Serhetabat

Serhetabat (formerly Guşgy in Turkmen, Ку́шка, Kushka or Kuschka in Russian) is a small town in the Mary Province in Turkmenistan, in the valley of the Kushka River. The population is 5,200 (1991). It is immediately opposite to Torghundi in Afghanistan, with which it is connected by a road and a 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) gauge railway.

Serhetabat
Serhetabat is located in Turkmenistan
Serhetabat
Serhetabat
Location in Turkmenistan
Coordinates: 35°17′N 62°21′E / 35.283°N 62.350°E / 35.283; 62.350Coordinates: 35°17′N 62°21′E / 35.283°N 62.350°E / 35.283; 62.350
CountryFlag of Turkmenistan.svg Turkmenistan
ProvinceMary Province
Elevation747 m (2,454 ft)
Population
 (1991)
 • Total5,200 (approximate)
Time zoneUTC+5 (TMT)

EtymologyEdit

The name of the city is a Turkmen borrowing from Persian 'سرحدآباد', consisted of two words: 'سرحد' (serhet) meaning 'border' and 'آباد' (ābād) meaning 'inhabited place' (thus commonly used as a Persian suffix for naming places, like Khorramabad, a city in Iran, and Aşgabat the capital of Turkmenistan).

The name of the city perfectly matches its geographic location right on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan border.

There is also a historical part of the Iranian city Karaj with the exact same name, Sarhadabad.

OverviewEdit

 
Soviet soldiers returning from Afghanistan. 20 October 1986, Kushka, Turkmen SSR

In 1885, Serhetabat and the surrounding region were seized from Afghanistan by Russian forces as a result of the Panjdeh Incident (also referred to as the Battle of Kushka), in which about 600 Afghan soldiers were overwhelmed by over 2500 Russian troops.[2]

The settlement was founded in 1890 as a Russian military outpost. A local rail line branching from Merv on the Central Asian Railway was inaugurated on 1 March 1901, causing some degree of international excitement.[3]

A point south of the town of Kushka is the southernmost point of Turkmenistan and used to be the southernmost point of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union.[4] A 10-metre stone cross, installed to commemorate the tercentenary of the Romanov Dynasty in 1913, is a memorial to this fact.

TransportEdit

The broad gauge former Soviet Railway crosses into Afghanistan at the station, Torghundi being the railhead station on the other side. It was built in 1960.[citation needed] In 2007, this line was restored to use.[5]

ClimateEdit

Serhetabat has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh), with cool winters and very hot summers. Rainfall is moderate in winter and spring, but summer is extremely dry.

Climate data for Serhetabat
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.1
(80.8)
31.0
(87.8)
34.5
(94.1)
37.8
(100.0)
42.3
(108.1)
47.6
(117.7)
45.3
(113.5)
43.5
(110.3)
43.4
(110.1)
38.6
(101.5)
33.2
(91.8)
31.5
(88.7)
47.6
(117.7)
Average high °C (°F) 9.5
(49.1)
11.6
(52.9)
17.0
(62.6)
23.6
(74.5)
30.0
(86.0)
35.1
(95.2)
37.0
(98.6)
35.5
(95.9)
30.3
(86.5)
24.2
(75.6)
18.3
(64.9)
12.0
(53.6)
23.7
(74.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.6
(38.5)
5.4
(41.7)
10.4
(50.7)
16.3
(61.3)
21.9
(71.4)
27.1
(80.8)
29.3
(84.7)
27.4
(81.3)
21.2
(70.2)
14.9
(58.8)
9.9
(49.8)
5.5
(41.9)
16.1
(61.0)
Average low °C (°F) −0.8
(30.6)
0.6
(33.1)
5.1
(41.2)
9.7
(49.5)
13.8
(56.8)
17.8
(64.0)
19.8
(67.6)
17.7
(63.9)
12.0
(53.6)
6.7
(44.1)
3.6
(38.5)
0.8
(33.4)
8.9
(48.0)
Record low °C (°F) −33.8
(−28.8)
−27.7
(−17.9)
−19.6
(−3.3)
−5.5
(22.1)
−0.8
(30.6)
4.1
(39.4)
9.7
(49.5)
5.5
(41.9)
−3.7
(25.3)
−10.5
(13.1)
−19.3
(−2.7)
−24.5
(−12.1)
−33.8
(−28.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 52
(2.0)
50
(2.0)
78
(3.1)
38
(1.5)
13
(0.5)
0.5
(0.02)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.5
(0.02)
4
(0.2)
17
(0.7)
42
(1.7)
295
(11.6)
Average rainy days 7 9 11 7 3 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.3 2 5 7 52
Average snowy days 5 6 2 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 1 3 17
Average relative humidity (%) 74 73 71 62 43 28 25 25 30 43 58 71 50
Mean monthly sunshine hours 135 132 156 210 323 371 384 365 314 265 186 136 2,977
Source 1: Pogoda.ru.net[6]
Source 2: NOAA (sun only, 1961–1990)[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kushka, Turkmenistan". Falling Rain Global Gazetteer. Retrieved 1 February 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Clements, Frank. Conflict in Afghanistan: A Historical Encyclopedia. pp 198. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  3. ^ "Russia's secret railroad: Unknown to the world, 220 miles of rails have been laid". The Deseret News. 1899-04-08.
  4. ^ USSR A Reference Book of Facts and Figures. London: Farleigh Press Ltd. 1956. p. 5 – via Internet Archive. The extreme points on the mainland area as follows:
    {...}
    South: 35° 08' N. Lat. (south of Kushka)
  5. ^ "Afghan rebuild underway". Railway Gazette International. 12 July 2007.
  6. ^ "Weather and Climate-The Climate of Serhetabat" (in Russian). Weather and Climate (Погода и климат). Retrieved 18 March 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Climate Normals for Kuska". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 1 February 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)