Turkmenistan, Turkmen , country of Central Asia. It is the second largest state in Central Asia, after Kazakhstan, and is the southernmost of the region’s five republics. Turkmenistan is located at the center of the Eurasian continent and has been classified as an upper-middle-income country. It borders Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and, to the west of the country, the Caspian Sea, which offers abundant natural resources of gas and oil deposits. Turkmenistan’s gas reserves are estimated to be the world’s fourth largest, representing about 10% of global reserves. After Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan is the least densely populated of the Central Asian states. Much of its waterless expanse is inhospitable to plant and animal life. Except for oases in narrow strips dotted along the foothills of the Kopet-Dag Range and along the Amu Darya, Morghāb, and Tejen rivers, deserts characterize its sunbaked sandy terrain.