Provinces of Turkmenistan

Buy data    Donate


Newsletter II-2, an update to the ISO 3166-2 standard, is dated 2010-06-30. It assigns an ISO code to Ashgabat.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number I-4, dated 2002-12-10, changes the spelling of Dashhowuz to Dașoguz. (If your browser doesn't have the third letter of that name in its font, it's supposed to be "Latin small s with comma below". That's what I see in the newsletter. However, that letter is supposed to be used only in Romanian. In Turkmen, Daşoguz, using "Latin small s with cedilla", would be more appropriate.) The newsletter also changes the spelling of the Turkmen word for province from welayat to welaýat.

According to Internet sources, Turkmen was written in Arabic script until 1929. Then, Turkmens adopted a modified version of the already modified Latin alphabet introduced in Turkey as one of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's reforms. In 1940, the Soviet Union imposed the use of a modified Cyrillic alphabet. On 1996-01-01, a new Latin-based alphabet was imposed by law in Turkmenistan. This new alphabet has several diacritics and special characters, some of them not found in the ISO 8859 character sets. See this page  (in French) for more detailed information.

In 1992, when Turkmen-language names replaced the Russian names of provinces, the name of the capital, Ashkhabad, changed to Ashgabat. In about 1996, Ashgabat became an independent city, by splitting from Ahal province.

Change Notice 2 to the U.S. government standard FIPS PUB 10-4 is dated March 1, 1999. It assigns codes to the provinces of Turkmenistan as shown below.

Country overview: 

ISO codeTM
LanguageTurkmen (tk)
Time zone+5


Turkmenistan corresponds to most of the Transcaspian (Zakaspiyskaya) oblast of the Turkestan general-government of the Russian Empire in 1900, plus a small part of the Khanate of Khiva. During most of the history of the Soviet Union, it was the Turkmenistan S.S.R., a constituent republic. It became independent on 1991-10-27.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Turkmenistan
  2. Dutch: Toerkmenistan, Turkmenistan
  3. English: Republic of Turkmenistan (formal)
  4. Finnish: Turkmenistan
  5. French: Turkménistan m
  6. German: Turkmenistan n
  7. Icelandic: Túrkmenistan
  8. Italian: Turkmenistan m
  9. Norwegian: Turkmenistan
  10. Portuguese: Turcomenistão m, Turquemenistão m, Turcomênia (Brazil), Turquimenistão m (Brazil)
  11. Russian: Туркменистан, Туркмения (variant)
  12. Spanish: Turkmenistán m
  13. Swedish: Turkmenistan
  14. Turkish: Türkmenistan
  15. Turkmen: Turkmenostan Respublikasy (formal)

Origin of name: 

land of the Turkmens, possibly from turk: Turk, men: pure

Primary subdivisions: 

Turkmenistan is divided into five welayat, or velayat (provinces), and one independent city.

AshgabatTM.ABS 604,700  Ashgabat
6 divisions4,993,500488,100188,400
  • Province: except for Ashgabat, which is an independent city.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4, a U.S. government standard.
  • Population: 1999-01-01 estimate, based on 1995-01-10 census.
  • Area: Area of Ashgabat is included in Ahal.

Postal codes: 

Turkmenistan appears still to be using Soviet-era postal codes, six-digit numbers always beginning with '7'.

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of Turkmenistan page.

According to the 1997-98 edition of The Statesman's Year-Book, the provinces were divided into 42 rural districts, 15 towns, and 74 urban settlements.

Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Turkmenistan lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

Ashkhabad: Iranian `esq abad: city of love

Change history: 

  1. 1919: Name of capital of Transcaspian province changed from Askhabad to Poltoratsk.
  2. 1921-04-11: Turkestan A.S.S.R. formed from Amu-Darya, Ferghana, Pamir, Samarkand, Semirechensk, and Syr Darya regions, and the southern part of Transcaspian.
  3. 1924-10: Turkestan A.S.S.R. and Bukhara reorganized into several units, one of which was the Turkmenskaya S.S.R.
  4. 1927: Name of capital of Turkmenskaya A.S.S.R. changed from Poltoratsk to Ashkhabad (note slight spelling change from 1919).
  5. ~1967: Krasnovodskaya oblast split from Ashkhabadskaya oblast.
  6. ~1988: Capital of Krasnovodskaya oblast moved from Krasnovodsk to Nebitdag.
  7. 1991-10-27: Turkmenistan became independent, and Turkmen names became official. Names of provinces changed from Ashkhabad to Ahal, Krasnovodsk to Balkan, Tashauz to Dashhowuz, and Chardzhou to Lebap. Name of capital of Lebap changed from Chardzhou to Chärjew.
  8. 1992: Turkmen-language names replaced Russian names of provinces. Name of the capital changed from Ashkhabad to Ashgabat.
  9. ~1996: Ashgabat independent city split from Ahal province (former HASC code: TM.AH).
  10. ~1999: Name of capital of Ahal changed from Annau to Änew.
  11. 1999-06-10: Name of Dashhowuz province and its capital changed to Dashoguz. Name of capital of Balkan changed from Nebitdag to Balkanabat.
  12. 1999-07-19: Name of capital of Lebap changed from Chärjew to Turkmenabat.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Ahal: Akhal (variant); Ashkhabad, Ashkhabadskaya Oblast (obsolete)
  2. Ashgabat: Asjabad (Spanish)
  3. Balkan: Krasnovodsk, Krasnovodskaya Oblast (obsolete)
  4. Dashoguz: Dashhowuz, Dashkhovuz (obsolete); Tashauz, Tashauzskaya Oblast (obsolete)
  5. Lebap: Chardzhou, Chardzhouskaya Oblast (obsolete)
  6. Mary: Maruy, Marysk, Maryyskaya Oblast (obsolete)


  1. [1] "Ershiyi (21) Shiji Shijie Diming Lu", Beijing, 2001. It gives the areas to the nearest 100 km.², instead of the nearest 1,000 as previously.
Back to main statoids page Last updated: 2015-06-30
Copyright © 1999, 2001-2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2015 by Gwillim Law.