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Religion in Turkmenistan

Religions of Turkmenistan

Since the first millennium BCE, Turkmenistan has been part of the shifting great state formation: the Persian Empire under Ahemanida and later Alexander the Great. In the 3rd century AD, Turkmenistan was conquered by the Persian Sasanider dynasty.

According to Countryaah data, in it 5-8. century, invasions of Ephthalites, Turks and Arabs took place. In the 6-8. century the area of ​​the Caspian Sea was subject to the Arab Caliphate. When this dissolved, the area in it was 9-10. century subject to the Tahirids and Samanids states. In the middle of the 11th century, the Selyucide empire was formed in Turkmenistan, which was conquered a century later.

During the Selyucid period, Turkmen people were formed through ethnic mixing of Turks with the local tribes. The final formation of the Turkmen people culminated in the 14-15. century. In the early 13th century, Turkmenistan was invaded by the armies of Djenghi Khan, whose successors divided the country between them. Much of the land was subjugated to the Hulagide state, while the northern areas were made vassal areas by the golden hordes of Tartars. In it 14-15. century, the country was subject to the Timurids, which was followed by the Uzbek khans. In the 16-18. century, the land was divided between the khanates of Jiva, Bukhara and the Iranian state of the Setevids.

In the 1880s, Turkmenistan was conquered by the Russian army. Most of the territory was incorporated in the Transcaspic region and the province of Turkestan, while the areas inhabited by the Turkmen transitioned to Jiva and Bukhara, who were Russian protectorates.

The Russian invasion of the country encountered fierce resistance until the Battle of Geok-Tepe in 1881, when the last rebel groups were defeated. Turkmens took an active part in the rebellion in 1916 against the Tsarist forced discharges in the midst of the first world war. The uprising was most violent in the city of Tedzhen, where a number of residents and Russian officials were executed by the locals.

With the February Revolution in Russia in 1917, Zarism collapsed and the formation of Soviets throughout the empire was encouraged. However, the Transcaspic region remained under the control of the Russian provincial government. Following the Bolshevik revolution in November 1917, the Soviet power was proclaimed - also in Turkmenistan.

In July 1918, a British military expeditionary force re-established the administration of the Transcaspic provincial government, but after two years of civil war, the Soviet power was reinstated in 1920, and on February 14, 1924, the Socialist Soviet Republic of Turkmenistan was formed, becoming part of the Soviet Union.

Until then, Turkmenistan had never experienced the nation's political unity. The social organization was based solely on the tribes, and the majority of the population lived as nomads. Therefore, industrialization and the collectivization of agriculture were forms enforced by the Soviet power.

After World War II, considerable economic growth was recorded, based on the extraction of oil and gas as well as the growing production of cotton. But during Leonid Breznhev's reign of 1964-83, political problems worsened and the economy ran into stagnation. In the republics where the Soviet power had built up a monoculture - as in Turkmenistan - agriculture suffered greatly from the economic problems.

From 1985, fundamental changes took place in the Soviet Union after Mikhail Gorbachov's takeover of power in the country. Among other things. an Islamic rebirth took place, was expressed in the building of many new mosques.

Following the failed coup attempt against Gorbachov in August 1991, the Turkmen Communist Party lost its legitimacy to rule. Niyázov formulated a proposal on the need for the state to recapture its supremacy and printed a referendum on this issue. As early as October, the Republic declared itself independent and introduced presidential rule. Two months later, Turkmenistan joined the Association of Independent States (CIS), the institution that replaced the Soviet Union. At the same time, the Communist Party changed its name to the Democratic Party and the new independent state was recognized internationally.

During the same period, Niyázov - who was previously chairman of the Turkmen Communist Party - visited Ankara and Tehran. At the same time, he stated that he placed the greatest emphasis on developing the country's relations with Turkey, to which Turkmenistan was, in his view, culturally most closely linked. In Tehran, he signed trade agreements, and agreements on joint exploration of natural gas resources, the construction of a transport network and the need to integrate the banking systems.

 

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