September 27 is marked in Turkmenistan as the Independence Day. On December 12, 1995, Turkmenistan was recognized as a permanently neutral State by the resolution of the UN General Assembly with the unanimous support of 185 member States. At present Turkmenistan has established diplomatic relations with 151 countries.
Turkmenistan is a democratic, law-based, secular State. Form of government – Presidential republic. The political structure of the Turkmen state is formed in accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan, adopted on May 18, 1992 (revised on September 14, 2016). The Сonstitution of Turkmenistan is the basic law of the State. According to that law, Turkmenistan’s state structure is based on the principle of separation of powers into legislative, executive and judicial branches which act independently and balance each other. Constitutionally fixed norms and provisions are directly applicable. Laws and other legal acts that contradict the Constitution have no legal force.
The people of Turkmenistan are the bearers of sovereignty and the sole source of State power.
The State guarantees the freedom of religions and confessions and their equality before the law. Religious organizations are separate from the State and may not interfere in State affairs or fulfill state functions. The public education system is separate from religious organizations and is secular.
The President of Turkmenistan is the highest official of Turkmenistan. He is the Head of the State and executive power. The President of Turkmenistan chairs the Cabinet of Ministers – the Government of Turkmenistan. The President of Turkmenistan is the guarantor of the country’s independence and neutral status of Turkmenistan, its territorial integrity; of respect for the Constitution; and of fulfillment of international obligations. The President of Turkmenistan is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan.
The Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan is the highest representative body of democracy. The main goal and main tasks of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan are the wide involvement of the people in solving issues of national importance, in the implementation of reforms and socio-economic programs implemented in the country, developing proposals, advising, assisting and serving to strengthen unity, cohesion, tranquility, prosperity of the people and dynamic development of an Independent, Permanently Neutral Turkmenistan.
The Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan consists of the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan, the President of Turkmenistan, the Chairman of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Turkmenistan, the Secretary of the State Security Council of Turkmenistan, the Prosecutor-General of Turkmenistan, the Authorized Representative for Human Rights in Turkmenistan - Ombudsman, governors of velayats, etraps and cities, chairmen of the halk maslahaty of velayats, etraps and cities, archins of cities, towns, which are the administrative centers of etraps, heads of political parties, trade unions and other public associations, representatives of the public, recommended by the halk maslahaty of velayats and Ashgabat city, including representatives of the elder people.
The Mejlis of Turkmenistan (Parliament), consisting of one chamber, is a representative body exercising legislative power. The Mejlis of Turkmenistan consists of 125 deputies, they are elected by constituencies with an approximately equal number of voters for a term of five years.
Judicial power in Turkmenistan resides solely in the courts. The judicial branch is meant to safeguard the rights and freedoms of citizens and the legally protected interests of the State and society.
The territory of Turkmenistan covers 491, 21 thousand sq km. Its territory stretches for 1100 km from west to east and extends for 650 km from north to south. In the north Turkmenistan borders with the Republic of Kazakhstan, in the north-east and in the east Turkmenistan shares borders with the Republic of Uzbekistan, in the south-east Turkmenistan borders with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and in the south – with the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the west the country’s natural boundary is the Caspian Sea, through which Turkmenistan borders with the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The population of Turkmenistan is more than 6.2 million people (as of 2017). Turkmenistan is a multinational state. There are more than 100 nations living in the country.
The Turkmen language is the state language. The use of their native language is guaranteed to all citizens of Turkmenistan. The educational institutions of Turkmenistan ensure learning of three languages – Turkmen, English and Russian. In addition, the higher educational institutions and some specialized secondary schools include study of French, Chinese, German, Japanese and some other foreign languages.
The national currency is manat, put into circulation on November 1, 1993. Currently, the ratio of the national currency to a freely convertible currency is: 3,50 manats = 1 US dollar.
The Government Programme of Development the Banking System for 2011-2030 was adopted and has been successfully implemented. In addition, in Turkmenistan over the past few years, the country’s financial institutions have carried out an extensive work to develop the securities market. Currently, the population of the country is provided with maintenance services of bank cards "Visa", "Visa Electron", "Visa Classic". The banks continue to work on the introduction of international payment cards, in particular, the system of "Master Card" in order to establish non-cash payments in the field of trade.
Administrative and territorial structure
The capital city of Turkmenistan is Ashgabat, which is an administrative and territorial unit with province-wide powers (velayat). Ashgabat consists of 4 districts (etraps): Bagtyyarlyk district, Berkararlyk district, Kopetdag district, Buzmeyin district.
Turkmenistan is divided into 5 provinces – Ahal, Balkan, Dashoguz, Lebap and Mary. Each province is divided into districts. There are 43 districts, 6 etraps within towns, 51 towns, of which 11 towns with etrap rights, 62 villages and 605 rural councils (rural municipal units) and 1719 rural settlements in Turkmenistan.
The state and national holidays of Turkmenistan
Work at enterprises, organizations and institutions are not carried out on the following national holiday and memorable days:
New Year – January 1;
International Women’s Day – March 8;
National Spring Holiday (Novruz) – March 21-22;
Day of the Constitution of Turkmenistan and the State Flag of Turkmenistan – May 18;
Turkmenistan’s Independence Day - September 27;
Commemoration Day - October 6;
International Neutrality Day - December 12;
Kurban Bayramy - a specific date Kurban Bayramy is annually determined by the Decree of the President of Turkmenistan;
Oraza Bayram - the specific date of Oraza Bayram is annually determined by the Decree of the President of Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan also celebrates holiday and memorable days, established by the Decree of the President of Turkmenistan, without providing days of rest (if they fall on working days):
1). Day of Defenders of the Motherland - January 27;
2). Day of Diplomatic Workers of Turkmenistan - February 18;
3). Day of Chemical Industry Workers - March 31;
4). World Health Day - 7 April;
5). The holiday of the Turkmen horse and of the Turkmen alabay - the last Sunday of April;
6). Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 - May 9;
7). Day of the Ashgabat city - May 25;
8). The holiday of the Turkmen carpet - the last Sunday of May;
9). International Children's Day - June 1;
10). World Bicycle Day – June 3;
11). World Environment Day - 5 June;
12). Day of textile workers - the first Sunday of June;
13). Day of Science - June 12;
14). Day of Culture and art workers, and also poetry of Makhtumkuli Fragi - June 27;
15). Day of Knowledge and student's youth - September 1;
16). Day of Worker's of Construction, Energy and Public utilities - the second Saturday of September;
17). International Day of Older Persons - 1 October;
18). Day of the Navy of Turkmenistan - 9 October;
19). Day of Health and Medical Industry Workers - 10 October;
20). Industry Workers Day - third Sunday of October;
21). The Harvest holiday - the second Sunday of November;
22). Day of Oil and gas industry workers and geologists - December 14;
23). The Day of Remembrance of the First President of Turkmenistan S.A. Niyazov - December 21.