Turkmenistan in brief
Major cities: Annau, Mary, Turkmenabat, Dashoguz, Balkanabat, Turkmenbashi
Official language: Turkmen
Population: 6.2 million
Religion: Mostly Muslim
Area: 189,653 square miles
Number of Korean expats: 320 (2014)
Major public holidays: Independence Day (Oct. 27-28), Day of Neutrality (Dec. 12)
Diplomatic ties between Turkmenistan and Korea were established in February 1992. In 2007, the Korean Embassy was established in Ashgabat, while the Embassy of Turkmenistan opened here in 2013.
A modern strengthening of relations between the two countries was laid within the framework of state visits by Korean President Park Geun-hye to Turkmenistan in 2014 and by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to Korea in April 2015. Most recently, Turkmenistan’s speaker of parliament (Mejlis) visited Korea in August within the framework of strengthening parliamentary ties between the two countries.
Over several years, major Korean companies including LG, SK, Hyundai, Samsung, Daewoo and Kia Motors, have been operating successfully in the Turkmen economy. Ambitious projects have included the construction of industrial facilities on the Galkynysh gas field, modernization of the oil refinery in Turkmenbashi and construction of a gas chemical plant in Kiyanly.
Nearly half of Ashgabat’s public transportation means is buses and taxis imported from Korea. In addition, Hyundai Motors is one of the official car suppliers of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, which will be held in Turkmenistan in 2017.
In the past years, trade turnover between Turkmenistan and Korea has increased exponentially. Korean partners have confirmed their willingness to provide advanced scientific and industrial developments for implementation of joint projects and train qualified specialists for the Turkmen economy.
Born May 30, 1975, in Ashgabat, Tazegul Mammetalyyeva worked as a scientific researcher at the country’s Institute for State and Law. Her family includes a 12-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. She is an active member in several local clubs, including Planting Love, Garden Club and Seoul International Women’s Association.
Turkmen Ambassador Myrat Mammetalyyev
Born Oct. 31, 1972, in Ashgabat, Myrat Mammetalyyev arrived in Seoul in April 2014 to serve his first ambassadorial post. He previously held various positions at the Turkmen Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving as head of the Department of European Countries from 2008 to 2013 and head of the International Information Department from 2013 to 2014, among other posts. In June, he was appointed Turkmen ambassador in Singapore, concurrently serving since as Turkmenistan’s top diplomat in two countries.