Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz: Кыргызстан) is a country in Central Asia. It borders China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Its capital is Bishkek (formerly Frunze.)
Main article: History of Kyrgyzstan
Being populated by Iranian tribes such as Sogdians for many centuries and later by Turkic immigrants, the area of Kyrgyzstan was on the fringes of the Persian Empire. Kyrgyzstan was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1864-66 when Russia successively conquered the Central Asian khanates. The country gained its independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It had been a Soviet Socialist Republic in 1937 with the full name of Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic, commonly referred to as Kirghizia or Kirghiz SSR.
Main article: Politics of Kyrgyzstan
In the first years of Kyrgyzstan's independence, President Askar Akaev appeared wholeheartedly committed to the reform process. However, despite the backing of major Western donors, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kyrgyzstan had to endure major economic difficulties from the outset. These came mainly as a result of the breakup of the Soviet trading bloc, which impeded the Republic's smooth transition to a free market economy.
Main article: Oblastlar of Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is divided into 7 provinces (oblastlar, singular - oblasty) and 1 city* (shaar):
- Batken Oblasty (Batken)
- Bishkek Shaary*
- Chuy Oblasty (Bishkek)
- Jalal-Abad Oblasty (Jalal-Abad)
- Naryn Oblasty (Naryn)
- Osh Oblasty (Osh)
- Talas Oblasty (Talas)
- Ysyk-Kol Oblasty (Karakol)
Note: administrative center names in parentheses
Oblastlar are further divided into raions (districts), administered by officials appointed by the central government. Rural communities, called aiyl okmotus and comprising up to 20 small settlements, are self-governing with elected mayors and councils.
Main article: Geography of Kyrgyzstan
Places include: Kara-Su
Lake: Issyk Kul
Main article: Economy of Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is a small, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, cotton, wool, tobacco, fruits, beef and mutton are the main agricultural products, with cotton, wool and meat the main exports. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, and electricity. Kyrgyzstan has been one of the most progressive countries of the former Soviet Union in carrying out market reforms and seeking to establish democratic institutions. Following a successful stabilization program, which lowered inflation from 88% in 1994 to 15% in 1997, attention has since then turned toward stimulating growth. Agricultural land has been privatized, and most of the government's stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production were severe after the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, but by mid-1995 production began to recover and exports began to increase. Pensioners, unemployed workers, and government workers with salary arrears continue to suffer. Foreign assistance played a substantial role in the country's economic turnaround. The government has adopted a series of measures to combat such severe problems as excessive external debt, inflation, inadequate revenue collection, and the spillover from Russia's economic disorders. Kyrgyzstan has enjoyed robust growth every year since 1999.
Main article: Demographics of Kyrgyzstan
The World Almanac 2005 reported that Kyrgyzstan's population are slightly more than 5 million, estimating it at 5,081,429. Of those, 34.4 percent are under the age of 15 and 6.2 percent are over the age of 65. The country is rural; only about one-third (33.9 percent) of Kyrgyzstan's population live in urban areas. The average population density is 29 people per km2 (69 people per square mile).
The nation's predominate ethnic group is the Kyrgyz, a Turkic group with Mongolian and Chinese influences. The group comprises 52 percent of the population and has historically been semi-nomadic herders (sheep, horses and yaks). Other ethnic groups include ethnic Russians (18 percent) and Uzbeks (13 percent). Smaller minorities are include the Ukrainians (three percent) and Germans (two percent), along with communities of Uigurs, Koreans, Tajiks and Kazakhs.
Main article: Culture of Kyrgyzstan
|Date ||English Name ||Local Name ||Remarks |
|January 1st ||New Year ||Жаңы жыл || |
|August 31st ||Indepedence Day ||--- || |
Independence Day - Kyrgyz: Эркин күнү
- http://www.fantasticasia.net/?p=1 - Travel information about Kyrgyzstan
- http://www.mypostcard.net - Photo gallery of Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia
- CountryGuide (http://www.countryguide.com/):: Kyrgyzstan (http://www.countryguide.com/Kyrgyzstan/) --editor-maintained directory focused on travel planning and research.
- The "Manas" epos (http://www.freenet.kg/kyrgyzstan/manas.html)