Newsletter II-2, an update to the ISO 3166-2 standard, is dated 2010-06-30. It assigns an ISO code to Ashgabat.
ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number I-4, dated 2002-12-10, changes the spelling of Dashhowuz to Dașoguz. (If your browser doesn't have the third letter of that name in its font, it's supposed to be "Latin small s with comma below". That's what I see in the newsletter. However, that letter is supposed to be used only in Romanian. In Turkmen, Daşoguz, using "Latin small s with cedilla", would be more appropriate.) The newsletter also changes the spelling of the Turkmen word for province from welayat to welaýat.
According to Internet sources, Turkmen was written in Arabic script until 1929. Then, Turkmens adopted a modified version of the already modified Latin alphabet introduced in Turkey as one of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's reforms. In 1940, the Soviet Union imposed the use of a modified Cyrillic alphabet. On 1996-01-01, a new Latin-based alphabet was imposed by law in Turkmenistan. This new alphabet has several diacritics and special characters, some of them not found in the ISO 8859 character sets. See this page (in French) for more detailed information.
In 1992, when Turkmen-language names replaced the Russian names of provinces, the name of the capital, Ashkhabad, changed to Ashgabat. In about 1996, Ashgabat became an independent city, by splitting from Ahal province.
Change Notice 2 to the U.S. government standard FIPS PUB 10-4 is dated March 1, 1999. It assigns codes to the provinces of Turkmenistan as shown below.
Turkmenistan corresponds to most of the Transcaspian (Zakaspiyskaya) oblast of the Turkestan general-government of the Russian Empire in 1900, plus a small part of the Khanate of Khiva. During most of the history of the Soviet Union, it was the Turkmenistan S.S.R., a constituent republic. It became independent on 1991-10-27.
land of the Turkmens, possibly from turk: Turk, men: pure
Turkmenistan is divided into five welayat, or velayat (provinces), and one independent city.
Turkmenistan appears still to be using Soviet-era postal codes, six-digit numbers always beginning with '7'.
See the Districts of Turkmenistan page.
According to the 1997-98 edition of The Statesman's Year-Book, the provinces were divided into 42 rural districts, 15 towns, and 74 urban settlements.
Ashkhabad: Iranian `esq abad: city of love
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