The central element of Turkmen foreign policy is the country’s permanent neutrality. Turkmenistan pursues a policy geared to compromise, stability and peace in the region with a focus on the international framework. Germany is one of four EU member states (along with France, Italy and Romania) with an Embassy in the capital, while the EU is represented by a delegation. Turkmenistan has an Embassy in Berlin and a Consulate in Frankfurt am Main. On 29 September 2023, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, visited Germany and had meetings with Federal Chancellor Scholz and Federal President Steinmeier in Berlin. Over the years, German-Turkmen relations have developed well but they do require ongoing support at political level.
In Turkmenistan, German businesses are considered reliable partners supplying sustainable high-quality products. In 2022, bilateral trade amounted to 230 million euro.
Development and cultural cooperation
As a middle income country, Turkmenistan is not one of Germany’s partner countries for bilateral development cooperation. Governmental development cooperation does however take place through regional projects for Central Asia focusing particularly on spheres in which challenges can be tackled more successfully at regional and cross‑border level, such as climate and environmental protection, management of natural resources and disaster risk reduction.
In Turkmenistan, there are two PASCH schools (members of the initiative Schools: Partners for the Future), while the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has two lectors in the country. There are four university partnerships with Turkmenistan in place.
In 2018, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation organised the archaeology exhibition “Margiana. A Bronze Age Kingdom in Turkmenistan”. This was the first time Turkmenistan featured so prominently in Germany. The exhibition was on show for three months each in the Neues Museum in Berlin, the Archäologisches Museum Hamburg and the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen Mannheim. With 380,000 visitors, it was the most successful special exhibition in Berlin in 2018.