Turkmenistan is situated in the southwest of Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Caspian Sea. This landlocked nation is largely covered by the Karakum Desert but with oases scattered amid the arid land.
The country has served as a causeway for different civilizations and cultures. Its city, Merv, was the world’s biggest city and significant sojourn on the Silk Road during the medieval period. Turkmenistan was also a constituent republic of the Soviet Union from 1925 until 1991 after the Soviet Union was dissolved. Following its independence, Turkmenistan has been governed by repressive regimes of Saparmurat Niyazov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.
Turkmenistan’s official currency is the Turkmenistani manat which was established on November 1, 1993. Derived from the Persian word “munat” which means “coin”, the Turkmenistani manat replaced the Soviet Ruble and is subdivided into 100 tenges. Turkmen banknotes are printed by De La Rue.
The first manat banknotes were in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 500 manat. Except for the 1 and 5 manat banknotes, this set of banknotes features former president Saparmurat Niyazov.
The second manat was introduced by the Central Bank of Turkmenistan on January 1, 2009 after the currency devalued due to hyperinflation. The obverse of these banknotes depict prominent figures in Turkmen history such as Togrul Beg Turkmen, Soltan Sansar Turkmen, Gorogly Beg Turkmen, Magtymguly Pyragy, Gorkut Ata Turkmen, and Oguz Han Turkmen. Meanwhile, their reverse side displays buildings in the capital of Ashgabat. A 500-manat banknote that features President Saparmurat Niyazov is also included in this set but was not put into circulation.
The 2012 – 2014 issues of the manat are similar to that of the preceding issues but with enhanced security features such as a pearlescent stripe added on the reverse of the notes, the SPARK feature on the 10 and 20 manat notes, and holographic stripes and wider windowed security threads on the 50 and 100 manat bills.
In 2017, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 manat banknotes were issued to commemorate the 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games that took place in Ashgabat from September 17 to 27, 2017. Their obverse is like the previous issues but with the Ashgabat 2017 logo added on the watermark area. Their reverse highlights the new architectural building constructed in Ashgabat in honor of the games such as the Ashgabat International Airport, the Ashgabat Sports Complex Velodrome, the Main Indoor Arena, the Martial Arts Arena, and the Track & Field complex.