SAFETY TIPS

SAFETY AND SECURITY

BORDER AREAS WITH AFGHANISTAN

The Turkmenistan–Afghanistan border has transit points for drugs and other smuggled goods. The security situation in Afghanistan is extremely unpredictable due to ongoing insurgency, terrorist attacks, kidnapping and a high crime rate. You should not travel near or attempt to cross the border.

CRIME

Street crime, such as mugging and pickpocketing, occurs. Acts of banditry occur in remote areas. Remain vigilant and ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure. Dont travel alone, and avoid showing signs of affluence. Alcohol-related incidents, including bar fights and drunk driving, are common. At nightclubs, drinks should never be left unattended, and drinks should never be accepted from unknown people.

DEMONSTRATIONS

Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

Also avoid minority religious gatherings, whose participants have been the target of police raids, arbitrary arrests and beatings.

CURFEWS

Curfews may be imposed, and areas may be cordoned off on short notice. The violation of a curfew can result in immediate deportation and a ban against returning to Turkmenistan for five years.

WOMEN’S SAFETY

Women should not travel alone in Turkmenistan.

There are sensitivities around relationships between foreign men and local women, and Turkmen authorities are known to take action against both.

Safe-travel guide for women

ROAD SAFETY

Driving standards are poor. Rural roads are often in disrepair and unlit. Animals frequently wander onto the road. Random traffic police checks and roadblocks are common.

There is no roadside assistance in Turkmenistan.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Don’t travel or use public transportation after dark.

Use only officially marked taxis and pre-negotiate the fare. Avoid shared taxis.

Avoid travel by train, as service is slow and crime is prevalent. If you must travel by train, store your personal belongings in a safe place and do not leave the compartment unattended. Secure your door from the inside.

AIR TRAVEL

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

BORDER AREAS

The border between Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan is currently closed to traffic.

GENERAL SAFETY INFORMATION

There is a significant police and military presence throughout Turkmenistan. Carry your original passport, a photocopy of the passport or other photo ID at all times, as officials frequently request proof of identity. Cooperate with police authorities if stopped for questioning. Leave a photocopy of your passport with a relative or a friend at home.

Security personnel maintain checkpoints on major roads and may place visitors under surveillance. Foreigners are often subjected to questioning and car and home searches. Hotel rooms, telephones, e-mail and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched. Some foreigners have been detained. 

Tourist facilities are limited, especially outside Ashgabat. Many goods and services are not available.