Kyrgyzstan History

Kyrgyzstan History

Early to late antiquity

Already around 1000 BC the city of Osh was founded in the Ferenga Valley in the south. The regions of today’s Kyrgyzstan were mainly inhabited by Indo-European tribes. In the 6th century BC these became part of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. In the 4th century BC Alexander the Great conquered the empire. After his death, his successors (diadoches) took over parts of the once huge empire after armed conflicts. The residents of today’s Kyrgyzstan belonged to the Saken tribal association.

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201 BC Kyrgyzstan was first mentioned in Chinese sources. The Indo-European Arsakes people now ruled most of Central Asia and controlled the Silk Road trade routes. The culture of the Saken had developed in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. the nomadic Ussuns formed. During the 5th century AD the Huns conquered most of Central Asia and Turkic peoples, such as the Uighurs, came into the country from the northeast.

Medieval to modern times

Mid-7th century AD Arabs conquered the landscapes of Central Asia and Islamized the population. Little by little they mixed up with the peoples already living in the country. A first Kyrgyz empire developed in the 9th century. At that time the Kyrgyz tribes settled between Jenissei and Orchon. They destroyed the Uyghur empire in Mongolia and migrated to what is now Kyrgyzstan from the 10th century.

In the 13th century, the horsemen of Genghis Khan conquered and devastated Central Asia and integrated the landscapes into the realm of the Golden Horde. Kyrgyz tribes then settled in the Tien-shan area. But in the years and centuries that followed, the empire fell into separate khanates. The formation of a vassal state in the area of ​​the Kyrgyz tribes failed, instead a Kazakh-Kyrgyz khanate was founded together with the Kazakhs.

At the end of the 17th century, the Oirotes subjugated the Kyrgyz who lived in Tien-shan and established a feudal empire, the Khanate of Kokand, which lasted until the middle of the 18th century. It fell apart under the pressure of the Manchurian dynasty and in 1876 Kokand was conquered by the Russians and integrated into the Tsarist Empire as the Fergana region. The Russians united the Kyrgyz tribes, who were involved in internal tribal and feudal disputes, at the same time the immigration of Russians and German-born Mennonites began. A reaction to this was revolts against the Russification of the Kyrgyz population, which were, however, fiercely fought and suppressed by the Tsarist Empire. About a third of the Kyrgyz population emigrated to China to a large extent.

Soviet domination

In 1918, Kyrgyzstan became part of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Turkestan. According to AbbreviationFinder, Islamic-national rebels who wanted to build a new Islamic caliphate based in Samarkand were defeated by the Red Army. In 1922 Russia united Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan into the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1924 the Kara-Kyrgyz region was founded within the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic. Forced collectivization and resettlement followed, and extensive educational measures were initiated at the same time, which were to transform the people in the spirit of communism.Violent opposition from the nomadic Kyrgyz people led to heavy fighting in which hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyz people were killed, interned or driven to China again. In 1936, Russia converted the country into a Union republic, making it an integral part of the Soviet Union with the capital, Bishkek. During this time, an extensive industry was built up and agriculture mechanized, especially in the military-industrial complex.


The change to the independent Republic of Kyrgyzstan came with the changes in the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s. After bloody clashes between the Kyrgyz and the Uzbek minority in Osh in the south of the republic, the country declared its sovereignty within the USSR at the end of 1990 and on August 31, 1991 its complete independence. In the same year, Kyrgyzstan joined the Commonwealth of Independent States. Askar Akayev had been President of the country since October 1990. He was confirmed in this position in 1991 and 1995. Gradual democratization began under his rule. This was accompanied by a switch from a planned economy to a market economy.In 1992 Tursunbek Tschyngyschew head of government and a new constitution was drawn up, which was passed in 1993. In the same year, the country introduced a new currency, the som, to stop rampant inflation. After Tschyngyschew had to resign, Akajew appointed the supporter of the free market economy, Jumagulov, as the new head of government. In 1995, the country’s first democratic parliamentary elections were held, in which both the head of state and the president were confirmed in office. In 1998, Kubanischbek Schmalijew became the new head of government and Kyrgyzstan became the first of the former Soviet republics to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).Constitutional changes strengthened the presidential system, the government resigned, and Jumabek Ibraimov became the new prime minister. Already the following year Amangeldy Muralijew took over the office of head of government and in July 1999 a partnership and cooperation agreement with the EU came into force. In the same year, a cooperation agreement was also concluded with the neighbors Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Russia and the People’s Republic of China. Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan agreed in May 2001 on the conclusion of a security pact and formed a joint intervention force.

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After Muslim rebels from Tajikistan invaded Kyrgyzstan, there were skirmishes between government troops and rebels in the late 1990s. President Akayev declared a state of emergency. Parliamentary elections were held in February 2000, which hardly changed the balance of power in the lower and upper houses; Kurambek Bakiev became the new head of government at the end of this year. However, according to official rapporteurs from the OSCE, there were irregularities in the parliamentary elections that favored the government and the president. Numerous opposition politicians are under trial for abuse of office or similar.

In May 2002 the Bakiyev government resigned. It responded to the publication of an investigative report on the violent repression of demonstrations in March 2001. In February 2003, the majority of the Kyrgyzstan population voted for constitutional reform that extends the rights of the president. International observers suspected that the result was due to electoral fraud. Elections to the Kyrgyz parliament took place in February 2005; After suspicions were raised that President Askar Akayev manipulated the vote in his favor, violent protests emerged (the “tulip revolution”). The government was overthrown and the president fled to Russia. The old parliament was initially recognized, but after the upper house appointed a transition president,which the lower house rejected, the parliament was dissolved. Former Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev became interim president; Akayev resigned from office on Russian television. In the June 2005 elections, Bakiev was elected president by a large majority. A new constitution was confirmed in a referendum in October 2007. With her, the President strengthened his position again. After the constitutional amendments were approved, Bakiyev dissolved the parliament and the government.Parliamentary elections for party lists were held in December for the first time in Kyrgyzstan’s history. These elections also did not meet international standards. For the first time in the history of Kyrgyzstan, parliamentary elections were held in December according to party lists. These elections also did not meet international standards. For the first time in the history of Kyrgyzstan, parliamentary elections were held in December according to party lists. These elections also did not meet international standards.

After the “April Revolution” on April 7, 2010, with the fall of the Bakiyev government, the united opposition set up a transitional government headed by President Rosa Otunbajewa. A referendum on constitutional reform was held in June 2010. This constitution, which was adopted in a referendum in June 2010, is a hybrid of a parliamentary and a presidential system. Fundamental rights have been strengthened significantly. Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev was elected President in the October 2011 presidential election.

According to official figures, 470 people died in violent clashes between the Kyrgyz and Uzbek populations in the south of the country in June 2010. The situation has calmed down since then, but remains uncertain.

Kyrgyzstan President