native_name = Кыргыз Республикасы "Kyrgyz Respublikasi" Кыргызская Республика "Kyrgyzskaya Respublika"
conventional_long_name = Kyrgyz Republic
common_name = Kyrgyzstan
national_motto = none
official_languages = Kyrgyz, Russiancite web | url= http://www.gov.kg/index.php?name=EZCMS&menu=3403&page_id=84 | title= Constitution | accessdate= 2007-07-07 | publisher=
Government of Kyrgyzstan| quote=
1. The state language of the Kyrgyz Republic shall be the Kyrgyz language.
2. In the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian language shall be used in the capacity of an official language.]
demonym = Kyrgyz Kyrgyzstani [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kg.html CIA World Factbook entry on Kyrgysztan] ]
leader_title1 = President
leader_title2 = Prime Minister
latd = 42
latm = 52
latNS = N
longd = 74
longm = 36
longEW = E
largest_city = capital
area_km2 = 199,900
area_sq_mi = 77,181
area_magnitude = 1 E11
area_rank = 86th
percent_water = 3.6
population_estimate = 5,264,000
population_estimate_year = July 2005
population_estimate_rank = 111th
population_census = 4,896,100
population_census_year = 1999
population_density_km2 = 26
population_density_sq_mi = 67
population_density_rank = 176th
GDP_PPP_year = 2005
GDP_PPP = $10.764 billion
GDP_PPP_rank = 134th
GDP_PPP_per_capita = $2,000
GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 140th
HDI_year = 2007
HDI = decrease 0.696
HDI_rank = 116th
HDI_category = medium
Gini = 30.3
Gini_year = 2003
Gini_category = medium
sovereignty_type = Independence
sovereignty_note = from the
established_event1 = Declared
31 August 1991
established_event2 = Completed
25 December 1991
currency = Som
currency_code = KGS
time_zone = KGT
utc_offset = +6
calling_code = 996
Kyrgyzstan (pronEng|ˈkɻ̩gɪztɑn (AmE) or IPA|/'kɝgəztan/ (BrE), Kyrgyz: Кыргызстан IPA| [qɯrʀɯzˈstɑn] ; Russian: Киргизия IPA| [kirˈgizija] or Киргизстан IPA| [ˈkirgistan] or Кыргызстан IPA| [ˈkˠɨrgˠɨz.stan] , variously transliterated, also Kirgizia or Kirghizia), officially the Kyrgyz Republic, is a country in
Central Asia. Landlockedand mountainous, it is bordered by Kazakhstanto the north, Uzbekistanto the west, Tajikistanto the southwest and China to the east.
According to recent historical findings,
Kyrgyzhistory dates back to 201 BC. The early Kyrgyzlived in the upper Yenisey Rivervalley, central Siberia. The discovery of the Pazyrykand Tashtyk cultures show them as a blend of Turkic nomadic tribes. Chinese and Muslim sources of the 7th–12th centuries AD describe the Kyrgyz as red-haired, in addition, blond-haired with a fair complexion and green or blue eyes, indicating an Indo-Europeanelement in their ancestry.
The descent of the
Kyrgyzfrom the indigenous Siberianpopulation is confirmed on the other hand by recent genetic studies. [ [http://hpgl.stanford.edu/publications/PNAS_2001_v98_p10244.pdf The Eurasian Heartland: A continental perspective on Y-chromosome diversity] ] Remarkably, 63% of the modern Kyrgyz men share Haplogroup R1a1 (Y-DNA)with Tajiks(64%), Ukrainians(54%), Poles(56%) and even Icelanders (25%). Haplogroup R1a1 (Y-DNA)is believed to be a marker of the Proto-Indo-European languagespeakers.
Kyrgyzstate reached its greatest expansion after defeating the Uyghur Khanate in 840 A.D. Then Kyrgyzquickly moved as far as the Tian Shanrange and maintained their dominance over this territory for about 200 years. In the 12th century, however, the Kyrgyzdomination had shrunk to the AltayRange and the Sayan Mountainsas a result of the rising Mongolexpansion. With the rise of the Mongol Empirein the 13th century, the Kyrgyzmigrated south.
In the early 19th century, the southern part of what is today Kyrgyzstan came under the control of the
Khanate of Kokand. The territory, then known in Russian as "Kirgizia", was formally incorporated into the Russian Empirein 1876. The Russian takeover was met with numerous revolts against tsarist authority, and many of the Kyrgyz opted to move to the Pamirsand Afghanistan. In addition, the suppression of the 1916 rebellion in Central Asiacaused many Kyrgyz to migrate to China. Since many ethnic groups in the region were (and still are) split between neighbouring states, at a time when borders were more porous and less regulated, it was common to move back and forth over the mountains, depending on where life was perceived as better; this might mean better rains for pasture or better government after oppression.
Soviet power was initially established in the region in 1919 and the
Kara-Kyrgyz Autonomous Oblastwas created within the Russian SFSR(the term Kara-Kirghiz was used until the mid-1920s by the Russians to distinguish them from the Kazakhs, who were also referred to as Kirghiz). On December 5, 1936, the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republicwas established as a full republic of the Soviet Union.
During the 1920s, Kyrgyzstan developed considerably in cultural, educational, and social life.
Literacywas greatly improved, and a standard literary language was introduced by imposing Russian on the populace. Economic and social development also was notable. Many aspects of the Kyrgyz national culture were retained despite the suppression of nationalist activity under Stalin, and, therefore, tensions with the all-Union authorities were constant.
The early years of
glasnosthad little effect on the political climate in Kyrgyzstan. However, the Republic's press was permitted to adopt a more liberal stance and to establish a new publication, "Literaturny Kirghizstan", by the Union of Writers. Unofficial political groups were forbidden, but several groups that emerged in 1989 to deal with the acute housing crisis were permitted to function.
In June 1990, ethnic tensions between
Uzbeksand Kyrgyz surfaced in the Osh Oblast, where Uzbeks form a majority of the population. Violent confrontations ensued, and a state of emergency and curfew were introduced. Order was not restored until August 1990.Fact|date=December 2007
The early 1990s brought considerable change to Kyrgyzstan. By then, the Kyrgyzstan Democratic Movement (KDM) had developed into a significant political force with support in Parliament. In an upset victory,
Askar Akayev, the liberal President of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, was elected to the Presidency in October 1990. The following January, Akayev introduced new government structures and appointed a new government composed mainly of younger, reform-oriented politicians.
In December 1990, the Supreme Soviet voted to change the republic's name to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. (In 1993, it became the Kyrgyz Republic.) In February 1991, the name of the capital, Frunze, was changed back to its prerevolutionary name of
Bishkek. Despite these aesthetic moves toward independence, economic realities seemed to work against secession from the Soviet Union. In a referendum on the preservation of the Soviet Union in March 1991, 88.7% of the voters approved the proposal to retain the Soviet Union as a "renewed federation."
August 19, 1991, when the State Emergency Committeeassumed power in Moscow, there was an attempt to depose Akayev in Kyrgyzstan. After the coup collapsed the following week, Akayev and Vice President German Kuznetsov announced their resignations from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union(CPSU), and the entire bureau and secretariat resigned. This was followed by the Supreme Soviet vote declaring independence from the Soviet Union on August 31, 1991.
In October 1991, Akayev ran unopposed and was elected president of the new independent Republic by direct ballot, receiving 95% of the votes cast. Together with the representatives of seven other Republics that same month, he signed the Treaty of the New Economic Community. Finally, on
December 21, 1991, Kyrgyzstan joined with the other four Central Asian Republics to formally enter the new Commonwealth of Independent States. In 1992, Kyrgyzstan joined the UNand the CSCE.
Tulip Revolution," after the parliamentary elections in March 2005, forced President Akayev's resignation on April 4, 2005. Opposition leaders formed a coalition and a new government was formed under President Kurmanbek Bakiyevand Prime Minister Feliks Kulov. The nation's capital was also looted during the protests.
Political stability appears to be elusive, however, as various groups and factions allegedly linked to
organized crimeare jockeying for power. Three of the 75 members of Parliament elected in March 2005 were assassinated, and another member was assassinated on 10 May 2006shortly after winning his murdered brother's seat in a by-election. All four are reputed to have been directly involved in major illegal business ventures.
Current concerns in Kyrgyzstan include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, expansion of Western influence, inter-ethnic relations, and terrorism.
The 1993 constitution defines the form of government as a democratic republic. The executive branch includes a president and prime minister. The parliament currently is unicameral. The judicial branch comprises a Supreme Court, a Constitutional Court, local courts, and a Chief Prosecutor.
In March 2002, in the southern district of
Aksy, five people protesting the arbitrary arrest of an opposition politician were shot dead by police, sparking nationwide protests. President Akayev initiated a constitutional reform process which initially included the participation of a broad range of government, civil, and social representatives in an open dialogue, leading to a February 2003 referendum marred by voting irregularities. The amendments to the constitution approved by the referendum resulted in stronger control by the president and weakened the parliament and the Constitutional Court. Parliamentary elections for a new, 75-seat unicameral legislature were held on February 27 and March 13, 2005, but were widely viewed as corrupt. The subsequent protests led to a bloodless coupon March 24, after which Akayev fled the country and was replaced by acting president Kurmanbek Bakiyev(see: Tulip Revolution).
Interim government leaders are developing a new governing structure for the country and working to resolve outstanding constitutional issues. On
July 10, 2005, acting president Bakiyev won the presidential election in a landslide, with 88.9% of the vote, and was inaugurated on 14 August. However, initial public support for the new administration substantially declined in subsequent months as a result of its apparent inability to solve the corruption problems that have plagued the country since its independence from the Soviet Union, along with the murders of several members of parliament. Largescale protests against president Bakiyev took place in Bishkek in April and November 2006, with opposition leaders accusing the president of failing to live up to his election promises to reform the country's constitution and transfer many of his presidential powers to parliament. [cite web | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6124428.stm | title = Clashes erupt in Kyrgyz capital | accessdaymonth = 21 November |accessyear = 2007 |publisher = BBC Online]
Provinces and districts
Kyrgyzstan is divided into seven
provinces (sing. " oblast" (область), pl. "oblasttar" (областтар)) administered by appointed governors. The capital, Bishkek, and the second large city Oshare administratively the independent cities ("shaar") with a status equal to a province.
Each province comprises a number of districts ("
raions"), administered by government-appointed officials ("akim"). Rural communities ("ayıl ökmötü"), consisting of up to twenty small settlements, have their own elected mayors and councils.
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country in
Central Asia, bordering Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistanand Uzbekistan. The mountainous region of the Tian Shancovers over 80% of the country (Kyrgyzstan is occasionally referred to as "the Switzerlandof Central Asia", as a result), [cite web | url=http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/GC26Ag03.html | title = The Tulip Revolution takes root | first = Pepe | last = Escobar | accessdaymonth = 21 November | accessyear = 2007 |publisher = Asia Times Online] with the remainder made up of valleys and basins. Lake Issyk-Kulin the north-western Tian Shan is the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan and the second largest mountain lake in the world after Titicaca. The highest peaks are in the Kakshaal-Too range, forming the Chinese border. Peak Jengish Chokusu, at 7,439 m (24,400 feet), is the highest point and is considered by geologists (though not mountaineers) to be the northernmost peak over 7,000 m (23,000 feet) in the world. Heavy snowfall in winter leads to spring floods which often cause serious damage downstream. The runoff from the mountains is also used for hydro-electricity.
The climate varies regionally. The south-western
Fergana Valleyis subtropical and extremely hot in summer, with temperatures reaching 40°C (104°F.) The northern foothills are temperate and the Tian Shan varies from dry continental to polar climate, depending on elevation. In the coldest areas temperatures are sub-zero for around 40 days in winter, and even some desert areas experience constant snowfall in this period.
Kyrgyzstan has significant deposits of metals including
goldand rare earth metals. Due to the country's predominantly mountainous terrain, less than 8% of the land is cultivated, and this is concentrated in the northern lowlands and the fringes of the Fergana Valley. Bishkekin the north is the capital and largest city, with approximately 900,000 inhabitants (as of 2005). The second city is the ancient town of Osh, located in the Fergana Valley near the border with Uzbekistan. The principal river is the Naryn, flowing west through the Fergana Valley into Uzbekistan, where it meets another of Kyrgyzstan's major rivers, the Kara Darya, forming the Syr Daryawhich eventually flows into the Aral Sea— although the massive extraction of water for irrigating Uzbekistan's cotton fields now causes the river to dry up long before reaching the Sea. The Chu Riveralso briefly flows through Kyrgyzstan before entering Kazakhstan.
Enclaves and exclaves
There is one exclave, the tiny village of Barak, Kyrgyzstan, [http://home.no.net/enklaver/kyrgyzstan.htm] (population 627) in the
Ferganavalley. The village is surrounded by Uzbek territory and located between the towns of Margilanand Fergana.
There are four Uzbek enclaves within Kyrgyzstan. Two of them are the towns of
Sokh(area 125 sq. mi/325 km² and a population of 42,800 in 1993, although some estimates go as high as 70,000; 99% are Tajiks, the remainder Uzbeks), and Shakhrimardan(also known as Shakirmardon or Shah-i-Mardan, area 35 sq. mi/90 km² and a population of 5,100 in 1993; 91% are Uzbeks, the remainder Kyrgyz); the other two are the tiny territories of Chuy-Kara (or Kalacha, roughly 3 km long by 1 km wide or 2 mi by 0.6 mi) and Dzhangail (a dot of land barely 2 or 3 km across). Chuy-Kara is on the Sokh river, between the Uzbek border and the Sokh enclave.
There also are two enclaves belonging to
Tajikistan: Vorukh(exclave area between 95 and 130 km² [37–50 sq. mi] , population estimated between 23,000 and 29,000, 95% Tajiks and 5% Kyrgyz, distributed among 17 villages), located 45 kilometres (28 mi) south of Isfaraon the right bank of the Karafshinriver, and a small settlement near the Kyrgyz railway station of Kairagach.
Despite the backing of major Western lenders, including the
International Monetary Fund(IMF), the World Bankand the Asian Development Bank, Kyrgyzstan has had economic difficulties following independence. Initially, these were a result of the breakup of the Soviet trading bloc and resulting loss of markets, which impeded the republic's transition to a free market economy. The government has reduced expenditures, ended most price subsidies, and introduced a value-added tax. Overall, the government appears committed to the transition to a market economy. Through economic stabilization and reform, the government seeks to establish a pattern of long-term consistent growth. Reforms led to Kyrgyzstan's accession to the World Trade Organization(WTO) on December 20, 1998.
The Kyrgyz economy was severely affected by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resulting loss of its vast market. In 1990, some 98% of Kyrgyz exports went to other parts of the Soviet Union. Thus, the nation's economic performance in the early 1990s was worse than any other former Soviet republic except war-torn
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan, as factories and state farms collapsed with the disappearance of their traditional markets in the former Soviet Union. While economic performance has improved considerably in the last few years, and particularly since 1998, difficulties remain in securing adequate fiscal revenues and providing an adequate social safety net. Agricultureis an important sector of the economy in Kyrgyzstan (see agriculture in Kyrgyzstan). By the early 1990s, the private agricultural sector provided between one-third and one-half of some harvests. In 2002 agriculture accounted for 35.6% of GDP and about half of employment. Kyrgyzstan's terrain is mountainous, which accommodates livestockraising, the largest agricultural activity, so the resulting wool, meat, and dairy products are major commodities. Main crops include wheat, sugar beets, potatoes, cotton, tobacco, vegetables, and fruit. As the prices of imported agrichemicalsand petroleumare so high, much farming is being done by hand and by horse, as it was generations ago. Agricultural processing is a key component of the industrial economy, as well as one of the most attractive sectors for foreign investment.
Kyrgyzstan is rich in mineral resources but has negligible
petroleumand natural gasreserves; it imports petroleum and gas. Among its mineral reserves are substantial deposits of coal, gold, uranium, antimony, and other valuable metals. Metallurgyis an important industry, and the government hopes to attract foreign investment in this field. The government has actively encouraged foreign involvement in extracting and processing gold. The country's plentiful water resources and mountainous terrain enable it to produce and export large quantities of hydroelectric energy.
On a local level, the economy is primarily kiosk in nature. A large amount of local commerce occurs at bazaars and small village kiosks. Commodities such as gas (petrol) are often sold road-side in gallon jugs. A significant amount of trade is unregulated. There is also a scarcity of common everyday consumer itemsspecify in remote villages. Thus a large number of homes are quite self-sufficient with respect to food production. There is a distinct differentiation between urban and rural economies.
The principal exports are nonferrous metals and minerals, woolen goods and other agricultural products, electric energy, and certain engineering goods. Imports include petroleum and natural gas, ferrous metals, chemicals, most machinery, wood and paper products, some foods, and some construction materials. Its leading trade partners include
Germany, Russia, and neighboring China, Kazakhstanand Uzbekistan.
"The World Almanac 2005" reported that Kyrgyzstan's population is slightly more than five million, estimating it at 5,081,429. Of those, 34.4% are under the age of 15 and 6.2% are over the age of 65. The country is
rural; only about one-third (33.9%) of Kyrgyzstan's population live in urban areas. The average population densityis 69 people per square mile (29 people per km²).
The nation's largest
ethnic groupis the Kyrgyz, a Turkic people. The Kyrgyz comprise 69.5% of the population and have historically been semi- nomadic herders, living in round tents called yurts and tending sheep, horses and yaks. This nomadic tradition continues to function seasonally (see transhumance) as herding families return to the high mountain pasture (or "jailoo") in the summer. The retention of this nomadic heritage and the freedoms that it assumes continue to have an impact on the political atmosphere in the country. The name Kyrgyz, both for the people and for the nation itself, is said to mean "forty girls", a reference to the Manasof folkloreunifying forty tribes against the Mongols.
Other ethnic groups include ethnic Russians (9.0%) concentrated in the North and
Uzbeks(14.5%) living in the South. Small but noticeable minorities include Tatars(1.9), Uyghurs (1.1%), Tajiks(1.1%), Kazakhs(0.7%) and Ukrainians(0.5%), and other smaller ethnic minorities (1.7%). Of the formerly sizable Volga Germancommunity, exiled here by Stalinfrom their earlier homes in the Volga German Republic, most have returned to Germany, and only a few small groups remain. A small percentage of the population are also Soviet Koreans, meaning descendents of the former Korean residents of Vladivostok, whom Stalinhad exiled to Central Asia (and the Caucasus) during the Second World War.
Kyrgyzstan is one of two of the five former Soviet republics in Central Asia to retain Russian as an
official language( Kazakhstanis the other country to retain Russian). It added the Kyrgyz languageto become an officially bilingual country in September 1991. This sent a clear signal to the ethnic Russians that they were welcome in the new independent state, in an effort to avoid a brain drain. Kyrgyz is a member of the Turkic group of languages and was written in the Arabic alphabetuntil the 20th century. Latin script was introduced and adopted in 1928, and was subsequently replaced by Cyrillic script in 1941.
Generally, people all over the country understand and speak Russian, except for some remote mountain areas. Russian is the mother tongue of the majority of Bishkek dwellers, and most business and political affairs are carried out in this language. Until recently, Kyrgyz remained a language spoken at home, and was rarely used during meetings or other events. However, most parliamentary meetings today are conducted in Kyrgyz, with simultaneous interpretation available for those not speaking Kyrgyz.
* "Manas", an
Komuz", a three-stringed lute
Tush kyiz", large, elaborately embroidered wall hangings
Shirdak", flat cushions made in shadow-pairs [ [http://www.kyrgyzstyle.kg/production/shirdaks/index.htm Kyrgyz Style - Production - Souvenirs ] ]
textiles, especially made from felt
Illegal, but still practiced, is the tradition of
bride kidnapping. [cite web | url=http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/kyrgyzstan/thestory.html | title = Synopsis of "The Kidnapped Bride" | first = Petr | last = Lom | accessdaymonth = 21 November | accessyear = 2007 | publisher = Frontline/World]
It is debatable whether bride kidnapping is actually traditional. Some of the confusion may stem from the fact that
arranged marriages were traditional, and one of the ways to escape an arranged marriage was to arrange a consensual "kidnapping." [Human Rights Watch Report "Reconciled to Violence: State Failure to Stop Domestic Abuse and Abduction of Women in Kyrgyzstan" published September 2006, Vol. 18, No.9.]
During Soviet times,
state atheismwas encouraged. Today, however, Kyrgyzstan is a secular statethough Islamhas exerted growing influence in politics. [http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=18147 ISN Security Watch - Islam exerts growing influence on Kyrgyz politics ] ] For instance, there have been various attempts to decriminalize polygamy, and to arrange for officials to travel on " hajj" (the pilgrimage to Mecca) under a tax-free arrangement. Kyrgyzstan is an overwhelmingly Sunni Muslimnation, and adheres to the Hanafi school of thought. [ [http://www.canadiancontent.net/profiles/Kyrgyzstan.html Kyrgyzstan - Quick facts, statistics and cultural notes ] ]
Islam in Kyrgyzstanis more of a cultural background than a devout daily practice for many, public figures have expressed support for restoring religious values. For example, human rightsombudsman Tursunbay Bakir-Ulu noted, "In this era of independence, it is not surprising that there has been a return to spiritual roots not only in Kyrgyzstan, but also in other post-communist republics. It would be immoral to develop a market-based society without an ethical dimension." Additionally, Bermet Akayeva, the daughter of Askar Akayev, the former President of Kyrgyzstan, stated during a July 2007 interview that Islam is increasingly taking root across the nation. [http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav071707a.shtml EurasiaNet Civil Society - Kyrgyzstan: Time to Ponder a Federal System - Ex-President's Daughter ] ] She emphasized that many mosqueshave been built and that the Kyrgyz are increasingly devoting themselves to Islam, which she noted was "not a bad thing in itself. It keeps our society more moral, cleaner."
The other faiths practiced in Kyrgyzstan include Russian Orthodox and Ukrainian Orthodox versions of
Christianity, practiced primarily by Russiansand Ukrainiansrespectively. A small minority of ethnic Germans are also Christian, mostly Lutheran and Baptistas well as a Roman Catholiccommunity of approximately six hundred believers. [http://www.zenit.org/article-28637?l=spanish] [ [http://www.asia.msu.edu/centralasia/Kyrgyzstan/religion.html Religion in Kyrgyzstan] ] A few Animistic traditions survive, as do influences from Buddhismsuch as the tying of prayer flags onto sacred trees, though some view this practice rooted within SufiIslam. [" ShaikhMuhammad Bin Jamil Zeno", Muhammad Bin Jamil Zeno- 2006, pg. 264] There are also a small number of Bukharian Jewsliving in Kyrgyzstan, but during the collapse of the Soviet Unionmost fled to other countries, mainly the United Statesand Israel.
The 40-rayed yellow sun in the center of the flag represents 40 warriors of the mythical hero
Manas. The lines inside the sun represent the crown or " tündük" (Kyrgyz түндүк) of a yurt, a symbol replicated in many facets of Kyrgyz architecture. The red portion of the flag represents peace and openness of Kyrgyzstan.
Educational institutions in Kyrgyzstan include:
University of Central Asia
American University of Central Asia
Bishkek Humanities University
International Ataturk-Alatoo University[ [http://www.iaau.edu.kg International Ataturk-Alatoo University] ]
International University of Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyz National University[ [http://www.university.kg Kyrgyz National University] ]
Arabaev Kyrgyz State University[ [http://www.geocities.com/kyrgyzeducation Arabaev Kyrgyz State University] ]
Kyrgyz Russian Slavonic University[ [http://www.krsu.edu.kg Kyrgyz Russian Slavonic University] ]
Kyrgyz-Russian State University
Kyrgyz-Turkish MANAS University[ [http://www.manas.kg Kyrgyz-Turkish MANAS University] ]
Kyrgyz Uzbek University
Moskov Institute of Law and Enterprise
Osh State University[ [http://www.oshsu.kg Osh State University] ]
Osh Technological University
The traditional national sports reflect the importance of
horse ridingin Kyrgyz culture.
Very popular, as in all of Central Asia, is "Ulak Tartysh", a team game resembling a cross between
poloand rugby in which two teams of riders wrestle for possession of the headless carcass of a goat, which they attempt to deliver across the opposition's goal line, or into the opposition's goal: a big tub or a circle marked on the ground.
Other popular games on horseback include:
* "Aht Chabysh" - a long-distance horse race, sometimes over a distance of more than 50 km
* "Jumby Atmai" - a large bar of precious metal (the "jumby") is tied to a pole by a thread and contestants attempt to break the thread by shooting at it, while at a gallop
* "Kyz Kuumai" - a man chases a girl in order to win a kiss from her, while she gallops away; if he is not successful she may beat him with her "kamchi" (horsewhip)
* "Oodarysh" - two contestants wrestle on horseback, each attempting to be the first to throw the other from his horse
* "Tyin Enmei" - picking up a coin from the ground at full gallop
Transport in Kyrgyzstan is severely constrained by the country's alpine topography. Roads have to snake up steep valleys, cross passes of 3,000 metre (9,000 ft) altitude and more, and are subject to frequent mud slides and snow avalanches. Winter travel is close to impossible in many of the more remote and high-altitude regions. Additional problems are due to the fact that many roads and railway lines built during the Soviet period are today intersected by international boundaries, requiring time-consuming border formalities to cross where they are not completely closed.
Horses are still a much-used transport option, especially in more rural areas; Kyrgyzstan's road infrastructure is not extensive, so horses are able to reach locations that motor vehicles cannot, and they do not require expensive, imported fuel.
At the end of the Soviet period there were about 50 airports and airstrips in Kyrgyzstan, many of them built primarily to serve military purposes in this border region so close to China. Only a few of them remain in service today.
Manas Airportnear Bishkekis the main international airport, with services to Moscow, Tashkent, Urumqi, Istanbul, Baku, Delhiand London.
Osh Airportis the main air terminal in the South, with daily connections to Bishkek.
Jalal-AbadAirport is linked to Bishkek by two flights per week.
* Other facilities built during the Soviet era are either closed down, used only occasionally or restricted to military use (e.g., Kant airbase, now a Russian air base near Bishkek)
The Chui valley in the north and the Ferghana valley in the south were endpoints of the
Soviet Union's rail system in Central Asia. Following the emergence of independent post-Soviet states, the rail lines which were built without regard for administrative boundaries have been cut by borders, and traffic is therefore severely curtailed. The small bits of rail lines within Kyrgyzstan, about 370 km (1,520 mm broad gauge) in total, have little economic value in the absence of the former bulk traffic over long distances to and from such centers as Tashkent, Almatyand the cities of Russia.
There are vague plans about extending rail lines from
Balykchyin the north and/or from Oshin the south into the People's Republic of China, but the cost of construction would be enormous.
Rail links with adjacent countries
With support from the
Asian Development Bank, a major road linking the north and southwest from Bishkekto Oshhas recently been completed. This considerably eases communication between the two major population centers of the country -- the ChuiValley in the north and the Fergana Valleyin the South. An offshoot of this road branches off across a 3,500 meter pass into the TalasValley in the northwest. Plans are now being formulated to build a major road from Osh into the People's Republic of China.
"total:" 30,300 km (including 140 km of expressways)
"paved:" 22,600 km (includes some all-weather gravel-surfaced roads)
"unpaved:" 7,700 km (these roads are made of unstabilized earth and are difficult to negotiate in wet weather) (1990)
Water transport exists only on Lake
Issyk Kul, and has drastically shrunk since the end of the Soviet Union.
Ports and harbours
Balykchy(Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye), on Lake Issyk Kul.
* "Historical Dictionary of Kyrgyzstan" by Rafis Abazov
* "Kyrgyzstan: Central Asia's Island of Democracy?" by John Anderson
* "Kyrgyzstan: The Growth and Influence of Islam in the Nations of Asia and Central Asia" by Daniel E. Harmon
* "Lonely Planet Guide: Central Asia" by Paul Clammer, Michael Kohn and Bradley Mayhew
* "Odyssey Guide: Kyrgyz Republic" by Ceri Fairclough, Rowan Stewart and Susie Weldon
* "Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?" by Ted Rall
* "Kyrgyzstan: Traditions of Nomads" by V. Kadyrov, Rarity Ltd., Bishkek, 2005. ISBN 9-967-424-42-7
* [http://www.gov.kg/ Government of Kyrgyzstan] official site
* [http://www.president.kg/ President of the Kyrgyz Republic]
* [http://www.mvtp.kg/ Kyrgyzstan Ministry of External Trade and Industry]
* [http://www.ktr.kg/tv/en/ Kyrgyz State Television and Radio]
* [http://www.local.gov.kg/ Local government] Official website (in Russian)Overviews
* [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kg.html CIA World Factbook - "Kyrgystan"]
* [http://www.kyrgyzreport.com KyrgyzReport.com] ongoing analysis, including an analysis of the clusters of political forces in Kyrgyzstan and the roots of the country’s political problems
* [http://dmoz.org/Regional/Asia/Kyrgyzstan Open Directory Project - "Kyrgyzstan"] directory categoryNews
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/country_profiles/1296485.stm BBC News - "Kyrgystan"] Country Profile
* [http://www.eurasianet.org/resource/kyrgyzstan/hypermail/news/index.shtml Eurasianet - Kyrgyzstan Daily Digest] newsPhotos
* [http://www.highmountaintrip.com/gallery.html Photos of Kyrgyzstan]
* [http://barthphoto.com/Kyrgyzstan.htm Photos of traditional life in Kyrgyzstan]
* [http://www.uni-graz.at/franz.koelbl/kirgisien/ Photo gallery and information about Kyrgyzstan] - in German
* [http://www.avalon.kg/tourism/en/sightseeing.html Nature of Kyrgyzstan]
* [http://www.commonlanguageproject.net/?page_id=41#Kyrgyzstan Common Language Project Country Fact Sheet - Kyrgyzstan]
* [http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/kyrgyzstan/ PBS documentary on Kyrgyz bride "kidnapping"] March 2004
* [http://www.kalkwijk.com/xcms/news/id/1184 Traditional felt making in Kyrgyzstan, journal by Dutch designer Sietze Kalkwijk]
* [http://www.professores.uff.br/hjbortol/arquivo/2006.1/applets/kyrgyzstan_en.html Kyrgyzstan's location on a 3D globe (Java)]
title = Geographic locale
list =Template group
title = International membership
United Nations UN Organization for Security and Cooperation in Euriope OSCE World Trade Organization WTO
title = Other associations
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KYRGYZSTAN — (formerly Kirghizia), a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, bordered on the north and northwest by Kazakhstan, to the southwest by Uzbekistan, and on the south by Tadzhikistan, with a population of some 4,500,000 people. In 1939… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Kyrgyzstan — [kir΄gi stan′] country in SC Asia: became independent upon the breakup of the U.S.S.R. (1991): 77,180 sq mi (199,895 sq km); pop. 4,463,000; cap. Bishkek: formerly, Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic … English World dictionary
Kyrgyzstan — /kir gi stahn /, n. official name of Kirghizia. * * * Kyrgyzstan Introduction Kyrgyzstan Background: A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, Kyrgyzstan was annexed by Russia in 1864; it achieved… … Universalium
Kyrgyzstan — <p></p> <p></p> Introduction ::Kyrgyzstan <p></p> Background: <p></p> A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, most of Kyrgyzstan was formally annexed to… … The World Factbook
Kyrgyzstan — noun a landlocked republic in west central Asia bordering on northwestern China; formerly an Asian soviet but became independent in 1991 • Syn: ↑Kyrgyz Republic, ↑Kirghizia, ↑Kirgizia, ↑Kirghiz, ↑Kirgiz, ↑Kirghizstan, ↑Kirgizstan … Useful english dictionary
Kyrgyzstan — Kirghizistan Кыргыз Республикасы (ky) Кыргызская республика (ru) Kirghizistan … Wikipédia en Français
Kyrgyzstan — geographical name independent country W central Asia; a constituent republic ( Kirgiz Republic (or Kirghiz Republic) ) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 1936 91; capital Bishkek area 76,641 square miles (198,500 square kilometers),… … New Collegiate Dictionary
Kyrgyzstan — noun Country in Central Asia, bordering on Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China. Official name: Kyrgyz Republic. See Also: Kyrgyz, Kirghiz, Kyrgyz SSR … Wiktionary
Kyrgyzstan — Kyrgyzstạn, Staat in Mittelasien, Kirgistan … Universal-Lexikon
Kyrgyzstan — Kyr|gy|zstan Kirghizia a country in central Asia between China and Uzbekistan, which used to be part of the former Soviet Union. Population: 4,753,000 (2001). Capital: Bishkek … Dictionary of contemporary English