Happy Birthday to Turkmenistan!

Darvaza gas crater, known locally as the “Door to Hell” or ”Gates of Hell”, a natural gas field collapsed into an underground cavern located in Derweze, Turkmenistan. Geologists set it on fire to prevent the spread of methane gas, and it is thought to have been burning continuously since 1971. The diameter of the crater is 69 meters (226 ft), and its depth is 30 meters (98 ft). *Photo from Wikipedia

October 27 is Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Turkmenistan from USSR in 1991.

The region’s written history begins with the region’s conquest by the Achaemenid Empire of ancient Iran. Later conquerors included Alexander the Great, the Parni, Ephthalites, Huns, Göktürks, Sarmatians, and Sassanid Iranians.
During this early phase of history, the majority of Turkmenistan’s inhabitants were either adherents of Zoroastrianism or Buddhism and the region was largely dominated by Iranian peoples. However, these incursions and epochs, though pivotal, did not shape the region’s history as the invasions of two later invading groups: Muslim Arabs and the Oghuz Turks. The vast majority of inhabitants were converted to Hanifism, while the Oghuz brought the beginnings of the Turkic Turkmen language that came to dominate the area.
The Turkic period was a time of cultural fusion as Islamic traditions brought by the Arabs merged with local Iranian cultures and then were further altered by Turkic invaders and rulers such as the Seljuks. Genghis Khan and Mongol invasions devastated the region during the late Middle Ages, but their hold upon the area was transitional as later Timur Leng and Uzbeks contested the land.
Modern Turkmenistan was radically transformed by the invasion of the Russian Empire, which conquered the region in the late 19th century. Later, the Russian Revolution of 1917 would ultimately transform Turkmenistan from an Islamic tribal society to a totalitarian Leninist one during the Soviet era. Independence came in 1991.

Turkmenistan, formerly known as Turkmenia, is a country in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north and east, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west.

*Reference: Wikipedia