Turkmenistan 1945-1991

After World War II had ended in a Russian victory, the industries of Turkmenistan's cities lost in relative importance for the economy of the USSR. Under Khrushchev, the economic development of Central Asia was declared a goal of national policy; desert regions, via irrigation, were to be turned into cotton fields ('the white gold of Asia'). The implementation of this policy (the LENIN KARA-KUM CANAL) had far-reaching consequences (the shrinking of Lake Aral etc.). In 1965, Turkmenistan had a population of 1,862,000.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979) and the subsequent war in Afghanistan (-1990) was of importance to Turkmenistan, as it borders on the former and shares with the population of Afghanistan Islamic religion.
In 1986 Annamurad Khodzhamuradov became party leader of Turkmenistan; while he remained loyal to the USSR, he refused to implement Gorbachev's reform policy. The various Soviet republics received a wider degree of autonomy in 1990; with the dissolution of the USSR late in 1991, Turkmenistan, now lead by Saparmurat Niyazov, formally became independent. Niyazov was among the supporters of the coup that temporarily ousted Gorbachev in 1991.

Major events relevant to Central Asian history, since 1600, from oxuscom
History of Turkmenistan : the Soviet Period, 1917-1991, by slava1
Timeline History of Turkmenistan, from BBC News
REFERENCE Chapter XXII : Antique Worlds of Central Asia, pp.450-474 in : John Gunther, Inside Russia Today, NY : Harper & Bros. (1957) 1958 [G]
Adventures in Central Asia, pp.220-251 in John Gunther, Meet Soviet Russia, NY : Harper & Bros. 1962 [G]
Aman Berdi Murat, Turkmenistan and the Turkmen, pp.262-282 in : Zev Katz et al. (ed.), Handbook of Major Soviet Nationalities, NY : The Free Press 1975 [G]
Article : Union of Soviet Socialist Republics : Turkmenistan, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1970-1971 pp.1438-1440, 1975-1976 pp.1442-1444, 1976-1977 pp.1441-1442, 1978-1979 pp.1260-1262, 1979-1980 pp.1269-1271, 1980-1981 pp.1265-1267, 1981-1982 pp.1273-1275, 1983-1984 pp.1269-1271, 1984-1985 pp.1267-1269, 1985-1986 pp.1268-1270, 1986-1987 pp.1267-1269, 1987-1988 pp.1271-1272, 1988-1989 pp.1275-1276, 1989-1990 pp.1281-1282, 1990-1991 pp.1284-1285, 1991-1992 pp.1284-1285 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 29th 2002, last revised on April 5th 2007

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