Turkmenistan Telephone and Internet
Currency: New Turkmenistan Manat (TMT)
Exchange rate: about 3.94 per € (official rate, April 2019)
Time zone: TMT (UTC + 5)
Country code (phone): +993
Climate (for capital): Cold desert climate (BWk: Köppen / Geiger)
International Airport (IATA): ASB (Ashgabat)
from Turkmenistan to Europe often takes several weeks, but it reaches its destination quite reliably. This applies to postcards (available for example in the government shop at the Russian Bazaar) as well as to letters and parcels. Jokes about the government or the president and insulting them should also be avoided at all costs in letters or on postcards. Letters and parcels must be handed in unlocked. Sealing is done by the responsible post office employee. Postage stamps are available from all post offices.
Telephone connections from Turkmenistan to Europe can be made in some post offices. When making a phone call, it is essential to be careful about content!
Since Turkmenistan banned the Russian mobile operator MTS from doing business in the country in September 2017, telephone contacts abroad are only possible via the existing roaming agreement of Telekom (T-Mobile) and with the SIM cards of the Turkmenistan state operator TM Cell(Altyn Asyr). The latter can, according to unconfirmed information, possibly also be applied for in some post offices at the registration offices, the TM Cell branches. The application process is bureaucratic and not transparent. Clear guidelines either do not exist or are not always adhered to, since the experience in purchasing the cards ranges from “a few hours, only one visit to the authorities” to “a few weeks, various appointments, many authorities unsuccessful”. The previously extremely inadequate network coverage of TM Cell has been expanded since 2014.
In any case, criticism of the president and the government or statements that could be interpreted as such should be avoided at all costs. Corresponding conversation content can lead to problems during controls or when leaving the country. The various control and surveillance methods are more aimed at the Turkmenistan population than at foreign visitors. Nevertheless, the necessary technical infrastructure is available and the Turkmenistan authorities are becoming more and more experienced in dealing with the latest technology. Corresponding restraint is therefore appropriate in any case.
can now be found in most of the larger cities of Turkmenistan. Since the mostly state and in some exceptional cases also semi-state institutions close as quickly as they open, no current list of addresses can be given here. However, be on the Internet, at least for Ashgabat, Turkmenabat, Dashoguz, Mary, Turkmenbashi and some more cities. Find lists of current internet café addresses. These compilations are updated regularly and based on previous experience they are correct. However, it may happen that there are temporarily no Internet cafés registered in some cities. In this case it must be assumed that there is no publicly accessible option to use the Internet at the given time.
An internet café that has existed for years can be found in the internet room of the National Library.
However, it should be noted when surfing and composing messages that the Internet is closely monitored. All data traffic is handled by the only – state – provider. When registering in the café, the passport is required. All data traffic is saved and linked to the name of the user. Criticism of the president can have serious consequences.
Turkmenistan Internet connections have monthly charges of up to US $ 6,821 (for the fastest possible connection at 2,048 kb / s among the most expensive in the world. In general, the speed is extremely slow. Numerous pages are completely blocked. Repeated attempts to access blocked pages or to transmit Content that is critical of the government (and such content that could be interpreted accordingly) can lead to significant problems and, depending on the content, is considered a criminal offense.
Before attempting to access blocked pages in Turkmenistan, for example via a proxy server, or to transmit critical contributions in the supposed security of an appropriately established connection, you must urgently warn. Due to the technical possibilities and the know-how within the responsible authorities of the Turkmenistan government, such attempts can have serious consequences for the user and the owner of the Internet access (e.g. the operator of the Internet café or, in the case of mobile access, the owner of the cell phone).
For the various options for at least halfway secure internet use in Turkmenistan, see the links in the right column.
Before leaving, the Federal Foreign Office’s medical advice on travel should be observed. The Tropical Institute of the University of Munich offers further information. Allianz Versicherung maintains a compilation of the doctors practicing in Ashgabat, which, however, currently does not list any practicing doctors. The most experienced and experienced doctors practice in the so-called Turkish Clinic (MIR 2/1 in 744017 Ashgabat. Phone: +993 12 450303) not far from the Yimpash shopping center. In general, the state of the Turkmenistan health care system should be taken into account when planning your trip.
In general, the hygienic situation in rural settlements is much better than in some neighboring countries. Nevertheless, diarrheal diseases in particular cannot always be avoided. This should be taken into account when putting together the essential first-aid kit. Even without diarrhea, you should make sure that you have an adequate supply of electrolytes due to the extreme temperatures and the very low humidity. This applies all the more to diarrheal diseases. In addition, all regularly necessary medication must be carried with you. The supply of medicines in Turkmenistan is not always possible.
Before traveling to Turkmenistan, consult a tropical medicine doctor or a tropical medicine facility.