The Republic Kyrgyzstan is located in North East Central Asia. With 198,500.00 km ² its geographic coordinates are 41 ° north latitude and 75 ° east longitude. The republic measures about 900 km East to West and about 410 km North to South.
The Republic boarder is 3,878 km long land, bordering to:
- Uzbekistan in the West for 1,099 km,
- Kazakhstan in the North for 1,051 km,
- Tajikistan in the South for 870 km, and
- China in the east for 858 km.
Agricultural practices take up 53.5% of the land surface, with a further 33.6% are used for various other means. Only 5.5% of the country is covered by forests, making it Asia’s smallest forested country. Glaciers, snowfields and water make up 7.4% of the country side.
Krgyzstan is crossed by two-trains of mountains, by the Tien Shan foothills in the North and in the South by the peaks of the Pamir. This makes it no surprise that around 93% of the country is at least 1,500 m above sea level and more than half of the country is over 2,500 m above sea level.
The mountain Pik Pobeda, found in the southeast, is the country’s highest point at 7439 m above sea level. The summit is called Dschengisch Chokusu by the Kyrgyz. Kyrgyzstan lowest point lies in the southwest at 394 m above sea level.
A the lower extremities of the mountains, the natural vegetation is semi-desert to desert-like. The mountains however, are covered by open mountain grasslands and scrubs, and broadleaf and confier forests up to 3000m above sea level. Higher above they are dominated by alpine grasslands, sub-alpine meadows and snow or glaciers.
In Kyrgyzstan, there are many lakes, with the biggest by far being the Issyk Kul. The lake is found 609 m above sea level the fourth lowest in the country and after the Titicaca Lake the second largest montane lake in the world.
The climate is highly continental with large temperature variations depending on altitude, aspect and lie of the mountain ranges. The temperatures in the valleys reach an average of 26° C in July, however, only - 4 ° C in January. The highest parts of the Tien Shan mountain show polar climate characteristics whilst on the other hand the Fergana Valley Climate show subtropical character in the South West of the country.
Kyrgyzstan is a presidential democracy, based on the principles of its Constitution, which respects human rights and guarantees freedom.
The national language is Kyrgyz. Beside Kyrgyz, Russian is also an official language. The Kyrgyz language is a Turkic language whose letters are of the Cyrillic font set of the Russian language. Thus additionally, there are three other characters.
The president is the head of state. Rosa Otunbajewa has been in this position since the 7th of April 2010. The President selects the Prime Minister (currently Almasbek Atambajew who leads the Cabinet.
The Kyrgyz parliament consists of two chambers, the Legislative Assembly (the Upperhouse with 35 members) and the Council of Representatives (the Lowerhouse with 70 members).
The Judicial practice is formulated by the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and their subordinate courts. The parliament is chosen in 5-year intervals via a direct election. So is the Head of State.
Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the World Trade Organization, which Kyrgyzstan joined in 1998, the first of the former Soviet republic countries. The national currency was introduced in 1993. The currency is called SOM. National celebration Days are on the 2nd December (National Day) and 31 August (Independence Day).
The settlement history of the Kyrgyzstan is very old.
First written evidence of Kyrgyzstan was found in the Tienshan region dating back to the 10th Century. However, it is said that a nomadic Kyrgyz Turkish tribe migrated to the Kyrgyzstan area at the end of the 8th Century after a successful battle against Uyghur, a Turkic-Tatar tribe into the eastern Tienshan region.
Since the 13th Century the Kyrgyz have had to fight various wars to maintain their independence. In the 2nd half of the 15th Century an independent Khanate (Great Bulgarian Empire) was formed, which included most of the Kyrgyz nation that was already established.
In 1825 the Khanate of Kokand defeated the Kyrgyz tribe, building a fortress "Pischpek" in the Chui Valley. Over the decades, 14,000 people settled around the fortress, giving way to the destruction of the town wall and the foundation for the present capital city ‘Bishkek’.
In 1862 Russian troops occupied the fortress. A year later, Northern Kyrgyz is integrated into the Russian Empire and 13 years later so is the South of Kyrgyz too. The Kyrgyz fought during the Central Asian Insurrection in 1916 together with other nations against Russian power.
When the Czarist rulers were defeated in the October Revolution in 1918 the Soviet government created a new giant empire and made Kyrgyzstan part of its new Turkestan ASSR (Autonomous Soviet Republic).
In 1924 Kyrgyzstan made themself the "Kara-Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic". A year later the socialist republic changed their name to a "Kyrgyz Autonomous Region" (AG) and another year later to the "Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Republic".
In 1936 the Republic lost the title "Autonomous" and made Pischpek their capital which name existed until the Soviet empire collapsed.
From the twenties onwards strong cultural and political repression of the Soviet time dominated the sustainable social development of the country, with the government organising a systematic immigration of Russians into Kyrgyzstan.
In 1924, the Kyrgyz got their very own first written language. Two years later the Soviet Union made all Turkic languages be written using the Latin script instead of the previous Arabic characters. These were replaced again in 1937 by the Cyrillic letters.
At the same time the previously almost exclusively based agriculture economy was heavily industrialized and the Kyrgyz people were moved to new villages.
In 1990 the Kyrgyz Republic submitted their draft Declaration of their sovereignty as a Republic Parliament as the last of the Soviet countries. In 1991, Kyrgyzstan declared its independence from the Soviet Union and changed their capital city’s name to Bishkek. Two years later, the Parliament passed a new constitution on May 5. At the same time they also introduced, their own national currency: "SOM", the first of any of the previously Soviet countries to do so.
In 2009 Kyrzstan had 5,3 million inhabitants, which corresponds to 29 inhabitants per km2.
The population is composed of 80 different Nationalities. As of 2009’s census 68.9% are Kyrgyz. The next largest group is Uzbeks with 14,4%, Russians make up 9,1%. There are also Ukrainians, Tatars, Dungan, Uyghur, Turkish, Kazakhs, Tajiks, Koreans, Chinese and about 0.4% of the population is of German descent. Since the country established its political independence in 1991, minority groups are steadily decreasing. This is especially the case with Russians, Uzbeks, Tajiks, etc. emigrating the country. In 1992 the country still had 26% Russian citizens. The rest of the population is growing due to increasing birth rates and increasing age of the population with a life expectancy of 63.3 years for men and 71.5 years for women.
Because of the natural conditions of the country Kyrgyzstan population is not spread uniformly over the country. Half of the population live in the fertile Fergana Valley in the southwest of the country, which makes up about 15% of Kyrgyz overall country. As well as the Chui Valley in the North that also has a significantly higher population density than the rest of the country, representing a sixth of the total population. The Chui Valley includes the capital city with 804 000 inhabitants.
The next largest cities are Osh with 243,216 inhabitants, Jalal Abad with 97,172 inhabitants and Karakol with 66,294 inhabitants. 65% of the population live in rural areas. 35% in urban areas.
The Kyrgyz Republic is an agricultural and industrial land. The land-economic sector has the highest priority. It accounts for about 35.6% of GDP and half of employment.
Within the agricultural sector, the livestock, particularly horses, sheep and cattle are of the most significant value to the economy. The services sector of the country represents about 30% and 24% of the annual GDP.
In 1999 Kyrgyzstan built an irrigation system that now waters 9,000 km2 of the country. This now makes it possible to grow cotton, cereals and fruits in the lowland areas. In addition to this, the country also produces tobacco, silk, cotton, potatoes and meat as the main products of export of their agricultural goods.
Within the industrial sector, the non-ferrous metallurgy, energy, machinery and light industry are the biggest industrial sectors of the country. Despite its large deposits of gold, tin, tungsten, mercury and uranium, oil and basalt, Kyrgyzstan is in many areas dependent on imports, as with petroleum and natural gas. The country exports minerals such as gold, mercury and uranium and electric hydro power.
The intensive process of reformation of the economic system is still happening as the country still faces the problems from the old commercial relations of the Soviet era. After the break down of the soviet union, the county’s industrial production was almost completely broken down and the country’s economy shrunk by 52%.
From about 1995 onwards the industrial production started to pick up again, including exports. The government sold most of its investment in different companies and the Referendum, introduced on the 17.10.1998 ensured private ownership of land and extended the freedom of the country’s press.
Due to intensive efforts of the government to reform the market and other measures to drive the economy the inflation rate was kept at a low level which made the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provide additional financial support.
Foreign assistance in economic and social areas play an important role for the stabilization and development of the Republic. A variety of international organizations operate in Kyrgyzstan.