In ancient times the territory of Turkmenistan belonged to the Persian empire of the Achaemenids. With the advance of the White Huns , massage-table-Alanic tribes were absorbed by Hunnic-Turkish hephthalites, which withstood the Arab conquest (which began as early as the 7th century) until the early 8th century. Their culture was established by tribal parts of the Ogus (Ogus Khanas the ancestor of the Turkmen) in the 10th century. In the 11th century they were co-founders of the great Seljuq empire (heyday of Merw and Khiva), later of the Ottoman empire. Those who were converted to Islam and who settled under Iranian influence were given the name “Turkomanes” (that is, Turkmen) – known in China as early as the 8th century.
In the 13th century the Mongols invaded Turkmenistan. After the disintegration of the Golden Horde , the predominantly nomadic Turkmen, who were valued as warriors, came under the loose sovereignty of the Bukhara and Khiva Khanates and some of the Persians from the 16th century. Mass resettlement of the Turkmen tribes v. a. in the 18th and 19th centuries, among others Due to the drying up of Lake Sarygamysch, this led to fundamental economic and social changes, which – despite the increasing settling of the Turkmens – did not affect the tribal structures until the 20th century. See itypeauto for Turkmenistan literature.
In the last third of the 19th century, Russia subjugated most of the Turkmen tribes. After the founding of the Russian military settlement Krasnowodsk (today Turkmenbaschi) in 1869 and a defeat against the Tekke Turkmen in 1879, the Turkmen fortress Gök-Tepe was conquered in 1881 and Merw was taken in 1884. The area called “Transcaspia” passed away from 1890–98 from the Caucasian to the Turkestan administration; customary law and Aul autonomy were not affected, around 140,000 Turkmen remained relatively autonomous in the Uzbek areas of Khiva , and 120,000 in Bukhara. In 1916 the Turkmen took part in the Central Asian uprising against the Russian administration. After the October Revolution they (especially underJunaid Khan until 1928) bitter resistance to the establishment of Bolshevik rule. 1918–24 Turkmenistan was part of the Turkestan ASSR. On October 27, 1924 (official founding date February 14, 1925) the Turkmen SSR was formed from a part of these as well as from areas of the Soviet republics of Bukhara and Khorezm (Khiva). At the end of the 1920s and beginning of the 1930s, the collectivization of agriculture, which was associated with the compulsory sedentarization of the nomads, was carried out. The purges under Stalin were directed among other things. against the young national intelligentsia and national communist forces.
The perestroika policy introduced in the Soviet Union in 1985 had little effect in Turkmenistan. This declared its sovereignty within the Soviet Union on August 22, 1990 and, after a referendum, on October 27, 1991 its independence (renamed the Republic of Turkmenistan). The Democratic Party of Turkmenistan, which emerged from the Communist Party at the end of 1991, was able to secure power. On December 21, 1991 Turkmenistan joined the Commonwealth of Independent States(CIS) and on March 2, 1992 it became a member of the UN. After the adoption of a new constitution (May 18, 1992) President S. Niyazov became President(in office since 1990) re-elected in June 1992; As “Turkmenbashi” (“Head of all Turkmens”), surrounded by a rapidly growing, bizarre personality cult and governing autocratically, he had his term of office extended to 2002 by referendum in 1994. In December 1999, following a constitutional amendment, parliament proclaimed him president for life. In 2003 he was also appointed President of the People’s Council for life. A failed attempt to assassinate Niyazov in November 2002 triggered a nationwide wave of arrests against opponents of the regime. In the parliamentary elections in December 2004 and January 2005, 50 MPs were elected from 131 candidates from the Democratic Party of the President.
After Niyazov’s unexpected death on December 21, 2006, the President of Parliament Owesgeldy Atajew (born 1951) did not take over the role of interim president – as provided for by the constitution – but Deputy Prime Minister G. Berdimuhamedow with the support of the security apparatus.
On December 26, 2006, the People’s Council confirmed this decision; The constitution has been amended so that in future a member of the Cabinet of Ministers will be appointed as interim president by the State Council for Security and the latter (in contrast to earlier provisions of the Basic Law) can also participate in presidential elections. The elections on February 11, 2007 with several presidential candidates for the first time (six candidates from the ruling Democratic Party, no admission of opposition representatives) won the favorite, interim president Berdimuhamedow officially with 89.23% of the votes (confirmation by the People’s Council and inauguration as President on February 14, 2007). In August 2007 he also took over the chairmanship of the ruling Democratic Party (until 2013). In 2008 he had the excesses of the personality cult around his predecessor Niyazov , who died in 2006, eliminated. Opera houses, theaters and libraries were reopened, those of Niyazovas “Unturkmen” had been banned. The constitutional revision of September 26, 2008 increased the number of members of parliament (Madjilis) to 125. The highest legislative and supervisory body up to that point, the People’s Council (Khalk Maslakhati; 2 507 members), was dissolved and its powers passed to the Madjilis and the President about. Parliamentary elections were held in December 2008, and around 90% of the 287 candidates for the 125 seats belonged to the Democratic Party. In the presidential election on February 12, 2012, the incumbent became Berdimuhamedow re-elected with 97.1% of the votes. The seven opposing candidates were all close to the government and could hardly get any votes in the vote. On December 15, 2013, the new parliament was elected. For the first time, in addition to the Democratic Party, the Party of Traders and Entrepreneurs, another party that won 14 parliamentary seats, was admitted. The ruling party received 47 of the 125 seats. The remaining seats were held by non-party candidates from trade unions, women’s and youth organizations and civic groups. The domestic political framework with considerable deficits in the area of fundamental and human rights did not change significantly in the period that followed. With a new constitutional revision on September 16, 2016, the presidential term of office was extended from five to seven years. Berdimuhamedow admitted eight other candidates, including for the first time one candidate each from the party of traders and entrepreneurs as well as the agricultural party. According to official information, Berdimuhamedow received the mandate for another term of office, which began on February 17, 2017, with around 97.7% of the votes.
In terms of foreign policy, Turkmenistan initially continued its close relations with Russia (especially in the military and security field, 1993 agreement on granting dual citizenship for Russians living in Turkmenistan), but also built ties to Turkey and Iran, with which it has an over 1 000 km long border. In October 1995 Turkmenistan became a member of the Movement of Non-Aligned States and in December 1995 the UN Assembly recognized the status of a neutral country. In April 2003, Turkmenistan and Russia signed an agreement providing Turkmenistan gas supplies within the next 25 years. In addition, the treaty (initially not ratified by the Russian State Duma) contained the revocation of a regulation on dual citizenship that had been in force since 1993. Contrary to Russian intentions, President forcedNiyazov prompted around 100,000 Russians living in Turkmenistan to opt for citizenship, with the risk of expulsion and loss of property if they chose their Russian passport, which ultimately led to a conflict with the Moscow government. In 2005, Turkmenistan withdrew from the CIS after years of extensive inactivity (associate membership only). In April 2006, the country agreed with China to build a gas pipeline. This was put into operation in 2009. In the same year there were disputes with Russia over natural gas supplies. In 2010 a trade agreement with the EU came into force. Turkmenistan became a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2016.