Turkmenistan - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Turkmenistan, a country in Central Asia bordered by Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and the Caspian Sea has a total land area of 188,456 square miles and a population of over 5.1 million. Turkmenistan is an oxymoron in that it in spite of being wealthy in natural gas reserves it has widespread poverty and high unemployment. Cotton is planted in at-least half of the arable land. The main sectors of its economy are natural gas and cotton. The government has taken a lead in promoting tourism by improving the infrastructure, starting hotels and conference and business facilities.

Travel Resources: 

As it can be hot and dry in summer, the best time to visit is April through June. Museums, historical sites and natural attractions are the highlights of Turkmenistan. Its cuisine is similar to Central Asian cuisine. Generally, it is devoid of spices and seasonings. Plov is the everyday food. Sashlyk (skewered meat) is a typical street vendor food.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Turkmenistan: The Bradt Travel Guide978-1841621449$25The best guide book available on Turkmenistan. Part I is practical information covering 60 pages. Part II has chapters on Ashgabat: the White City, Ahal Region: the Heart of Turkmenistan, Balkan Region: the Caspian and the West, Dashoguz Region: the North, Lebap Region: Along the Oxus, and Mary Region: From Ancient Merv to the Afghan Border.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan Map by GiziMap978-9630083157$131:3M Scale.
Turkmenistan Grounded Adapter Plug – GUBB001FD86YI$8

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Turkmenistan were a set of nine stamps released in 1992. The set (Scott #1 to #9) catalogs for around $10 MNH or used. A variety of parts of the same set with different colored overprints was also released later that year and that set (Scott #10 to #21) catalogs for around $25 MNH or used. The designs show Dagdan Necklace from the 19th century, girl in traditional costume, Akhaltekin horse and rider in native riding dress, Mollanepes Theater, National Arms, President Saparmurad Niyazov along with the National Flag, and Map of Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan was one of the Central Asian republics that favored a reformed version of the state when the collapse of the Soviet Union became imminent. Turkmenistan declared independence on October 27, 1991 as one of the last Soviet republics to secede.

Other issues of Turkmenistan enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet released on December 11, 1994 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #44 to #48 and #49) catalogs for around $7 MNH or used. The designs show Repetek Institute, desert and camels, echus carinatus (venomous viper species), desert monitor, Central Asian tortoise, and the saxaul plant. Over 80% of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert (Black Sand).
  2. A sheet of twenty four stamps and a label released in December of 2000 to mark the fifth anniversary of UN Resolution on the Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan. The set (Scott #72a-x) catalogs for around $40 MNH or used. The designs show UN Emblem along with Flags of Turkmenistan and Resolution Co-sponsors: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Pakistan, Moldova, Russia, Senegal, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Ukraine. In 1991, Turkmenistan became a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States but in August 2005 reduced its status in the organization as ‘associate member’, professing the country’s policy of permanent neutrality.
  3. Seven sheets of six stamps released in 2001 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #79a-f to #85a-f) catalogs for around $40 MNH or used. The designs show Coins with the reverse side showing buildings and statues,  archaeological sites (Soltan, Sanjar, Nusay, Gyz Gala, Urgenc, Anew, and Kone Urgenc), items in the National Museum (horn, 19th century carpet, musical instrument, statue of nude woman, vase, and 20th century decoration), hotels (Ahal, Gara Altyn, Demiryolcy, Altyn Suw, Kopetdag, and Aziya), buildings (Altyn Asyryn Yasayys Jaylary, Arch of Neutrality, Turkmendowletatiyaclandyrys, Random Tower, Turkmenbasy Bank,  and Trade Center Building), monuments (Oguz Han, Seljuk Bay, Bayram Han, Soltan Sanjar, Gorkut Ata, and Gorogly Beg), and monuments to Sahyrlary Bayram Han, Sahyrlary Kemine, Sahyrlary Zelili, Sahyrlary Seydi, Sahyrlary Mollanepes, and Sahyrlary Mataji.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Turkenistan were Republic Standard Coinage (100 Tenge = 1 Manat) Copper Plated Steel Tenges issued in 1993 showing Value in center of flower-like design within circle in Obverse and Head Portrait of President Saparmyrat Nyyazow in Reverse. The issues are common and catalogs for well under a dollar. Starting in 1996, Turkmenistan has issued a number of Silver Proofs for the numismatic market.

Numismatic items of Turkmenistan include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCopper Tennes from the 1990s starts around $1. UNC Coin Year Sets Starts around $10. Silver Proofs go well into the 100s.
Paper Money$2 and upUNC Manats starts around $2. High Value UNC Manats, Consecutive Serial Number Banknotes UNCs with 5-pieces or more, etc start around $10. UNC Bundles starts around $50 and go into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Miscellaneous Collectibles$2 and upKey Chains, Patches, Flags, etc start around $2. Tribal Belly Dance Dangles, Headdresses, etc start around $20. Dowry Bag Pasha Rugs go into the 100s.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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