Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan country

Kyrgyzstan, country of Central Asia. It is bounded by Kazakhstan on the northwest and north, by China on the east and south, and by Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on the south and west. Most of Kyrgyzstan’s borders run along mountain crests. The capital is Bishkek.

The Kyrgyz, a Muslim Turkic people, constitute nearly three-fourths of the population. The history of the Kyrgyz in what is now Kyrgyzstan dates at least to the 17th century. Kyrgyzstan, known under Russian and Soviet rule as Kirgiziya, was conquered by tsarist Russian forces in the 19th century. Formerly a constituent (union) republic of the U.S.S.R., Kyrgyzstan declared its independence on August 31, 1991.

People

Besides Kyrgyz, the country’s population includes minorities of Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, and Germans as well as Tatars, Kazakhs, Dungans (Hui; Chinese Muslims), Uighurs, and Tajiks. Since independence in 1991, many Russians and Germans have emigrated. Nearly three-fourths of the population is Kyrgyz, while about one-seventh is Uzbek. The other ethnic groups make up the remaining one-eighth of the population.

Education

Kyrgyzstan’s schools and colleges have undergone a drastic reorganization since emerging from the ideological control of the Communist Party. After independence Kyrgyzstan’s contacts with the outside world increased dramatically, with Kyrgyz students, scholars, and officials traveling to Middle Eastern and Western countries for specialized and technical training. The Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences and Kyrgyz State University, both in Bishkek, are the major institutions of higher education.
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