The origin of the Kyrgyz is not entirely
clear. However, the researchers know that Osj was an
important marketplace on the Silk Road route during
antiquity. During the 1400s and 1500s, Kyrgyz clans
gathered in an independent but short-lived kingdom on
land that today belongs to Kyrgyzstan. The clans were
then ruled for a long time by various foreign rulers
before the Russians took over the area in the 19th
century. Under Soviet leader Josef Stalin, the nomads in
the 1930s were forced to become peasants and workers.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Kyrgyzstan, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
Scientists believe that Kyrgyz ancestors lived on the
upper reaches of the Jenisei River in the Altaj
Mountains in southern Siberia. Eventually, they left the
area and headed toward the Tien Shan Mountains in
In the 8th century AD, the Kyrgyz conquered the
Uighurs' kingdom in present-day Mongolia, but the
kingdom was defeated in the 13th century by Mongol ruler
Djinghi's khan. The Kyrgyz who survived the ravages of
the Mongols soon joined him.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, various Kyrgyz clans
were united and formed an independent kingdom in the
area that is today Kyrgyzstan. However, the kingdom
became brief. The Kyrgyz again split into clans under
local rulers, who in turn were ruled by foreigners,
including Mongols, Manchurians, Kalmuckers and Kazakhs.
The Russians invade Kokand
At the entrance of the Russians in the mid-19th
century, the area belonged to the Kokand khanate
(khanate is an area ruled by a leader called khan). Many
Kyrgyz clan chiefs, so-called Manap, voluntarily
submitted to the Russians, as they were dissatisfied
with hard tax pressure from Kokand. In 1852, Russian
troops captured Pishpek (today's Bishkek), which was
then an important fortress for the Kokand khanate.
Kyrgyzstan became part of the Russian government
Turkestan in 1867.
During the latter part of the 19th century, many
Russians moved to the area. Often these were people who
were considered to be unfavorable to those in power and
were therefore forcibly deported. The settlers needed
arable land and much of the Kyrgyz nomad's pasture land
was cultivated. In protest, the Kyrgyz made a rebellion
attempt in 1898.
Since the Russians began to force the people of
Turkestan into military service in the Russian army, a
new uprising broke out in 1916. Thousands of Russians
and Kyrgyz were killed and at least 150,000 Kyrgyz
sought shelter in China - the so-called "main flight",
ürkün. Resistance to the Russians flared up again in
1917 in connection with the October Revolution, when
Russian Bolsheviks tried to seize power in Central Asia.
Many Kyrgyz joined Basmati, an Islamic guerrilla
movement that for several years resisted the Bolsheviks
in almost all of Central Asia.
Soviet Republic - nomads become residents
In 1918, Kyrgyzstan was incorporated into the
autonomous Soviet Republic of Turkestan. The
administration was entirely managed by the Russians and
the forced redemption of the Kyrgyz land took off.
Kyrgyz political parties and organizations were banned.
The Soviet Union was formally formed in 1922. During
"the new economic policy" 1921-1927, some land was
returned to the Kyrgyz and the harsh policy towards
national features and against Islam was somewhat
mitigated. In 1924, Turkestan was dissolved and several
autonomous districts were formed, including a
Kyrgyz-Kazakh. Kyrgyz was allowed to hold leading
positions in the administration and the nomads could
relatively undisturbed continue their traditional life
with livestock management as a base.
In 1926, Kyrgyzstan became its own autonomous Soviet
republic and in 1936 Kyrgyz ASSR was elevated to the
Union Republic. The capital Pisjpek was renamed Frunze,
after a Bolshevik with Moldovan roots. The name for the
Kyrgyz was both foreign and difficult, since the f-sound
does not occur in Kyrgyz.
After 1928, Soviet policy was tightened. Within the
framework of the dictator Josef Stalin's
collectivization of agriculture throughout the Soviet
Union, the nomads were forced to reside. Extensive
purges took place within the administration and the
Communist Party. The nationally-minded elite suffered
cruel persecution and was replaced by Stalin faithful
people. The Russian language was presented at the
expense of the Kyrgyz. In a short time, an animal-loving
nomadic people was transformed into Soviet kolchos
farmers and industrial workers.
Troubled government formation
The proposed tripartite government will not be realized when Parliament
rejects the leader of the Fatherland of Tekebaev as President. His
western-friendly attitude is considered to be a strain in relations with Russia.
Following further negotiations, Atambayev presents a new coalition government
consisting of the Social Democrats, Bakijev's supporters in the Fatherland, and
the Republican Party, whose leader Ömürbek Babanov was formerly a Social
Democrat. The three government parties agree that good relations with Russia are
central, but they are far from domestic politics.
The president is being prosecuted
Bakijev is facing trial in his absence, charged with mass murder in
connection with the riots in Bishkek in April 2010. Among 27 other defendants
are several militants and Bakijev's brother, who was previously the head of the
security service, as well as the deposed Prime Minister Usenov. All but two
prosecutors are absent when the trial begins.
Social Democrat tries to form government
President Otunbajeva assigns his party friend, Social Democrats leader
Almazbek Atambayev, to form a majority government. After difficult negotiations,
a tripartite coalition is formed by the Social Democrats, the Republican Party
and the Foster Country. It is meant to be the next government.
Imprisoned journalist ill
Detained ethnic Uzbek editor Ulugbek Abdusalamov is reported to be severely
ill after suffering from brain hemorrhage in the detention center. Amnesty
International describes Abdusalamov as a political prisoner of conscience.
The party leaders are seeking Russian support
Country leader Omurbek Tekebajev stays at home when the other four party
leaders travel to Moscow for political talks immediately after the election.
Their journey underscores Russia's strong political influence over Kyrgyzstan.
Parliamentary elections setback for the government
When parliamentary elections are held, five parties will have a seat in the
Assembly. Bakijev's Party of the Fatherland gets 28 seats, the
Social Democrats 26 seats, Dignity wins 25
seats, the Republican Party 23 seats and the Fatherland
gets 18 seats. The election result is a hardship for the transitional
Jail sentences after the unrest are criticized
Five uz cups are sentenced to life imprisonment for their roles in the
outbreak of violence in the Fergana Valley (see June 2010). One of them is the
journalist Azimjon Askarov, who was tortured in the detention. The trial is
criticized for being biased, as the vast majority of victims of the violence are
the uz cup. International human rights organizations demand that life sentences
New temporary president
Transitional government leader Roza Otunbajeva becomes acting president until
the October 2011 presidential elections.
Yes to new constitution
In a referendum, more than 90 percent of the participants voted in favor of a
new constitution that would make the country a parliamentary democracy. The
president's power is limited to the benefit of the government and parliament.
Political parties based solely on ethnic or religious affiliation are prohibited
(for more on the constitution, see Political system).
Hundreds killed in ethnic conflict
The situation in the Fergana Valley is deteriorating rapidly. About 470
people are killed in the outbreak of violence, thousands are injured and many
buildings are burnt down in Osh and Jalalabad and surrounding areas. The
majority of victims are ethnic uz cups. Many point out that Kyrgyz are
deliberately trying to expel them, so-called ethnic cleansing. Witnesses
describe how youth gangs attack Uzbek neighborhoods with automatic weapons,
metal pipes and knives. They set fire to buildings and fire. Security forces
seize thousands - most uz cups. Among those arrested are the ethnic Uzbek
journalists Azimjon Askarov and Ulugbek Abdusalomov.
Unrest in the Fergana Valley
The new government has difficulty gaining control of southern Kyrgyzstan.
Public buildings in the Fergana Valley are stormed by Bakijev's supporters.
Victims of death are required when the authorities try to regain control. The
unrest triggered violence between Kyrgyz and the Uzbek. The government faces an
emergency permit and a nightly curfew in the Fergana Valley.
Ethnic conflict erupts
In the area around Bishkek, Kyrgyz take violence over land in villages where
Russians or Turkish-speaking Mescheter dominate. Mescheter gets his homes looted
and burnt down. Several people are said to have been beaten and killed.
The president flies abroad and resigns
Bakiyev flees to Kazakhstan, where he announces his departure, and then gets
a sanctuary in Belarus. He accuses Russia of being behind the uprising.
Provisional government is formed
The opposition forms a transitional government led by former Foreign Minister
Demonstrations are driving the president away
Demolitions erupt between protesters and police in Bishkek since several
opposition leaders have been arrested. Over a day, over 80 people are killed and
upwards of 1,000 are injured. Bakijev flees to southern Kyrgyzstan, where he has
Prison for the opposition leader
Opposition leader Ismail Isakov, who was previously Bakijev's defense
minister, is sentenced to eight years in prison for corruption. The ruling
triggers hunger strikes among oppositionists. The EU is concerned about the
civil rights deficiencies in Kyrgyzstan.