HISTORY AND GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE TURKMENISTAN JEWISH COMMUNITY
The Republic of Turkmenistan is the legal successor of the Turkmen SSR. By the time Turkmenistan became annexed by the Russian Empire at the end of the 19th century, there were about 300 Sephardic Jews living there, most of them Bukharian expatriates and the descendants of anusim from Meshed in Gerat (Afghanistan). They were joined by Ashkenazi Jews in the 20th century. By the end of the Soviet period there were 4,000 Jews living in Turkmenistan, 2,000 of those subsequently emigrating in the 1990s.
Currently there are an estimated 1000 Jews residing in Ashkhabad, Mary, Dashoguz (formerly Tashauz), Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnovodsk), Balkanabat (formerly Nebit Dag), Turkmenabat (formerly Chardzhou), and Kerki. These are predominantly Ashkenazi Jews. The descendants of Afghani Jews who used to reside in Yoloten and Bairam Ali have now all left the country. A few Bukharian Jews live in the eastern part of the country. (http://jewseurasia.org/page276)