Bishkek • Osh • Jalal-Abad • Karakol • Tokmok • Kara-Balta • Naryn • Uzgen • Balykchy • Talas • Kyzyl-Kyya • Bazar-Korgon • Iradan • Tash-Kumyr • Kant • Toktogul • Cholpon-Ata • Kara Suu • Isfana • Kyzyl-Suu • At-Bashi • Suluktu • Nookat • Tyup • Khaydarkan • Ak-Suu • Kaindy • Kemin • Batken • Sosnovka •
|THE KYRGYZSTAN COAT OF ARMS|
Location of Kyrgyzstan within the continent of Asia
Map of Kyrgyzstan
Flag Description of Kyrgyzstan:The flag of Kyrgyzstan was officially adopted on March 3, 1992
In 1991, Kyrgyzstan became the very last of the former Soviet Union republics to secede, and declare independence. Its new flag is symbolic of Manas the Noble, a true national hero. He merged together 40 tribes that collectively formed the original Kyrgyz nation. That accomplishment is represented by the red field and the golden sun with 40 rays. Centered within that sun is a symbolic Kyrgyz yurt, the traditional home of it nomadic peoples.
Official name Kyrgyz Respublikasy (Kyrgyz); Respublika Kirgizstan (Russian) (Kyrgyz Republic)
Form of government republic with one legislative house (Jogorku Kenesh, or Supreme Council )
Head of state President: Almazbek Atambayev
Head of government Prime Minister: Joomart Otorbayev
Official languages Kyrgyz; Russian
Official religion none
Monetary unit Kyrgyzstan som (KGS)
Population (2013 est.) 5,628,000COLLAPSE
Total area (sq mi) 77,199
Total area (sq km) 199,945
- Urban: (2011) 35.3%
- Rural: (2011) 64.7%
Life expectancy at birth
- Male: (2011) 64 years
- Female: (2011) 72 years
Literacy: percentage of population age 15 and over literate
- Male: not available
- Female: not available
GNI per capita (U.S.$) (2012) 990
Background of Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan, country of Central Asia. It is bounded by Kazakhstan on the northwest and north, by China on the east and south, and by Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on the south and west. Most of Kyrgyzstan’s borders run along mountain crests. The capital is Bishkek (known from 1862 to 1926 as Pishpek and from 1926 to 1991 as Frunze).
The Kyrgyz, a Muslim Turkic people, constitute more than half the population. The history of the Kyrgyz in what is now Kyrgyzstan dates at least to the 17th century. Kyrgyzstan, known under Russian and Soviet rule as Kirgiziya, was conquered by tsarist Russian forces in the 19th century. Formerly a constituent (union) republic of the U.S.S.R., Kyrgyzstan declared its independence on Aug. 31, 1991.
Geography of Krygyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is, above all, a mountainous country. At its eastern extremity, next to the Uighur Autonomous Region of Sinkiang, China, rises Victory (Pobedy) Peak, at 24,406 feet (7,439 metres) Kyrgyzstan’s highest peak. Mount Khan-Tengri (22,949 feet) is on the border with Kazakhstan. These mountains stand in the core of the Tien Shan system, which continues eastward into China. On the southern border lie the Kok Shaal-Tau, Alay, Trans-Alay (Zaalay), and Atbashi ranges.
To the southwest are two great hollows, the Fergana Valley and another valley close to Mount Khan-Tengri. The latter valley is bounded by the westward-thrusting arms of the Kungey-Alatau and Terskey-Alatau ranges and contains Lake Ysyk-Köl (Issyk-Kul), whose clear, deep waters are fed by the snow-covered peaks. The rugged mountain-and-basin structure of much of the country, and the high alpine plateau of the central and eastern regions, are separated from the Fergana Valley on the west by the Fergana Range, running southeast to northwest, which merges into the Chatkal Range. The Chatkal Range is linked to the Ysyk-Köl region by a final enclosing range, the Kyrgyz. The only other important lowlands in the country are the Chu and Talas river valleys in the north, with the capital, Bishkek, located in the Chu. The country’s lowland areas, though occupying only one-seventh of the total area, are home to most of its people.
Snow and ice perpetually cover the crests of Kyrgyzstan’s high mountain ranges. The Naryn River, draining into the Fergana Valley, continues northwestward as a tributary of the Syr Darya. The Chu River runs parallel to and forms part of the northern boundary with Kazakhstan. Both the Chu and the Naryn are of major importance to the country.
Kyrgyzstan’s great distance from the oceans and the sharp change of elevation from adjacent plains strongly influence the country’s climate. Deserts and plains surround Kyrgyzstan on the north, west, and southeast, making the contrast with the climate and landscape of its mountainous interior all the more striking. The lower parts of its fringing ranges lie in belts of high temperature and receive hot, drying winds from the deserts beyond. The amount of precipitation the country’s westward- and northward-facing slopes receive increases with their height. The valleys have hot, dry summers, with a mean July temperature of 82° F (28° C). In January the average temperature is −0.5° F (−18° C). Annual precipitation varies from 7 inches (180 mm) in the eastern Tien Shan to 30 to 40 inches in the Kyrgyz and Fergana ranges. In the most populous valleys, rainfall ranges from 4 to 20 inches a year.
Plant and animal life
Woodlands run along the lower valleys and on slopes of the north-facing ranges. These are coniferous forests, containing the striking Tien Shan white spruce and occupying 3 to 4 percent of the country’s area. The brown bear, wild pig, lynx, gray wolf, and ermine live in the woodlands. Wooded ravines and the valleys of the mountainous steppe regions provide the abode of the argali, a mountain sheep, along with mountain goats, deer, and snow leopards. In the desert, yellow gophers, jerboas, hares, and a large-eared hedgehog are typical.
Between 1926 and 1989 the urban portion of the Kyrgyz population grew from almost nothing to more than one-fifth, though the Kyrgyz remained a minority in most cities and towns. During this period fewer than one-fourth of the inhabitants of the capital, Frunze (now Bishkek), were Kyrgyz; Slavs made up more than half of the city’s population. Town dwellers, largely non-Kyrgyz, comprise less than two-fifths of the country’s total population. Southern Kyrgyzstan tends to be rural and Islāmic, but the more urbanized, Western-oriented north has traditionally dominated the country.
Demography of Krygyzstan
Most Kyrgyz speak a language belonging to the northwestern, or Kipchak, group of the Turkic languages; Russian is also spoken, and official language status has been accorded to both Kyrgyz and Russian. The Kyrgyz were formerly a transhumant (nomadic) people who were settled into collectivized agriculture by the Soviet regime. Besides Kyrgyz, the country’s population includes minorities of Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, and Germans (exiled to the region from European parts of the Soviet Union in 1941), as well as Tatars, Kazakhs, Dungans (Hui; Chinese Muslims), Uighurs, and Tajiks. Since independence in 1991, many Russians and Germans have emigrated.
Economy of Krygyzstan
The people of Kyrgyzstan have traditionally raised livestock and engaged in farming. By the late 20th century the republic had become a source for nonferrous metals, notably of antimony and mercury ores, and a producer of machinery, light industrial products, hydroelectric power, and food products. Gold mining has increased in importance, and Kyrgyzstan possesses substantial coal reserves and some petroleum and natural gas deposits. Hydroelectric power provides more than three-fourths of the country’s electric energy.
Industrialization has stimulated the mechanization of agriculture in Kyrgyzstan, and many types of machines necessary to cope with the largely mountainous terrain are manufactured in the republic. Unlike other Central Asian countries, Kyrgyzstan does not suffer from a lack of water; irrigation canals have increased agricultural output substantially, especially cotton production in the Fergana Valley, the country’s main source for that crop. Livestock raising, the cultivation of cotton, fruit, vegetables, cereal grains, and tobacco, and wool production are the leading branches of agriculture.
Most of the arable land is devoted to pasturage for livestock and to growing hay. Livestock consists mainly of sheep and goats, along with milk and beef cattle, notably in the Chu valley and the Ysyk-Köl littoral. Horses serve as draft animals as well as a source of meat; the Kyrgyz like to drink koumiss, fermented mare’s milk, and use it in courses of treatment at health resorts.
Tobacco is cultivated in the Naukat Valley in the south and also in the Talas Valley of the north. Horticulture and viticulture are developed in the Chu River valley and the Fergana area, with the mulberry trees of the latter supporting the raising of silkworms.
The chief industries are the manufacture of machinery and electronic components, but food processing and light industries are also important and utilize local agricultural materials such as meat, fruit, and vegetables. Wool is the most exportable product, and mills weave cotton and silk fabrics, worsted cloth, and knitted garments. Leather goods are also produced.
Before 1924 the only railways in Kyrgyzstan were two narrow-gauge lines leading from the border areas to the coal deposits of Kok-Yangak and Sülüktü. The construction of a line from Bishkek through the Chu valley and over the border to Lūgovoe in Kazakhstan joined the north of the republic to the Turkistan-Siberian main railway line and, through it, to southern Kazakhstan and the entire railway network of the U.S.S.R. In 1948 a link extended the line up the valley from Bishkek (then called Frunze) to Ysyk-Köl (then called Rybachye) at the western tip of Lake Ysyk-Köl. Southern lines reached the coal mines at Tash-Kömür and Kyzyl-Kyya.
Highways, nevertheless, have been developed as the basic answer to the topographic problems confronting land transportation. One main route climbs from Bishkek to Ysyk-Köl (with extensions along the north and south shores of Lake Ysyk-Köl), then swings south across difficult central terrain to Naryn and proceeds through the high Torugart Pass across the frontier with China and down to the city of Kashgar in China. The other major artery, the “route beyond the clouds,” from Bishkek to Osh, crosses the Kyrgyz-Alatau crest through a 10,500-foot tunnel. An important southern link is provided by the road joining Osh, via the Alay Pass, to the Pamir region of Tajikistan. An offshoot runs eastward through Irkeshtam to Kashgar.
Administration and Social Conditions of Krygyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is a unitary multiparty republic with one legislative house. Its 1993 constitution, which replaced the Soviet-era constitution that had been in effect since 1978, recognized numerous rights and freedoms for citizens. It established legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government and gave the president the ability to implement important policies or constitutional amendments through a national referendum. In 2010, following ethnic clashes and the ouster of Pres. Kurmanbek Bakiyev, a national referendum authorizing a new constitution was passed. It transferred many powers previously held by the president to an expanded parliament and established limits to prevent a single party from dominating the political system.
Under the 2010 constitution, the president, who serves as the head of state, is directly elected to a single six-year term. The unicameral parliament has 120 seats, of which no party may occupy more than 65. Legislators are elected by party, and only parties that exceed set vote totals in parliamentary elections can seat members in parliament. A prime minister is selected by the majority party or governing coalition to serve as the head of government. The judicial branch includes local courts and two high courts: the Supreme Court and, for commercial cases, the Supreme Economic Court.
- Political process
During the Soviet period, the Communist Party of Kirgiziya (CPK), a branch of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), determined the makeup of the government and dominated the political process. The CPK transformed itself into the People’s Democratic Party during the Soviet Union’s collapse and declined in influence after Kyrgyzstan, in contested elections in 1989, had gained its first democratically elected president, Askar Akayev, a former university professor and computer scientist. Informal political groups such as Ashar (“Solidarity”) have since helped to open up the political process further.
Kyrgyzstan’s schools and colleges have undergone a drastic reorganization since emerging from the ideological control of the Communist Party. The republic made Kyrgyz the official state language in 1989, and since that time Kyrgyz has begun to play a primary role in education; whole generations of students previously received much of their training entirely in Russian, which was obligatory. As a consequence, the Kyrgyz language lacked a thoroughly modern technical vocabulary. Another obstacle to research and scholarship is the general lack of competence in European languages among educated Kyrgyz. After independence Kyrgyzstan’s contacts with the outside world increased dramatically, with Kyrgyz students, scholars, and officials traveling to Middle Eastern and Western countries for specialized and technical training. The Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences and Kyrgyz State University, both in Bishkek, are the major institutions of higher education.
- Health and welfare
Kyrgyzstan, along with the other Central Asian republics, suffers from one of the highest rates of infant morbidity and mortality among the world’s developed countries. Medical care is substandard; Kyrgyzstan’s standard of living and educational and economic levels are among the lowest of the former Soviet republics.
Culture Life of Krygyzstan
- Cultural life
Starting in the 1920s and ’30s, several Kyrgyz-language newspapers appeared regularly in the republic, but they were subject to Soviet censorship. With the collapse of Moscow’s control over the press, the editorial policies of the republic’s publications have changed noticeably, and new press outlets have appeared, though press freedom has occasionally been curtailed. Kyrgyzstan has a television network, extensive radio broadcasting, cinemas, and theatres. Kyrgyz cultural life has been greatly influenced by the rich oral literary tradition (including epic cycles and lyric poetry) of the region, by the development of a modern literary language, and by the change from the Arabic alphabet to Roman and finally to Cyrillic (with diacritical markings added) beginning in 1940. The Kyrgyz planned a return to the Roman alphabet in the 1990s, in concert with the other Turkic-speaking countries of Central Asia. Kyrgyz folk singers still recite the lengthy verse epic Manas and other heroic and lyric poetry, often to the accompaniment of the three-stringed komuz, which is plucked like a lute.
During the Soviet period Kyrgyz poets strove to adjust their writings to communist ideology and the tenets of Socialist Realism. But the character of Kyrgyz cultural life has undergone considerable change in the wake of the dissolution of the Communist Party and the cessation of its tight ideological controls.
The Kyrgyz take pride in the renown of Chingiz Aytmatov, a novelist and storywriter who wrote mainly in Russian but also in Kyrgyz. His Povesti gor i stepey (1963; Tales of Mountains and Steppes) and the more recent I dol’she veka dlit’sia den’ (1980; The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years) and Plakha (1986; The Place of the Skull) have received wide circulation in Russian and in English translations. Aytmatov’s play Voskhozhdenie na Fudziiamu (1973; The Ascent of Mt. Fuji), written with Kazakh playwright Kaltay Muhamedjanov, discusses rather openly the moral compromises made under the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. This play created a sensation when it was first staged in Moscow in 1973 and later in English-language productions abroad.
State-sponsored folk dance troupes, a theatre of opera and ballet, and the Kyrgyzstan Philharmonic Orchestra perform in concert halls and theatre buildings erected during the Soviet period. The Museum of History and the Arts is located in Bishkek.
History of Krygyzstan
Formerly known as the Kara [black] Kyrgyz to distinguish them from the Kazakhs (at one time called Kirghiz or Kyrgyz), the Kyrgyz migrated to Kyrgyzstan from the region of the upper Yenisei, where they had lived from the 7th to the 17th cent. The area came under the rule of the Kokand khanate in the 19th cent. and was gradually annexed by Russia between 1855 and 1876. The nomadic Kyrgyz resisted conscription into the czarist army in 1916, leading to an uprising in which 100,000 and perhaps many more died and many fled to China. The Kyrgyz also fought the establishment of Bolshevik control from 1917 to 1921. As a result of war devastation, there was a famine in 1921–22 in which over 500,000 Kyrgyz died. The area was formed into the Kara-Kirghiz Autonomous Region within the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic in 1924, becoming an autonomous republic in 1926 and a constituent republic in 1936.
In 1990, Askar Akayev, president of the republic's Academy of Sciences, was elected president as a compromise candidate by the legislature. After fighting off an attempted coup in 1991, the government declared Kyrgyzstan independent of the Soviet Union. Kyrgyzstan subsequently became a member of the Russian-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States, and a new consitutution was approved.
Akayev, who remained president, fostered ties with China and other neighboring nations and initiated an ambitious program of free-market reforms. He retained his post in the 1995 elections, which were denounced by opposition leaders but given guarded support by UN observers. Also in 1995, Kyrgyzstan, along with Belarus and Kazakhstan, signed a pact with Russia providing for close economic cooperation. In 1996, Akayev won a referendum on amending the constitution to increase the presidency's powers. Islamic militants seized several towns near the border with Tajikistan (where a civil war began in 1992) in 1999, and in 2000 Kyrgyzstani forces fought Uzbek guerrillas based in Tajikistan that had infiltrated into the Fergana Valley. Akayev was reelected president in Oct., 2000, in a contest that observers said was marred by intimidation and ballot fraud. A U.S. air base, used for operationsin Afghanistan, was established at Manas in late 2001, following the Sept. 11th attacks against the United States. A Feb., 2003, referendum approved constitutional changes and affirmed Akayev's current term in office. The vote was prompted by unrest prior to 2003, but the constitutional changes and outcome of the vote were denounced by those opposed to Akayev.
The 2005 elections for parliament ended in a lopsided victory for Akayev's supporters, a result that sparked unrest in a nation already beset by persistent poverty and corruption. In March, opposition demonstrators seized control of the southwestern cities and regions of Jalal-Abad and Osh, and the uprising spread to Bishkek. As a result of the "Tulip Revolution," Akayev fled the country for Russia (and officially resigned the following month), and Kurmanbek Bakiyev, a former prime minister who had resigned in 2002 and then opposed Akayev, was appointed prime minister and acting president. Despite the supreme court's annulment of the elections, the departing parliament decided to accept the results, and the new legislators took office.
In the months leading up to the July, 2005, presidential election, the country experienced an increased level of civil unrest as the provisional government struggled somewhat to establish its control, and the unrest continued sporadically through the rest of 2005. The July vote resulted in a landslide victory for Bakiyev, who had agreed in May to appoint his most significant political rival—Felix Kulov, the provisional government's former security services coordinator—as prime minister. Kulov was confirmed as prime minister in September.
At the end of 2005, the political situation remained somewhat tenuous, with the president seeking to consolidate his power and influence despite his pledge to reduce his powers and parliament seeking to increase the prime minister's powers. Corruption and crime, meanwhile, had become worse than it had been under Akayev; reform efforts stalled; and by 2006 interethnic tensions and violence appeared to be increasing. Increased antiterror operations in SW Kyrgyzstan, directed mainly against Uzbeks, appeared in part designed to suppress an Uzbek campaign for enlarged civil rights and aggravated ethnic strains.
Unhappiness with Bakiyev led to several large demonstrations against him in 2006, and a loss of support in parliament. In May, 13 government ministers resigned after being criticized by the parliament, but then remained in office after meeting with the president. Omurbek Tekebayev, a former parliament speaker and opposition leader, was arrested in Poland in Sept., 2006, on drug charges, then was released when the heroin was determined to have been planted. The president's brother and the deputy director of the state security service were implicated in affair, which was seen as a government effort to discredit its opponents.
The president and parliament continued to joust over constitutional reform, with each side preferring that it have the stronger powers in any new national charter. In November, however, after a week of opposition demonstrations in the capital, parliament passed a compromise constitution that reduced the president's powers, and the president signed it. In December, Prime Minister Kulov's government resigned, ostensibly to accelerate the election of a parliament under the new constitution so that the new parliament might elect the prime minister (as required under the new constitution), but parliament subsequently adopted revisions to the November constitution that restored some of the president's lost powers and also allowed the president to appoint a new cabinet until a new parliament was elected. Bakiyev then twice appointed Kulov prime minister, but parliament refused to approve the choice.
In late Jan., 2007, a compromise choice, Azim Isabekov, the agriculture minister, was appointed prime minister and confirmed, but he resigned in March after the opposition, which had become increasing critical of the government, refused to join in a coalition. Bakiyev then appointed opposition politician Almazbek Atambayev as prime minister, but many in the opposition continued to resist joining a coalition government, mounting demonstrations instead and calling for the president to resign and parliament to dissolve. In May, 2007, there was an apparent attempt to poison the prime minister, possibly over a government decision to nationalize a semiconductor plant, but he survived after treatment.
In Sept., 2007, the constitutional court ruled that the 2006 amendments to the constitution were invalid because a referendum was required. The following month, however, a referendum approved the changes, but independent observers questioned the result, saying that there was evidence of an inflated turnout and ballot stuffing. Subsequently, parliamentary elections were called for December, which were won overwhelmingly by the president's Best Path Popular (Ak-Jol Eldik) party. The largest opposition party was denied any seats and accused the government of fraud; despite winning 8% of the vote nationally, the election commission said it failed to win the .5% required in each region. Western observers said the election failed to meet international standards and were critical of the regional vote requirement. Igor Chudinov was named prime minister. The government moved in Feb., 2009, to end U.S. use of the Manas air base; although Kyrgyzstan denied it, the action appeared linked to the country's receipt of $2 billion aid package from Russia. In June, however, the government agreed to a new lease on the base in return for increased rent and other aid. Bakiyev was reelected in July, but the campaign was criticized as unfair and the vote, which was denounced by the opposition as fraudulent, was marred by widespread irregularities and criticized by OSCE observers. Chudinov and the cabinet resigned in Oct., 2009, as Bakiyev undertook a major government reorganization that placed control of foreign affairs and security forces directly under the president; Daniyar Usenov, the president's chief of staff, succeeded Chudinov as prime minister.
In early 2010 Bakiyev faced growing criticism, even from his supporters, for moves against opposition politicians and independent media outlets. In April, protests that began in Talas spread to Bishkek and other northeastern cities, and when clashes in the capital resulted in the deaths of some 80 people, Bakiyev fled to his native Jalalabad prov. in W Kyrgyzstan. Opposition politicians proclaimed an interim government, with former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva as its leader, and Bakiyev subsequently went into exile.
The new government struggled to assert contol and reestablish order, especially in SW Kyrgyzstan, where support for the former president was stronger. When Uzbek volunteers helped the government regain control in Jalalabad in June, the move apparently sparked ethnic rioting in SW Kyrgyzstan, with the largely Kyrgyz police and the military reportedly supporting Kyrgyz mobs (though the government denied this and blamed the rioting on foreigners, some Uzbek leaders, and the Bakiyev family). An independent international inquiry estimated that 470 people were killed, and some 410,000 were displaced. The violence disproportionately affected Uzbeks, many of whom sought refuge in neighboring Uzbekistan.
A referendum later in the month approved a new constitution establishing a parliamentary republic; Otunbayeva was named to serve as interim president until the end of 2011. In the Oct., 2010, parliamentary elections, five parties won votes from more than 5% of the eligible voters (the threshold for representation in parliament); no party won more than 9%. A sixth party narrowly failed to win the necessary votes due to a change in the election commission's calculation of the number of eligible voters, leading to protests from the party and its supporters.
In Dec., 2010, three parties, including the SW-Kyrgyzstan-based Ata Jurt, which opposed the creation of a parliamentary republic, formed a government; Social Democrat Atambayev became prime minister for the second time. He subsequently ran for president, handily winning in Oct., 2011, but the voting was marred by irregularities and reflected regional divisions, with most of his support coming from the northeast. In December the Social Democrats withdrew from the governing coalition, forcing the formation of a new government; a new four-party coalition was formed, with the Respublika party's Omurbek Babanov as prime minister. That government collapsed in Aug., 2012, when two of the parties withdrew from the coalition. Those parties and the Social Democrats formed a new government in September, with Jantoro Satybaldiyev, an independent, as prime minister.
In Oct., 2012, Kamchybek Tashiyev, the nationalist leader of Ata Jurt, was arrested when he led an attempt to storm the parliament complex in the capital; he was later acquitted (June, 2013) of having attempted to overthrow the government. In July, 2013, the government signed an agreement to sell control of the state natural gas distribution company to the Russian giant Gazprom for $1 in exchange for infrastructure investments in Kyrgyzstan's energy system and other considerations.
Kyrgyzstan Area: 198,500 sq km (76,641 sq mi) Population (2005 est.): 5,146,000 Capital: Bishkek Head of state: Presidents Askar Akayev (de jure to April 11; actually deposed March 24), Ishenbay ...>>>Read On <<<
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