Turkmenistan marks 32nd anniversary of independence

Last Updated on September 29, 2023 1:54 pm

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan celebrated its 32nd anniversary of independence on Wednesday, with events held across the country.

Turkmenistan embarked on its journey towards independence with a significant milestone. On Oct. 26, 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union (USSR), the nation held a referendum titled “State Sovereignty of Turkmenistan.”

As a result of the referendum, 94% of the country’s population voted in favor of independence. Consequently, on Oct. 27, 1991, a law about independence and the bases of the state system of Turkmenistan was adopted, designating this date as Turkmenistan’s Independence Day.

In a subsequent development, on Oct. 9, 2017, Turkmenistan made amendments to its constitution, setting Sept. 27 as the official date for Independence Day celebrations beginning in 2018.

Permanent neutrality

Turkmenistan, upon attaining independence, embraced a military doctrine emphasizing non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and a commitment to respecting territorial integrity.

On Dec. 12, 1995, Turkmenistan was declared a permanently neutral country with the support of 185 countries in the UN General Assembly.

The Central Asian country, which ranks fourth in the world in natural gas reserves, reached its highest natural gas production level since independence in 2021, producing 83 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.

Currently, the country serves as China’s primary natural gas supplier, and since 2021, it has also commenced exporting gas to Azerbaijan, in addition to Russia.

Turkmenistan actively pursues alternative pipeline projects for the natural gas trade. Currently, construction is in progress for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline, with plans to eventually export 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually through this conduit.

Ankara-Ashgabat ties

Türkiye was the first country to recognize Turkmenistan on Oct. 27, 1991, after the dissolution of the USSR.

The two countries established diplomatic ties on Feb. 29, 1992, and Türkiye opened its embassy in Ashgabat on that date.

Commercial relations between the two countries are rapidly expanding, with the aim of increasing trade volume from more than $2 billion in 2021 to $5 billion in the short term and $10 billion in the long term.

The country has the highest number of Turkish companies operating within its borders after Russia.

The close relationship between these two brotherly nations extends to comprehensive cooperation within the framework of regional and international organizations.

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