I am divided into 5 provinces or welayatler and one capital district. I received my independence in 1991. I am called a constitutional democratic presidential republic, but I am in fact a single-party state with the president acting much like a dictator. The current president is Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Today over 5 million people live here. My GDP grew at a fast rate of 11% in 2012. This was due mainly to the export of a single commodity, natural gas. My currency is the manat. The group, Reporters Without Borders’, ranks me as having the 3rd worst press freedom conditions in the world, behind North Korea and Burma. Much of my territory (80%) is covered by the Karakum Desert, one of the driest deserts in the world. I am about the size of the state of California. My highest summit is Ayrybaba at 10,292 feet above sea level. My rivers include Amu Darya, the Murghab, and the Tejen. My climate is mostly arid subtropical desert with mild and dry winters. I have a 1,000 mile coast to a sea which is landlocked and has no natural access to an ocean. Half of my country’s irrigated land is planted to cotton, making me the world’s ninth largest cotton producer.
Nearly 90% of my people are of the ethnic group that bears my country name. Other groups are Uzbeks (3%) and Russians (2%). Russian is widely spoken in cities, but the official language bears my country name. When it comes to religion, 89% of the population is Muslim, 9% are East Orthodox Christians, and 2% are non-religious. Internet services are not well developed such that less than 5% of the population uses the internet. One of my World Heritage Sites is Koneurgenc which is the unexcavated ruins of the 12th century capital of Khwarezm. Plov is our staple, every day food. It consists of chunks of mutton, carrots and rice fried in a large cast-iron cauldron similar to a Dutch oven. Our cuisine does not generally use spices or seasonings and is cooked with large amounts of cottonseed oil for flavoring. Green tea is our primary drink. However, our national drink is chal, a fermented camel’s milk. I sent 10 athletes to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. There were 7 men and 3 women. Who am I?
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