Hazar, Turkmenistan

Çeleken, چهارکن (?-1999)
Central square of Hazar, Balkan Province, Turkmenistan, with statue of Saparmurat Niyazov
Central square of Hazar, Balkan Province, Turkmenistan, with statue of Saparmurat Niyazov
Hazar is located in Turkmenistan
Location in Turkmenistan
Coordinates: 39°24′46″N 53°7′41″E / 39.41278°N 53.12806°E / 39.41278; 53.12806
Country Turkmenistan
ProvinceBalkan Province
 (1989 census)[1]
 • Total28,100

Hazar (until 1999 known as Çeleken, also written Cheleken; Russian: Челекен; Persian: Chaharken چهارکن) is a seaport town located on the Cheleken Peninsula of the Caspian Sea.[2] It is directly subordinate to the city of Balkanabat in Balkan Province of western Turkmenistan. In November 2022, it was downgraded from city-with-district-status to a town, and alongside Gumdag, it became subordinate to City of Balkanabat.[3]


Hazar (also Khazar, a backformation of Russian: Хазар) was the name of a Turkic people, the Khazars (viz.), who lived on the shores of the Caspian Sea and lent their tribal name to the body of water in several Turkic languages, including Turkmen. The current name of the city thus comes from the Turkmen name of the Caspian Sea. The former name, Çeleken (Cheleken), is the name of the former island, now peninsula, on which the city is located. The word comes from Persian chahar kan چهارکن, meaning "four wells" or "four riches", referring to the wealth of petroleum found on the peninsula.[4]



This city and area are rich in petroleum oil reserves. As far back as the 1st century, the Greek philosopher Strabo said, "They say, diggers opened oily springs near the Okh River. Indeed, if a country has alkaline, asphalt, sticky, sulfurous waters, it is most likely to have oily springs. Only, their scarceness makes this fact miraculous." In 1743, a Captain by the name of Woodruff of a British merchant company remarked that 36 Ogurdjali families resided on the island. They had 26 large boats and some oil wells.

Prior to 1917, the Moscow Society, Cheleken-Dagestan Society, Kuzmin and Co, Bostondjoglo, South Caucasian Mining Society, and Second Moscow Group were among the established Russian oil companies.[citation needed] By 1925, after the establishment of Soviet Turkmenistan, wells had been nationalized and oil production decreased. By the late 1950s, oil production index went up again.[5]

Dragon Oil, a petroleum extraction firm owned by Emirates National Oil Company, is the major employer in Hazar and operates the oil loading terminal there.[6][7][8]


Following planned renovations and upgrades, the Hazar iodine plant will have a design capacity of 300 tonnes of iodine, plus 4500 tonnes of bromine per year.[9]


  1. ^ Population census 1989, Demoscope Weekly, No. 359-360, 1–18 January 2009 (search for Туркменская ССР) (in Russian)
  2. ^ "Түркменистлның Халк Маслахлтының Чөзгүди, Балкан велаятының Челекен шәхериниң адыны үйггетмек хакында ХМ — 64" (PDF) (in Turkmen). Government of Turkmenistan. 29 December 1999. p. 33.
  3. ^ "Постановление Меджлиса Милли Генгеша Туркменистана" (in Russian). Электронная газета «Золотой век». 10 November 2022.
  4. ^ Atanyýazow, Soltanşa (1980). Түркменистаның Географик Атларының Дүшүндиришли Сөзлүги [Explanatory Dictionary of Geographic Names in Turkmenistan]. Ashgabat: Ылым. p. 303.
  5. ^ Black Gold of Ancient Hazar
  6. ^ "Dragon inviting tenders for Turkmen offshore rigs, platforms". Offshore Magazine. 16 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Dragon Oil / Overview". Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  8. ^ "New Horizons Company Profile 2016" (PDF). Dragon Oil. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  9. ^ "На западе Туркменистана открыли новый завод по производству йода" (in Russian). SNG Today. 1 July 2019.
  • Hazar İnfo

External links

  • Picture of Hazar / Cheleken on Panoramio

39°26′42″N 53°06′54″E / 39.445°N 53.115°E / 39.445; 53.115

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