Turkmen is a Turkic language spoken by about 6.4 million people in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia (Asia), Tajikistan, Turkey (Asia), USA and Uzbekistan.
Officially, Turkmen is rendered in the “Täze Elipbiý”, or “New Alphabet”, which is based on the Latin alphabet. However, the old “Soviet” Cyrillic alphabet is still in wide use. Many political parties in opposition to the authoritarian rule of President Saparmurat Niyazov continued to use the Cyrillic alphabet on websites and publications, most likely to distance themselves from the alphabet that Niyazov created.
Before 1929, Turkmen was written in an Arabic alphabet. In 1929–1938 a Latin alphabet replaced it, and then the Cyrillic alphabet was used from 1938 to 1991. In 1991, the current Latin alphabet was introduced, although the transition to it has been rather slow. It used to use some unusual letters, such as the pound, dollar, yen, and cent signs, but these were replaced by more conventional letter symbols.
Thus, Turkmen only started to appear in writing at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was written with the Arabic script. Between 1928 and 1940 it was written with the Latin alphabet, and from 1940 it was written with the Cyrillic alphabet. Since Turkmenistan declared independence in 1991, Turkmen has been written with a version of the Latin alphabet based on Turkish.