Visa and entry requirements Turkmenistan:
The visa is issued by the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Berlin or the Consulate of Turkmenistan in Frankfurt am Mainif there is a private or official invitation from Turkmenistan.
Visa fee: 35-55 Euro
Information from the Foreign Office on your visit to Turkmenistan:
Turkmenistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia with about 6,2 million inhabitants. The country is bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north and east, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and the Caspian Sea to the west. Turkmenistan is the southernmost of all 15 former Soviet republics and independent since 1991.
The official language of the country is Turkmen and the national currency is the Turkmenistan-Manat, where 1, - Euro is about 4, - TMT.
Turkmenistan's largest cities include Ashgabat, Dasoguz, Turkmenabat, Mary, Bayramaly, Balkanabat, Serdar and Tejen. The country's population is largely committed to the Muslim faith, only about 10% of them are Christians.
The territory of Turkmenistan is mostly flat and consists of 93% of the Karakum Desert. Only on the western border with Iran and in the extreme southeast near Uzbekistan, the country has mountainous regions. The highest elevation of Turkmenistan is the 3.139 meter high mountain Ayrybaba in the Gissar Mountains.
Turkmenistan is one of the most isolated countries in the world, with no real religious or media freedom. All media such as television, radio or newspapers are censored and directed by the state. No overseas magazines, books or newspapers or satellites for international television coverage are allowed throughout the country. This is intended to largely shield the country from the outside world.
Turkmenistan has abundant deposits of oil and natural gas, including the world's largest gas fields. The state income of Turkmenistan is based largely on the two masses of natural resources.
Other important economic sectors of the country are the textile industry, agriculture with the cultivation of cotton and the chemical industry with the various refineries.
A structured international tourism, despite the many attractions on the land, practically not available. Foreign visitors are rather undesirable and the tourist visas are very difficult to obtain.
The tourist highlights of Turkmenistan include the natural wonder of the burning gas crater - the “Gate to Hell” in Derweze, the Great Cave with the underground lake, the ruins of the ancient city of Gurganj and the highest minaret in Central Asia at 62 meters - the Kutlug-Timur Minaret in the city of Kunya-Urgench, the abandoned oasis cities of Nisa and Merw, the Yangykala Canyon and the highest salt waterfall in the world at the Kara-Bogas-Gol salt lake.
The capital and by far the largest city in Turkmenistan, is Ashgabat with about 900.000 inhabitants. The city is located on the western border with Iran and is also the political, economic and cultural center of the country.
Ashgabat's major attractions include the Ertugrul Gazi Mosque, the Botanical Garden, the 95 Meter High Neutrality Arch, the Ruhnama Monument, the Bitaraplyk Street, the Museum of Local History, the 211 Meter High TV Tower, the Carpet Museum, the Lenin statue, the Gypjak mosque, the high mast with the national flag, the Turkmen independence monument, the art museum, the wedding palace, the Tolkuchka market, the main railway station, the Geokdepe mosque, the Ashgabat cable car and the Russian Bazaar.
After two unsuccessful attempts to get the seven-day transit visa for Turkmenistan at the embassy in Berlin, it finally worked out for the third time. After a personal telephone conversation with the ambassador of Berlin, I gained after a huge effort, one of the most difficult visas of the entire travel world.
Finally, in March 2015, I visited Turkmenistan, with a two-day stay in the capital Ashgabat. I lived privately with a woman from the Ministry, a contact via the Internet platform "Couchsurfing".
Ashgabat has many uniformly white magnificent buildings in the city center as well as many state-of-the-art and interesting buildings. During the full-day city tour with my hostess, the city seemed pretty empty and somehow strange. In the direct urban area, people rarely strolled along people, as is common in other capitals. Outside the center, the city even looked impoverished and stopped in time.
Ashgabat has some highlights to fill the entire day with a variety of sightseeing. Whether that is enough for a longer stay, that's something I doubt very much.
Somehow the country of Turkmenistan did not really appeal to international tourists, as was the case with visa procurement.