Chärjew (chärjōˈ) [key] or Chardzhou chərjōˈ, city (1991 pop. 166,400), capital of Lebap region, NW Turkmenistan, on the Amu Darya River. It is a cotton- and silk-manufacturing center. The gas industry is important. Its superphosphate plant produces fertilizer. Chärjew was founded in the late 19th cent. as a fortress.