In order to obtain a visa for Turkmenistan I need a letter of invitation (LOI) from the Turkmen government. I contacted the travel agency in Ashgabat to get a status of the LOI on September 8, in order to check whether they had started the procedure as discussed previously. The procedure for obtaining the LOI was started on September 2. So this is great news.
The information I received along with these good news were not all that encouraging, because apparently no LOIs are issued from now until the end of October due to the fact that Turkmen people celebrate their independence day on October 27, since the obtained independence in 1991.
Fortunately I plan to enter Iran after the beginning of November, so I expect to be able to receive the LOI by e-mail en route… things start to get interesting.