Basic Travel Advice Turkmenistan
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including evacuation by air ambulance, before travelling to Turkmenistan. You should check any exclusions and ensure that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Travellers should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains or for expenses incurred by Irish citizens as a result of a personal emergency while travelling.
Safety and Security
There is a low threat from terrorism in Turkmenistan. However, travellers should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which may be directed against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. You should be particularly vigilant in public places. Pay attention to any security announcements by the Turkmen authorities.
Visitors should avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings.
Travellers should avoid travelling in unofficial taxis, particularly at night and alone, or if there is another passenger already in the car. The Embassy would advise travellers to arrange hiring a private car and driver, or an officially licensed taxi, through their hotel or travel agency.
Certain parts of the country have been designated as “restricted” and special permits are required from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to travel there. It is best to check the situation with your local guide before travelling outside the capital. Travellers are advised to avoid the Turkmenistan/Afghanistan border area.
The local equivalent to the 999 helpline is 03.
Keep valuables out of sight and avoid unlit or remote areas. You should avoid obvious displays of wealth, especially in rural areas. Women should avoid going out alone late at night.
The possession and use of drugs is illegal.
International driving licences are valid in Turkmenistan. Take care if driving, as many roads are poor and badly lit. Driving at night is not advisable.
Those intending to travel to, from or within Turkmenistan should avoid flying on airlines listed under the EU operating ban. Further information about the ban is available at the: European Commission website at http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/list_en.htm
It is not known if maintenance procedures on aircraft used for internal flights are properly observed.
Typhoid and hepatitis A have occurred in Turkmenistan. In October 2010, the World Health Organisation declared the country malaria-free.
You are advised to drink only bottled water, to seek medical advice before travelling and to ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.
The quality of medical care in Turkmenistan is poor and anything other than basic or emergency treatment, particularly outside the capital, is best avoided.
Local Laws and Customs
For entry requirements for Turkmenistan, please contact the Turkmen Embassy in London:
Embassy of Turkmenistan
Second Floor, South
St. George’s House, 14/17
Wells Street W1T 3 PD
Tel: 00 44 20 72551071
Fax: 00 44 20 73239184
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport and visa with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport and visa at all times, as local police frequently request proof of identity.
It should also be noted that Turkmenistan does not recognise dual nationality and visitors are expected to have only one passport with them. It is not possible to enter Turkmenistan without the prior approval of the Turkmen authorities.
Homosexuality is illegal under Turkmen law and is still very much frowned upon socially. You should take care over public displays of affection. The issue of relationships between foreign men and local women is also sensitive.
Photographing many of the official buildings is prohibited (including the Presidential Palace) and it is best to check with a local police officer first.
There is no roaming service within Turkmenistan which means that foreign mobile phones do not work there.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Turkmenistan is located in an active seismic zone and earth tremors do occur. An earthquake measuring between 4.2 and 4.6 on the Richter scale occurred near the city of Balkanabad in western Turkmenistan on 6 June 2011. There were no reports of any casualties or injuries.
Additional Country Information
You should bring enough money for the duration of your stay. Only change money through official exchange booths.
The Embassy of Ireland accredited to Turkmenistan is located in Moscow in the Russian Federation. Its contact details are available here.Top