Bekdash (Bekdaş) ( -2002)
Garabogaz is located in Turkmenistan
Location in Turkmenistan
Coordinates: 41°32′13″N 52°34′13″E / 41.53694°N 52.57028°E / 41.53694; 52.57028Coordinates: 41°32′13″N 52°34′13″E / 41.53694°N 52.57028°E / 41.53694; 52.57028
Country Turkmenistan
ProvinceBalkan Province
DistrictTürkmenbaşy District
 (1989 census)[1]
 • Total6,895
Time zoneUTC+5

Garabogaz (pronounced [ʁɑɾɑboˈʁɑð]) is a city subordinate to Turkmenbashy District, Balkan province, Turkmenistan, on the shore of the Caspian Sea. Until 2002, the municipality had the status of a town and was named Bekdaş [bekˈdɑʃ].[2][3]


The city takes its name from the nearby Garabogaz gulf. Atanyyazow explains that the name originally applied to the narrow strait which connects the gulf to the Caspian Sea. Because water in the strait, termed a "throat" (Turkmen: bogaz), was darker than the water on either side, it was termed "dark" or "black" (Turkmen: gara), hence garabogaz. Over time the name was applied to the gulf itself and ultimately to the city.[4] The original name, Bekdash (Turkmen: Bekdaş) is taken from the name of a small hill nearby, on which a television antenna has been installed. The origin of bek is obscure; daş means "stone, rock" and Atanyyazov suggests it refers to the pebbles found in the area.[4]


The settlement occupies the northern tapering of a ridge before it becomes a narrow spit. These together divide the Garabogazköl lagoon from the Caspian Sea, with a small inlet channel to the south of the town. It has abundant and varied mineral resources from the highly saline lagoon. It is one of few places in the world where naturally deposited sodium sulfate exists in commercially exploitable quantities.


Garabogaz is the site of one of Turkmenistan's three urea (carbamide) plants. The $1.3 billion Garabogaz plant, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and GAP İnşaat (a subsidiary of Çalık Holding), was inaugurated on September 18, 2018, with a design capacity of 1.16 million tonnes of urea per year. Between January and October 2019, the Garabogaz plant produced approximately 392,000 tonnes of urea, of which 261,000 tonnes was exported.[5][6] The plant operates a loading terminal for shipping urea via the Caspian.

A mineral salt extraction plant dating to the Soviet period is located 15 km northeast of the city. It was constructed over a period of ten years, between 1963 and 1973. It produces sodium sulfate as well as epsomite and Glauber's salt.[7] It has a reported capacity to produce 400,000 tonnes of sodium sulfate per year, but in 1998 produced an estimated 55,000 tonnes,[7] and in 2018, 26,000 tonnes.[8]


The city lies on the P-18 highway connecting the city of Turkmenbashy with the border of Kazakhstan at Temir Baba. This road is planned for an upgrade or replacement according to press reports, since the section of highway between Garabogaz and the border is mostly unpaved.[9] Garabogaz is served by a freight rail line. Plans were announced in 2018 to renovate the small municipal airport, which does not offer regular passenger service.[10][11]

Garabogaz offers the only gasoline station between Turkmenbashy and the border with Kazakhstan.

Exile village

It serves as a spot of supervised exile in Turkmen law. Gulgeldy Annaniyazov is one person held there, since 2019.[12]


Prior to 1932 the town lay in what is now Kazakhstan.[13]


  1. ^ Population census 1989 Archived 2012-01-18 at the Wayback Machine, Demoscope Weekly, No. 359-360, 1-18 January 2009 (search for Туркменская ССР) (in Russian)
  2. ^ "TÜRKMENISTANYŇ HALK MASLAHATYNYŇ ÇÖZGÜDI №HM-77 Balkan welaýatynyň Türkmenbaşy etrabynyň Bekdaş posýologynyň adyny üýtgedip oňa Garabogaz adyny dakmak we şäher derejesini bermek hakynda" (PDF) (in Turkmen). Turkmenistan Parliament. 9 August 2002. p. 40.
  3. ^ "Districts in Turkmenistan". Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  4. ^ a b Atanyýazow, Soltanşa (1980). Түркменистаның Географик Атларының Дүшүндиришли Сөзлүги [Explanatory Dictionary of Geographic Names in Turkmenistan]. Ashgabat: Ылым. p. 86.
  5. ^ "Turkmenistan - Chemical Industry". U.S. Department of Commerce. July 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "Завод «Гарабогазкарбамид» экспортировал с начала года более 261 тысяч тонн удобрений" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. November 13, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Levine, Richard M. (1999). "THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF TURKMENISTAN" (PDF). United States Geological Survey.
  8. ^ Renaud, Karine M. (March 2020). "The Mineral Industry of Turkmenistan" (PDF). United States Geological Survey.
  9. ^ "В Туркмении начали прокладывать скоростную дорогу в Казахстан" (in Russian). Fergana. 8 April 2019.
  10. ^ "В Гарабогазе будет построен новый аэропорт" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 3 February 2018.
  11. ^ Hasanov, Husayn (2 February 2018). "Туркменистан построит аэропорт в прикаспийском Гарабогазе" (in Russian). Trend.
  12. ^ "HDIM 2019 Any Other Business: Moscow Mechanism – Turkmenistan, Belarus". 27 September 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  13. ^ Trofimov, Dmitriy (2002), Ethnic/Territorial and Border Problems in Central Asia, retrieved 28 October 2018
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