ACS Emergency Services
If your family needs to contact you because of an emergency at home, or because they are worried about you, they may call the State Department’s Citizens Emergency Center at (202) 647-5225. The State Department will relay any message to us and we will attempt to contact you. If you are registered, and if you have signed a Privacy Act waiver (pdf, 181kb), we will be able to provide information about you to your family.
Medical Emergencies and Health Concerns
All Americans traveling to Turkmenistan should make sure that their immunizations are up-to-date. Turkmenistan’s water systems are often aging and poorly maintained. Water should be filtered and purified. A good rolling boil for 10 minutes will kill most bacteria and a good filter will remove most heavy metals and impurities. Several brands of bottled water may be purchased locally. Meats should be cooked thoroughly and fruits and vegetables should be washed and peeled.
If you have a medical emergency while in Ashgabat, you may wish to contact the Consular Section for a list of English speaking physicians and/or facilities available.
The consular section strongly advises all visitors to Turkmenistan to obtain medical evacuation insurance. Contact information for medical evacuation companies that cover Turkmenistan is available on the Embassy’s website at http://turkmenistan.usembassy.gov.
While we can help you or your family make contact with a medevac service, the U.S. Government cannot pay for your medical evacuation. You should make sure that you have medical evacuation insurance before the need arises.
Deaths of American Citizens
If, unfortunately, an American citizen dies in Turkmenistan, the death should be reported immediately to the Consular Section. If the next-of-kin was not with the citizen at the time of death, we will notify them of the death and work with them to carry out their wishes with regard to burial or repatriation of the body. The Consular Section can also, with the next-of-kin’s permission, act as a liaison between the family and local authorities. We will also prepare the necessary documents to allow the family to return the body to the U.S., if that is their wish, and a Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad, which is based on the Turkmen death certificate and which can be used in the U.S. for most legal purposes. Be advised that the burial costs cannot be borne by the U.S. government and are the responsibility of the next-of-kin.
If you or any American citizen is arrested in Turkmenistan, ask the authorities to notify a Consular Officer at the American Embassy immediately. We cannot get you, or anyone, out of jail. While in Turkmenistan, you are subject to Turkmen law and procedure, which are often quite different from U.S. law and procedure. However, if Turkmen authorities discriminate against you because you are American, or treat you unfairly compared with normal Turkmen procedures, we may be able to intervene on your behalf. Please bear in mind that, while our intervention may help, it may take time. We can also provide a list of local attorneys, visit you in jail and, if you wish, contact members of your family on your behalf. We can also transfer money, food and clothing to prison authorities from your relatives for your benefit. We encourage everyone to work via local lawyers. In the end, only Turkmen authorities have the power to resolve a dispute.
Disasters & Civil Disorders
If there is a natural disaster or some civil disorder, we will notify American citizens and provide appropriate instructions and advice. If you are caught in a disaster or disturbance, let your relatives know as quickly as possible that you are safe. You may contact the Consular Section and ask us to pass a message to your family. Above all, remain calm, follow events through news reports and try to follow instructions from the Embassy. In the event of a disaster, we give priority to Americans who have been hurt or who are in danger. Also, we may be facing the same problems that you are, such as a lack of fuel, telephone connections or electricity. Please be patient with us if you are safe and sound.