The central part of the country, desert, is home to a typical fauna, with gazelles, sand rats, wild cats, snakes as well as the Bukhara deer, prey of the striped hyena, a protected species present in southern Turkmenistan and recently spotted also in the Amudar park. ‘ja, NE; in the mountains, to the south, there are chestnut woods, wild vines, pistachio, almond trees, figs and animals such as the snow leopard, the cheetah, the wild goat, the caracal. The marine fauna of the Caspian Sea and the birds that inhabit the coasts are threatened by pollution. Some organizations, in particular the WWF, have established projects involving Turkmenistan together with other countries in the area in order to address the environmental issues of the region: desertification, loss of biodiversity and contamination of soils and aquifers due to the use of agricultural chemicals. These projects concern the coordination and connection, between the different countries, of the protected areas, which in Turkmenistan cover 2.5% of the territory.
According to aceinland, the territory of Turkmenistan was incorporated into the great ancient states, the Persian one of the Achaemenes first and that of Alexander the Great then and, in the third century AD. C., was subjected to the Saanid dynasty. In the following centuries, hephthalites, Turks and Arabs alternated. In the thirteenth century, following the invasion of G. Khān, the territory was divided between the Mongols (to the south) and the Tartars (to the north). The Turkmen population descended from the Oguze tribes that arrived in this area around the century. X and was formed as a distinct ethnic group only in the century. XV organizing itself in various political-territorial units with a tribal basis. While the south of the country suffered the expansionist policy of Persia, the Khanatids Buhara and Khiva remained independent until the eighteenth century.
In 1890 the territories inhabited by the Turkmen groups partly passed under the sovereignty of the Tsarist Empire and were recognized in this condition by international diplomacy in 1895, following a treaty with Great Britain. The Bolshevik revolution broke out, after the brief experience of an independent government with British support, Turkmenistan, reconquered by the Red Army (1920), it was constituted in the Soviet Socialist Republic on February 14, 1924, thus experiencing up to 1936 forms of military resistance caused by the collectivization and sedentarization programs. The inclusion in the USSR involved the immigration of Russian technicians and population to support the economic development of the region; oriented both in the agricultural sense (extension of irrigation and in particular the construction of the Karakum canal) and industrial, this was accompanied by a moderate improvement in living conditions, particularly in the field of health and education. It acquired independence from the USSR on 27 October 1991 following the dissolution of the Union provoked by the attempted Moscow coup in August and after formal approval by referendum, Turkmenistan participated in the following month CSI (December 21, 1991).
Most Turkmenistan is characterized by one of the most conservative Muslim societies in former Soviet Central Asia, strongly based on traditional tribal structures and yet not affected by the expansion of fundamentalism religious; it retained Saparmuryad Niyazov, the president then in office, at the helm of the country, elected on the Democratic Party lists in October 1990, reconfirmed in 1992 and 1994 and appointed president for life in 1999. The first acts of the new republic include the introduction of the Latin alphabet and the promulgation of a new Constitution (May 1992); on the level of international relations the interest in the consolidation of political and economic relations with the Turkish-speaking countries and at the same time, however, to protect their independence, the search for a position of balance between Iran and Turkey. At the end of 1993 a series of bilateral agreements were signed with Russia, the most important of which consisted in the recognition, by the latter, of dual citizenship, Russian and Turkmen, for the Russians (about 10% of the population) who live in the country. Since 1992 the country has been a member of OSCE and the UN.
In 2001 the Turkmen embassy in Azerbaijan was closed due to a crisis that broke out between the two countries for the exploitation of oil fields in the Caspian Sea area. In November 2002 Niyazov was the victim of an attack; later many opposition leaders were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. In a 2003 treaty with Moscow, Russia agreed to buy natural gas from Turkmenistan. In 2004, a United Nations report denounced the serious human rights situation in the country and accused the president of conspiring to maintain power. Niyazov died on November 21, 2006 and the Security Council appointed Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov as provisional successor, confirmed with 89% of the votes in the presidential elections of February 2007. In 2008 the People’s Council adopted a new Constitution for the democratization of the political system, in anticipation of new elections within the year, won in December by the president’s party. In February 2012, Berdymukhammedov was reconfirmed with 97% of the votes, but with strong doubts of fraud by the international community.