Turkmenistan History

Figure 1.--Modern Turkenistan was commonly referred to as as the Transcaspian region (Meaning beyond the Caspian Sea) during thee Tsarist era. Until the Soviet era, life in the region was little changed for centuries. Here we see a boy near a well. This photographed could have been taken centuruies earlier, actually millenia earlier. The water raising appliance is know as a shaduf or shadoof, by the Arabs and a keton by the Greeks. I am not sure whether the Caspians had another name for it. It was common ancient device dating back to ancient Egypt. Click on the image for a fuller discussion.

Turkmenistan is one of the new central Asian countries created from the Soviet Union (1992). As a Soviet republic, it was often referred to as Turkmen or Turmenistan. During the Tsarist era it was often called the Transcaspian region or area beyond the Caspian Sea. Modern Turmenistan borders on the Caspian Sea. Iran, Afghanistan and Russia and Uzbeckistan on the north. Turkestan" (or Turkistan) and "Turkmenistan" are not synonymous in modern usage. Turkmenistan is the modern country and the the name of the former Soviet republic that became independent in 1992. Soviet usage, hoiwever, varied. Turkestan is most commonly used to describe the central Asian territories, peopled by a majority of Turkic-speaking peoples. It corresponds to the region formed by southern Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. The famed Silk Road passed through the area. Portions of Turkmenistan formed the Mariana Province of Ancient Persia. The area was ruled by the Arabs and became largely Islamicized (8-9th century). It then was conquered by Khorezm. The area fell to the Mongols (13th century), the Uzbecks (15th century), amd the Khana of Khica (about 1800 AD). The Russian conquuered the area as part of the Great Game as it pushed south at the expense of the Ottoman Empire and the the states of central Asia (1865-95). Large areas until ythe Soviet era were vert traditional, largely unchanged for centuries. After the Russian Civil War, Turistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union (1924). The Soviets launched an athesist campaign in this heavily Muslim area.


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Created: 9:44 AM 8/2/2011
Last updated: 9:44 AM 8/2/2011