. Magdanly in Lebap Province, Kaka in Ahal Province, Garabogaz in Balkan Province, Town of Ýölöten in Mary Province
G Districts of cities other than of Ashgabat (etrapça, район). No specific legal status; these are administrative subunits of the municipality. Bahar District (Bahar etrapçasy) in Turkmenabat
H Township (oba, поселок). Population over 2,000. Headed by a geňeş and an arçyn. Arçman obasy of Arçman geňeşlik of Bäharden etrap, Ahal Province
I Ashgabat microdistricts (etrap, микрорайон). No specific legal status; administrative subunit of an Ashgabat borough. No separate government structure. 11 Etrap in Ashgabat, Parahat 3 in Ashgabat
J "Rural council" municipality (geňeşlik, генгешлик) (In Soviet times called "rural soviet" сельсовет). One or more villages under a common administration consisting of a geňeş (council) and an arçyn (council chair). Bereketli in Ak Bugdaý district, comprising the villages of Bukry, Dinli, Gamyşy, Gyzyltakyr, Kükürtli, Sakarçäge, Sözenli, with administrative center in Bukry
K Villages (oba, село) (in the past sometimes referred to as aul). This category also includes daýhan birleşigi, "peasant association", which refers to former collective farms. Minimum population of 50 permanent residents. No separate government structure; subordinate to the "rural council" (geňeşlik). Garaşsyzlyk obasy of Gowşutbent geňeşlik of Mary Province

The same word, häkim, applies both to governors of the five provinces (welaýat) plus governors of their subordinate districts (etrap), and to municipal mayors. One word, etrap, applies simultaneously to districts of provinces, to the four boroughs of the city of Ashgabat (Büzmeýin, Berkararlyk, Köpetdag, and Bagtyýarlyk) and two boroughs of the city of Turkmenbashy (Awaza and Türkmenbaşy), and to Ashgabat's microdistricts (called in Russian mikrorayon микрорайон, a borrowing from the Soviet period). The same name can apply to a city and a province (e.g., Mary) or to a town and a district (e.g., Ýölöten). Two boroughs of Ashgabat City share names with neighborhoods in the city that are distinct from those boroughs. They are Büzmeýin etraby, which is distinct from the neighborhood and former town of Büzmeýin, and Bagtyýarlyk etraby, which is distinct from the neighborhood of Bagtyýarlyk. To add to confusion, until 2018 Büzmeýin was called Abadan, and Bagtyýarlyk was named Ruhabat.

Turkmenistan uses an administrative hierarchy of towns and rural settlements, in descending order, but the order can be deceiving since a large village (population over 2,000) is considered to be in a different category due to its size. In the case of established villages (as opposed to greenfield projects that in the West would be called developments) these are often settlements founded during Soviet collectivization of the 1930s, and they remain attached to a former collective farm, now called a daýhan birleşigi (English: peasant association). To reduce administrative overhead, villages are often subordinated to a single, common municipal structure called in Turkmen geňeşlik, from the Turkmen word geňeş "council". This is a direct translation of the original Soviet Russian term for such units, sel'skiy sovet (сельский совет). By statute, specifically the "Law on Council" of 2005 as amended, these councils are autonomous and are elected popularly by secret ballot. A "rural council" can govern a single village or several. The council elects an arçyn from among its members; the arçyn functions as the council chair as well as the town or village manager.

Administrative-Territorial Division of Turkmenistan as of January 1, 2017
Provinces (welaýatlar) Districts (etraplar) Boroughs in Cities (etraplar) Cities and Towns (şäherler we şäherçeler) Villages (obalar) Rural Councils (geňeşlikler) Rural populated points (oba ilatly punktlar)
Turkmenistan 47 8[1] 51 60 505 1,718
Ashgabat[1] 0 6[1] 1 0 0 0
Ahal 7 0 8 9 89 235
Balkan 6 2 10 13 33 112
Dashoguz 9 0 9 1 134 612
Lebap 14 0 15 23 106 430
Mary 11 0 8 14 143 329
[1] On January 5, 2018, the Turkmen Parliament adopted a law on the territorial division of Ashgabat and Ahal Province.  According to it, Abadan borough was renamed Büzmeýin borough of Ashgabat and the mayors’ offices of Abadan and Ruhabat boroughs were dissolved.  As of that date, Ashgabat has four boroughs: Bagtyýarlyk, Berkararlyk, Büzmeýin and Köpetdag (previously it had six, as indicated in the table above). 
Source: State Committee on Statistics of Turkmenistan’s official website: http://www.stat.gov.tm/ru/main/info/administrativno-territorialnoe-delenie/

Proposed admin_level Values for Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan: Proposed Administrative Levels

Suggested Place Tags for Administrative Subdivisions

The practice of identifying former villages and towns annexed by the city of Ashgabat in 2010 has been to use place=neighborhood (e.g., the former town of Büzmeýin or former village of Bagyr). These former towns and villages are subordinated to the respective boroughs of the city of Ashgabat and enjoy no autonomy in governance or budgeting.

General Naming Conventions

Turkmen is the official language of Turkmenistan. Russian is spoken by an estimated 18 percent of the population, but is only found on legacy signage. Dual Turkmen- and English-language signage can be encountered on some official buildings.

The preferred spelling is what is seen on signage, in accordance with OSM guidelines. If, however, a legacy sign is in Cyrillic script (increasingly rare but still encountered), one must be sure to spell the name in accordance with modern Turkmen orthographic rules using the modern Turkmen latinized alphabet.

Obsolete street sign in both Turkmen Cyrillic and Russian Cyrillic.

Where transliteration from the modern Turkmen alphabet is called for, it should be from modern Latinized Turkmen into the standard Latin alphabet, e.g., Aşgabat -> Ashgabat. Mappers should avoid transliterating the Russian version of a name into Latin. Russian Cyrillic versions are themselves transliterations from the original Turkmen, in most cases, and furthermore often diverge from standard Turkmen spelling (e.g., Turkmen Garagum versus the Russian Каракум Karakum). As another exmaple, it is incorrect to spell Ahal welaýat (Ahal Province) as "Akhal velayat", which would be the standard Cyrillic-to-Latin transliteration using the U.S. Board of Geographic Names transliteration scheme. The original Turkmen spelling, Ahal welaýat, is correct, and the English transliteration is Ahal welayat. By the same token, the town of Jebel should be rendered as Jebel, not as Dzhebel, a backformation of Джебель (since the Russian version of the Cyrillic alphabet has no equivalent to the letter "J", though the Turkmen Cyrillic alphabet does).

Transliteration from the Turkmen Cyrillic alphabet to the Turkmen Latin alphabet is straightforward, as there is a one-to-one correspondence between Turkmen Cyrillic letters and their Latin counterparts.

Street Naming Conventions

The following Turkmen words denote ways that in OSM are designated with the highway=* tag:

Modern Turkmen street sign in the Turkmen language using Latinized script. Note that the type of way (köçesi) is in lower case.
  • gara ýol (highway, literally "black road", i.e., what in the United States is called a "blacktop")
  • geçelge (alley, byway) (Note: The Soviet Turkmen term proýezd has been deprecated and should not be used.)
  • köçe (street)
  • şaýol (avenue, boulevard, prospect) (from şa "king, shah" + ýol "road")
  • ýol (road) (Caution: ýol is a generic term essentially meaning "way" or "path" and thus can also be used to name a footpath, such as the Serdar ýoly aka "Health Walk" in Ashgabat.)

Owing to Russian influence between 1881 and 1991, Russian words (and obsolete Russian street names) are commonly used in reference materials and the spoken vernacular. They are, however, increasingly erased from signage. These terms are:

  • бульвар (boulevard, from the French)
  • дорога (road)
  • проезд (alley, byway)
  • проспект (avenue, boulevard, prospect, from the French)
  • трасса (track, road, calque from the French tracé)
  • улица (street)
  • шоссе (highway, calque from the French chaussée)

Russian names for streets should be recorded using the old_name:ru=* tag.

Turkmen grammar, as is the case with all Turkic languages, requires declension of nouns when they are modified by another noun, e.g., the name of the person, locale, or aspect in honor of which a street is named. Hence,

  • Köpetdag gara ýoly
  • Gorkiý geçelgesi
  • Magtymguly köçesi
  • Atamyrat Nyýazow şaýoly
  • Aýlaw ýoly

Numbered streets, however, remain in the nominative case:

  • 2054 köçe

Errors abound in signage. It is not uncommon to see the undeclined köçe on signage for named streets, particularly in provincial areas. Spelling is not always uniform, so streets named after the poet Andalyb may be signed Andalyb, Andalyp, or Andalip, all on the same street. In such cases one should be governed by the conventions of Turkmen orthographic rules. Alternative spellings may be entered in OSM using the alt_name tag.

Misspelling is not uncommon, so in Täze Zaman one finds both Ebedilik and Ebediýlik. In this case, since the spelling is consistent along two separate sections of street, OSM reflects the actual signage and not the correct spelling (ebedilik means "eternity").

Certain provincial jurisdictions have adopted the odd convention of literally naming streets in honor of a person, e.g., "Döwletmämmed Azadi adyndaki köçe", which translates to "Street named in honor of Dowletmammed Azadi". Such lengthy official names should be recorded using the official_name:tk=* tag, and the name=* and name:tk=* tags should reflect the shorter and more commonly used form used in the vernacular, "Döwletmämmed Azadi köçesi".

In contrast to western street naming conventions, the type of way is never capitalized on signage and should thus be left in lower case, e.g., "Beýik Saparmyrat Türkmenbaşy şaýoly", and not, "...Şaýoly".

Gas Stations

Turkmenistan has only one petroleum company, the state monopoly concern Türkmenneft, a subsidiary of which, Türkmen Nefteönümleri (Turkmen Petroleum Products), or TNO, is the sole producer of motor fuels. Hence all Turkmen gas stations should be tagged operator=TNO. In addition, all gas stations are numbered, and these numbers are useful as navigational aids. The naming convention is as follows, using gas station number 64 as an example:

  • name=Gas Station 64
  • name:en=Gas Station 64
  • name:ru=АЗС 64 (АЗС is a formal contraction of the Russian автозаправочная станция, "automobile refueling station" and is preferred to the slang term "заправка".)
  • name:tk=AÝGS 64 (AÝGS is a formal contraction of the Turkmen awtoulaglara ýangyç guýujy stansiýasy, literally "autotransport fuel pouring station". It is typically included in the signage of each gas station.)

One may optionally add a location after the number, e.g., the name of the town or, in cities with multiple gas stations, the street it is on. This assists motorists in locating gas stations on routes they are traveling, and is the method by which most locals will identify the station.

Turkmen gas stations typically offer 95-, 92-, and 80-octane gasoline as well as Diesel fuel. If offered at a particular station, these may be indicated by the appropriate tags.

Health Care Facilities

Turkmen health care facilities are patterned after their Soviet forebears:

  • Hassahana hospital (literally, "sickness building"), equivalent to Russian больница
    • Çagalar ~ children's ~ , equivalent to Russian детская ~
    • Köpugurly ~ general ~ , equivalent to Russian многопрофильная ~
  • Saglyk Öýi clinic (literally, "health house"), equivalent to Russian поликлиника

Specialty hospitals may be named merkez "center" prefixed by the specialty, e.g., Onkologiýa Merkezi "Oncology Center". Maternity and pediatric hospitals are often named Ene Mähri "Mother's Love". Dental clinics and hospitals are normally identified by the noun stomatologiýa "stomatology, dental", e.g., Stomatologiýa Merkezi.

Private clinics should be tagged as clinics, not as amenity=doctors. The amenity=doctors tag should be applied only to private physicians' offices, which effectively do not exist in Turkmenistan. Private clinics and hospitals, however, though rare do exist, such as the Diamed Clinic in Ashgabat.

See Also

Вы можете помочь! You can help!

Here are a few things you can do to help improve the Turkmenistan map: Вот некоторые вещи, которые вы можете сделать, чтобы помочь улучшить карту в Туркменистане:

  • Перевести эту статью на русский и туркменский языки.
  • Add residential roads NW of Balkanabat using Digital Globe Premium Добавить улицы и дороги на северозападе от Балканабата используя Digital Globe Premium
  • Lots of missing villages and towns around Mary and Bayramaly. Отсутствуют села и городки около Мары и Байрамали.
  • Fair amount of missing towns in the agricultural (green) areas. Mark them with boundary=administrative and the appropriate admin_level (see above), and add their roads using Digital Globe Premium! Отсутствуют многие населенные пункты в сельскохозяйственной (зеленой) территории. Отметьте boundary=administrative и подходящим тэгом admin_level (см. выше) и добавьте улицы и дороги используя Digital Globe Premium!