Central Asia

Central Asia is a region in Asia. There are different definitions of exactly what Central Asia includes.

A delimitation which covers 9,029,000 km 2 or 21% of Asia’s area, says:

  • KAZAKHSTAN (Asian part)
  • CHINA (Qinghai and Xinjiang provinces)
  • TIBET (part of China according to the UN)

Another delimitation (used by UNESCO) is:

  • AFGHANISTAN (parts of)
  • INDIA (parts of)
  • IRAN (northeast)
  • CHINA (westernmost parts and Xinjiang)
  • TIBET (westernmost parts)
  • Siberia (southern areas)

A third delimitation by Countryaah.com describes Central Asia as the former Soviet Central Asian republics:



Kyrgyzstan, officially the Kyrgyz Republic, is a mountainous country in Central Asia between China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The capital is Bishkek. The country was a Soviet republic until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The country’s young democracy was stable under former President Askar Akayev in the 1990s, but has since moved toward autocracy and authoritarian rule. After the revolution in Kyrgyzstan in 2005, President Akayev withdrew and the political situation in the country is currently uncertain.

Kyrgyz history is traced by Kyrgyz and Chinese historians back to 201 BC. The earliest ancestors of the Kyrgyz are believed to be Turks in the northeastern part of present-day Mongolia. Later, these tribes migrated to southern Siberia and settled along the Yenisei from the 6th century to the 8th century. They spread to Tuva and remained there until the Mongols began to move in the 13th century when the Kyrgyz immigrated south.


13th century – Islam became the dominant religion. Most Kyrgyz are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi direction.

1916 – Conscription in the Russian army, which leads to a relentless uprising in Central Asia, and many Kyrgyz refugees flee to China.

1918 – Soviet rule is established.

1936 – The Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic becomes a full member of the Soviet Union.

1991 – August 19 – There is an attempt to overthrow President Askar Akayev in Kyrgyzstan. After the coup attempt failed, Akayev and Vice President German Kusnetsov resigned from the Soviet Communist Party, and the entire party’s police station and secretariat resigned. Following a vote, Kyrgyzstan declared independence on 31 August 1991. Kyrgyzstan became the official language of September 1991. In October 1991, Akayev ran for president without any opposition candidates, gaining 95% of the vote.

2001 – In connection with the war in Afghanistan, the United States establishes an air base in the areas of Manas International Airport. In 2009, Kyrgyzstan’s President Kurmanbek Bakiyev declared that he would close the base. This announcement came after promises from Russia for financial support.

Republic of Tajikistan

The Republic of Tajikistan, formerly known as the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic, is a mountainous country in Central Asia. It is a landlocked state bordering Afghanistan to the south, the People’s Republic of China to the east, Kyrgyzstan to the north and Uzbekistan to the west. The country is inhabited primarily by Tajiks, who share culture and history with the Iranians and who speak Tajik, a language closely related to Persian. (Tajikistan means Tajik country). The area was once the center of the Samanide Empire. Tajikistan was incorporated into the Soviet Union in the 20th century.


3900 BCE – The first people settled in what is now Tajikistan. The country has since been ruled by various empires throughout history, but has mostly belonged to the Persian Empire. Before Christ, it was part of the Bactria Empire.

1917 – After the overthrow of the Tsar in 1917, the Tajik guerrilla war against the Bolshevik armies leads in a desperate attempt to retain independence. The Bolsheviks took over after four years of war, when mosques and villages were burned to the ground and the population was severely oppressed.

1992-1997 – After independence in 1991, Tajikistan suffered a devastating 5-year civil war involving unequal factions fighting each other. These fractions were often characterized by tribal affiliations. Emomali Rahmonov was the first leader of the nation and continues to rule. He has been accused of ethnic cleansing against other ethnic groups during the Civil War. In 1997, a ceasefire was reached between Rahmonov and the opposition parties ( United Tajik Opposition ). Peaceful elections were held in 1999, but they were reported by the opposition as unfair, and Rahmonov was re-elected almost unanimously. Russian troops remain stationed in southern Tajikistan, to guard the border with Afghanistan. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, US troops have also been stationed in the country.


Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia. It borders Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the northeast, Afghanistan to the southeast and Iran to the southwest. To the west is the coast towards the Caspian Sea. The capital is Ashgabat.

For the last 3,000 years, Turkmenistan has been ruled by one great empire after another. The first people came to the country in the 700s from Mongolia. They then converted to Islam when Arabs and Turks came to the area in the 5-800s. It is the Turkish
immigration, which has had the greatest impact on the country. Today, Turkmen is spoken, which is a language of Turkish descent. One is also a Muslim just like the Turks.


1924 – Turkmenistan becomes a Soviet republic.

1991 – September. Turkmenistan declared independence for the first time, but it was not until December 1991 that the country was internationally recognized.


Uzbekistan is a country in Central Asia. Uzbekistan borders Kazakhstan to the north, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan to the south, and Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to the east. Uzbekistan has previously been part of the Soviet Union since 1924, and declared its independence on September 1, 1991.


1960s – Aral was formerly the world’s fourth largest lake with an area of ​​about 68,000 km², but since the 1960s the lake’s area has more than halved due to extensive drainage for agriculture in the area by reversing the inflowing rivers Syr Darya and Amu Darya to make cotton cultivation
possible. The consequence of this has been an environmental disaster of enormous scope and i.a. led to a sharp increase in the lake’s salt balance in addition to the loss of many
fishing jobs. This has made it possible for Danish fishermen to advise on the release of e.g. flounder, which are now being fished. It is expected that the lake will be completely gone by 2020, unless one UN project with a northern dam succeeds.

Central Asia