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The Karakum, Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan was part of the Soviet Union from 1924-1991

Cotton is known locally as “white gold”.

Some regions only receive a few millimetres of rain a year.

Turkmenistan is home to the longest irrigation canal in the world.

Ex-President Niyazov made growing facial hair illegal.

Turkmenistan contains the world’s fourth largest reserve of oil and gas.

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