Official Name: Kyrgyz Republic
Established: 1470 (Kyrgyz Khanate) / 31 August 1991 (Independence USSR)
Population: 7 million (2022 estimate)
Religion: Muslim (90%), Christain (7%)
Offical Languages: Kyrgyz & Russian
Order of Visit: 73
Planned First Visit: 09 May 2023
Planned Last Visit: 14 May 2023
Duration: 5 Days
Must Do: To be discovered!
Cities to be visited: Bishkek, Chong-Kemin, Song Kul, Tamga, Jety-Oguz
Location and Geography
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country in Central Asia with a population of 7 million people and an area of 199,951 square kilometres. Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the south, and China to the east.
History and Culture
Kyrgyzstan’s history spans a variety of cultures and empires. Although geographically isolated by its highly mountainous terrain, Kyrgyzstan has been at the crossroads of several great civilizations as part of the Silk Road.
The Seljuk Turks began migrating to what is now known as Türkiye (then referred to as Anatolia) in the 11th century. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rum ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243.
Beginning in the late 13th century, the Ottomans united the principalities and conquered the Balkans, while the Turkification of Anatolia further progressed during the Ottoman period. After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire became a global power.
In the late nineteenth century, the eastern part of what is today Kyrgyzstan, mainly the Issyk-Kul Region, was ceded to the Russian Empire by Qing China through the Treaty of Tarbagatai. The territory, then known in Russian as “Kirghizia”, was formally incorporated into the Empire in 1876. The Russian takeover was met with numerous revolts, and many of the Kyrgyz opted to relocate to the Pamir Mountains and Afghanistan.
In 1936 the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic was formed to become a constituent republic of the Soviet Union. On 31 August 1991, Kyrgyzstan declared independence from Moscow and a democratic government was established. Kyrgyzstan attained sovereignty as a nation state after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
In late April 2021, a conflict over water escalated into one of the most serious border clashes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan since independence in 1991. In September 2022 armed clashes, including the use of artillery, erupted along much of the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Throughout its existence, the country has continued to endure ethnic conflicts, revolts, economic troubles, transitional governments and political conflict.
Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Kyrgyzstan is the second poorest country in Central Asia after Tajikistan with 22.4% of the country’s population living below the poverty line.
What has dawn me to explore Kyrgyzstan?
Kyrgyzstan stunning landscape with striking mountains, gorgeous passes, and beautiful alpine lakes. A chance to see some of the 85 mountain ranges and see some of the Soviet history is what I hope to experience.
Staying in a traditional Yurt at Song Kul should also be a memorable experience.
This visit is part of the Five Stans of Silk Road G Adventures tour that will see me visiting; Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan.