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For the village in Azerbaijan, see Karki, Azerbaijan.

Atamyrat (1999-2017)
Zemm (in antiquity)
Turkmenistan adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Turkmenistan
Coordinates: 37°51′11″N65°14′13″E / 37.85306°N 65.23694°E / 37.85306; 65.23694 Coordinates: 37°51′11″N65°14′13″E / 37.85306°N 65.23694°E / 37.85306; 65.23694
Country Flag of Turkmenistan.svg Turkmenistan
Province Lebap Province
District Kerki District
Time zone UTC+5

Kerki is a city in and capital of Kerki District, Lebap Province, Turkmenistan. It was formerly known as Zamm [1] and, between 1999 and 2017, as Atamyrat. It is situated on a plain on the left bank of the Amu Darya river.



According to Atanyyazow, the name Kerki is most likely of Persian origin, from ker ("fortress") and kuh ("mountain"), meaning "fortress on a mountain". [2] However, Muqaddasī and de Goeje assert it is a Turkified pronunciation of the Persian name Karkuh (کرکوه), meaning "deaf mountain". [3] The ancient name, Zamm, is of obscure origin.

On 29 December 1999, by Parliamentary Resolution HM-60, the city and district of Kerki were renamed Atamyrat in honor of Atamyrat Nyýazow, father of Saparmurat Niyazov, who had worked in Kerki as a teacher before being killed in World War II. On 25 November 2017, by Parliamentary Resolution No. 679-V, Atamyrat was changed back to Kerki for both the city and the district. [4]


Nearby towns and villages include Mukry (3.3 nm), Amu Dar'ya (2.1 nm), Surkhi (3.1 nm) and Kerkichi (2.2 nm). [5]

The town is served by Kerki Airport. In August 2012, state-owned Turkmenistan Airlines announced an international tender to design and construct a new terminal with capacity of 100 passengers per hour. [6] In February 2013 the road bridge connecting the city with Kerkichi was commissioned [7] The new airport was opened in June 2021. [8] [9]

In 1999, the railway line from Türkmenabat to Kerki was finished, linking Kerki to the Turkmen railway network without having to detour into neighbouring Uzbekistan. [10] In late 2016, a railway line was built south to Ymamnazar on the border with Afghanistan and further to Aqina, turning Kerki into a railway hub. [11] It is expected to become part of a railway corridor through northern Afghanistan.

The all-time high temperature 47.0 °C (116.6 °F) was recorded on July 8, 2021. [12]

See also

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    • Bosworth, C. E. (1989). "ĀMOL (ĀMŪYA)". Archived copy. Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. I, Fasc. 9. pp. 982–983. Archived from the original on 2017-12-29. Retrieved 2016-02-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  1. Atanyýazow, Soltanşa (1980). Түркменистаның Географик Атларының Дүшүндиришли Сөзлүги [Explanatory Dictionary of Geographic Names in Turkmenistan]. Ashgabat: Ылым. p. 182.
  2. Muqaddasī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, and M. J. de Goeje. 1967. Kitāb Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʻrifat al-aqālīm. Bibliotheca geographorum Arabicorum, pars 3. Laydin: Maṭbaʻ Brīl.
  3. "Внесены изменения в административно-территориальное деление Лебапского велаята" [Changes to the administrative-territorial divisions in Lebap velayat] (in Russian). Türkmenistan Bu Gün. 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  4. Falling rain gazetteer
  5. "New Airport in Atamurat, East of Turkmenistan". The Gazette of Central Asia. Satrapia. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  6. Президенты Украины и Туркмении открыли мост через Амударью и заложили новый аэропорт
  7. "Turkmenistan's new airport receives int'l certificate of compliance". Trend. 25 June 2021.
  8. "Kerki Airport awarded ICAO Code and International Certificate of Conformity". "Turkmenistan: Golden Age". 24 June 2021.
  9. Grantham, Andrew (15 July 2008). "Atamyrat to Afghanistan railway plan" . Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  10. Salehai, Zarghona (28 November 2016). "Afghan-Turkmenistan railroad inaugurated". Pajhwok Afghan News. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  11. "38911: Kerki (Turkmenistan)". OGIMET. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.