Murgap, Turkmenistan

Stalino (Russian: Сталино) (1940?-1961)
Moskovskiy (Russian: Московский) (1961-?)
Murgap is located in Turkmenistan
Location in Turkmenistan
Coordinates: 37°29′47″N 61°58′26″E / 37.49639°N 61.97389°E / 37.49639; 61.97389
Country Turkmenistan
ProvinceMary Province
DistrictMurgap District
Town of urban type1940
City in a districtJuly 2016
 • Total10,000
Time zoneUTC+5

Murgap (Russian:Мургаб) is a city and capital of Murgap District in Mary Province, Turkmenistan.


The city is named for the Murgap River. Folk etymology claims that "Murgap" comes from the Turkmen root words mur - "water" as in yagmur/yagmyr, literally translated as "drops of water" or "raindrops", plus gap, a dish or box, denoting the land as a place with water. However, Atanyyazow explains that the name is of Persian, not Turkic, origin; it was in earlier times Margab, and that later, as a result of folk ethnology, the first syllable's a sound was replaced by a u, making murg ab, "bird water". Atanyyazow notes as well that Hafiz-i-Abru recorded in the 15th century that the name was originally Merab, "River of Merv", and that al-Istakhri wrote, "...this river was named after the place where it flowed," and thus ultimately comes from an ancient variant name of the city of Mary.[1]

During the Soviet period the then-"town of urban type" (Russian: посёлок городского типа) was named Stalino in honor of Joseph Stalin.[2] Following Nikita Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin in 1961, the name was changed to Moskovskiy (Russian: Московский), in honor of Moscow, the capital city of the Soviet Union, then still later to Murgap (Russian: Мургаб).


It is located in the delta of the Murgab River and has a railway station on the Mary - Serhetabat line. It was classified as a town of urban type in 1940, and reclassified as a city subordinate to a district in 2016.[3][4]

In 1973 there were 5,700 living in the town and today this has grown to around 10,000. In Soviet times there were asphalt and brick factories, and in 1974 a cotton processing plant was constructed.


  1. ^ Atanyýazow, Soltanşa (1980). Түркменистаның Географик Атларының Дүшүндиришли Сөзлүги [Explanatory Dictionary of Geographic Names in Turkmenistan]. Ashgabat: Ылым. pp. 212–213.
  2. ^ Ведомости Верховного Совета СССР. № 47 (1082), 1961 г.
  3. ^ "Административно-территориальные изменения Марыйского велаята" (in Russian). 24 July 2016.
  4. ^ А. М. Прохоров, ed. (1978). "Мургаб (пос. гор. типа в Туркменской ССР)". Большая Советская Энциклопедия (in Russian) (3 ed.). Moscow. {{cite book}}: |newspaper= ignored (help)CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)

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