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port city, western Turkmenistan. The city was renamed in 1993 by Turkmenistan's dictator-president, Saparmurad Niyazov, who patterned the new name after his own formal title of Turkmenbashi ("Head of the Turkmen"). The city lies on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, at the foot of the Kopet-Dag (Turkmen: Kopetdag) Range. It was founded in 1869 as a Russian fort, and its importance was enhanced when the terminus of the Transcaspian Railway was transferred there in 1896.