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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The journey is not yet finished (112)

President of Turkmenistan .Emomalii Rahmon

The journey is not yet finished (112)

(Part one hundred and twelve, Depok, West Java, Indonesia, 22 September 2014, 1:54 pm)

Since Independent separated from the control of the Soviet Union, Turkmenistan continues to grow, such as in the fields of politics, democratization continues to run, such as the emergence of new political parties.

New party emerging in Turkmenistan

An organizing committee for creation of the Agrarian Party of Turkmenistan held a meeting at the Center of Public Associations in Ashgabat. The meeting was attended by members of the organizing committee and like-minded people from the regions supporting the idea of creating the party.

The meeting participants discussed convening the founding congress of the Agrarian Party, procedure of conducting meetings in the regions to elect representatives to attend the founding congress, apportionment, preparation of relevant documentation for registration of the Agrarian Party in accordance with national legislation.

The organizing committee decided to hold the founding congress of the Agrarian Party of Turkmenistan on 28 September 2014 and apply for registration to the Ministry of Justice of Turkmenistan in accordance with national legislation.

It was also decided that the agenda of the founding congress of the Agrarian Party of Turkmenistan would include items relating to creation of the Agrarian Party of Turkmenistan, approval of Charter and Programme of the Agrarian Party of Turkmenistan, election of members of the Central Council of the Agrarian Party of Turkmenistan, members and managers of the Control and Audit Committee of the Agrarian Party of Turkmenistan.

There are currently the Democratic Party and the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Turkmenistan.

History of Turkmenistan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

While the ancient history of Turkmenistan is largely shrouded in mystery, its past since the arrival of Indo-European Iranian tribes around 2000 BC is often the starting point of the area's discernible history. Early tribes were nomadic or semi-nomadic due to the arid conditions of the region as the steppe culture in Central Asia was an extension of a larger Eurasian series of horse cultures which spanned the entire spectrum of language families including the Indo-Europeans and Turko-Mongol groups. Some of the known early Iranian tribes included the Massagatae, Scythians/Sakas, and early Soghdians (most likely precursors of the Khwarezmians). Turkmenistan was a passing point for numerous migrations and invasions by tribes which gravitated towards the settled regions of the south including ancient Mesopotamia, Elam, and the Indus Valley Civilization.

The region's written history begins with the region's conquest by the Achaemenid Empire of ancient Iran, as the region was divided between the satrapys of Margiana, Chorasmia and Parthia. Later conquerors included Alexander the Great, the Parni, Ephthalites, Huns, Göktürks, Sarmatians, and Sassanid Iranians. During this early phase of history, the majority of Turkmenistan's inhabitants were either adherents of Zoroastrianism or Buddhism and the region was largely dominated by Iranian peoples. However, these incursions and epochs, though pivotal, did not shape the region's history as the invasions of two later invading groups: Muslim Arabs and the Oghuz Turks. The vast majority of inhabitants were converted to Hanifism, while the Oghuz brought the beginnings of the Turkic Turkmen language that came to dominate the area. The Turkic period was a time of cultural fusion as Islamic traditions brought by the Arabs merged with local Iranian cultures and then were further altered by Turkic invaders and rulers such as the Seljuks. Genghis Khan and Mongol invasions devastated the region during the late Middle Ages, but their hold upon the area was transitional as later Timur Leng and Uzbeks contested the land.

Modern Turkmenistan was radically transformed by the invasion of the Russian Empire, which conquered the region in the late 19th century. Later, the Russian Revolution of 1917 would ultimately transform Turkmenistan from an Islamic tribal society to a totalitarian Leninist one during the Soviet era. Independence came in 1991, as Saparmurat Niyazov, a former local communist party boss, declared himself absolute ruler for life as Turkmenbashi or Leader of the Turkmen and transitioned the newly independent Turkmenistan into an authoritarian state under his absolute control and has thus far resisted the democratization that has influenced many of the other former Soviet Republics. Niyazov ruled until his death on December 21, 2006.

The scant remains point to some sparse settlements in the region, including possibly early neanderthals, but the region as a whole remains largely unexplored.[1] Bronze Age and Iron Age finds do support the probability of advanced civilizations in ancient Turkmenistan including finds at Djeitun and Gonur Tepe.[2][3]

The Persian Empire around 500 BC
The territory of Turkmenistan has been populated since ancient times, especially the areas near oasis of Merv, where traces of human settlements have been found. Tribes of horse-breeding Iranian Scythians drifted into the territory of Turkmenistan at about 2000 BC, possibly from the Russian steppes and moved along the outskirts of the Karakum Desert into Iran, Syria, and Anatolia.

Alexander the Great conquered the territory in the 4th century BC on his way to South Asia. In 330 BC, Alexander marched northward into Central Asia and founded the city of Alexandria near the Murgab River. Located on an important trade route, Alexandria later became the city of Merv (modern Mary). The ruins of Alexander's ancient city are still to be found and have been extensively researched. After Alexander's death his empire quickly fell apart. It was ruled by Seleucids before the satrap of Parthia declared independence. The Parthians- fierce, nomadic warriors from the north of Iran —then established the kingdom of Parthia, which covered present-day Turkmenistan and Iran. The Parthian kings ruled their domain from the city of Nisa – an area now located near the modern-day capital of Ashgabat – founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250–211 BC), and was reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian kings, although it has neither been established that the fortress at Nisa was a royal residence nor a mausoleum.

Excavations at Nisa have revealed substantial buildings, mausoleums and shrines, many inscribed documents, and a looted treasury. Many Hellenistic art works have been uncovered, as well as a large number of ivory rhytons, the outer rims decorated with Iranian subjects or classical mythological scenes.

The ten tribe Proto-Turkic tribal confederation[edit]
The Parthian Kingdom succumbed in 224 AD to the Sasanids – rulers of Iran. At the same time, several tribal groups—including in the Huns of Kushan controlled Balkan Province in 91 AD according to Tacitus and later the Alans according to Chinese records —were moving into Turkmenistan from the east and north. Although Ancient Persian traditions always mentioned the Turanian control of the area, these records provided the first independently corroborated evidence of nomadic Non-Iranian peoples into the area of Turkmenistan.

By the early 4th century AD, a Kushan noble from the Balkan province called Malkar of Khi, had become leader of the Huns settled there. In alliance with Dulo the Alan king on the Volga Delta, Malkar went on to forge ten tribes into the first proto-Turkic tribal confederation. The Dulo clan's first proto-Turkic Empire spread its influence as far east as the sub-continent under the Kitolo and as far west as Central Europe under Attila's Dulo. Wresting control of southern Turkmenistan from the Sasanian Empire in the 5th century AD, Malkar's "Dulo" Confederation of Ten Tribes caused a migration of Khurasanis into Dagestan as the Caucasian Avars. As a result of this backfire, the Sabirs settled there were forced to attack the Alan strongholds of the Dulo Ten Tribe Confederation in the Kuban steppe. To strengthen their position, Malkar's Confederation of Ten Tribes now under the leadership of Ernakh entered into an alliance with Byzantium at Phanagoria in the 460s AD. However, in the 550s AD, the Caucasian Avars pushed further conquering Phanagoria and forcing Sarosios of the Alans to petition Byzantium for land. Within a few years, Dulo's Ten Tribe Confederation in Balkan Province allied themselves to the Ashinas forming the Western part of the Gokturk Empire and were able to snatch Phanagoria back from the Avars renaming the Sabirs as Khazars under the rule of Kaghan Kazarig. By exposing the Avars' close ties to Persia, once again the Ten Tribes of the Dulo entered into alliance with Byzantium. However, the Dulo clans Ten Tribes soon seceded from the Gokturks to become the Western Turkic Kaghanate which thrived until 630s. They appointed Dulo Kaghan Kubrat to establish the short-lived state of Old Great Bolgary disintegrating upon his death with the majority migrated west where they carried out the first Hungarian conquest in 677 under Kotrag who also went up the volga to establish Bolgary, and Batbayan's Balkars who settled down with the Circassians north of the Caucasus. The Kara-khazars in the Balkan Province eventually revolted against the Aq-Khazars to establish the Yabghu Oghuz State of the Kara dynasty which produced the Seljuks who thrived until their dynasty was taken over by Temujin.

At this time much of the population was already in settlements around the fertile river valleys along the Amu Darya, and Merv and Nisa became centers of sericulture (the raising of silkworms). A busy caravan route, connecting Tang Dynasty China and the city of Baghdad (in modern Iraq), passed through Merv. Thus, the city of Merv constituted an important prize for any conqueror.

Arab invasion and Islamization[edit]
Central Asia came under Arab control after a series of invasions in the late 7th and early 8th centuries and was incorporated into Islamic Caliphate divided between provinces of Mawara'un Nahr and Khorasan. The Arab conquest brought Islamic religion to all of the peoples of central Asia. The city of Merv was occupied by lieutenants of the caliph Uthman ibn Affan, and was constituted as the capital of Khorasan. Using this city as their base, the Arabs, led by Qutayba ibn Muslim, brought under subjection Balkh, Bokhara, Fergana and Kashgaria, and penetrated into China as far as the province of Kan-suh early in the 8th century.

Merv achieved some political spotlight in February 748 when Abu Muslim (d. 750) declared a new Abbasid dynasty at Merv, and set out from the city to conquer Iran and Iraq and establish a new capital at Baghdad. Abu Muslim was famously challenged by the Goldsmith of Merv to do the right thing and not make war on fellow Muslims. The Goldsmith was put to death.

In the latter part of the 8th century Merv became obnoxious to Islam as the centre of heretical propaganda preached by al-Muqanna "The Veiled Prophet of Khorasan". Present Turkmenistan was ruled by Tahirids between 821 and 873. In 873 Arab rule in Central Asia came to an end after Saffarid conquest. During their dominion Merv, like Samarkand and Bokhara, was one of the great schools of learning, and the celebrated historian Yaqut studied in its libraries. Merv produced a number of scholars in various branches of knowledge, such as Islamic law, Hadith, history, literature, and the like. Several scholars have the name: Marwazi (المروزي) designating them as hailing from Merv. But Saffarid rule was brief and they were defeated by Samanids in 901. Samanids weaked after second half of 10th century and Ghaznavids took present Turkmenistan in 990s. But, they challenged with Seljuks, newcomers from north. Seljuks' decisive victory against them, present Turkmenistan was passed to 1041.

Oghuz tribes[edit]
The origins of the Turkmen may be traced back to the Oghuz confederation of nomadic pastoral tribes of the early Middle Ages, which lived in present-day Mongolia and around Lake Baikal in present-day southern Siberia. Known as the Nine Oghuz, this confederation was composed of Turkic-speaking peoples who formed the basis of powerful steppe empires in Inner Asia. In the second half of the 8th century, components of the Nine Oghuz migrated through Jungaria into Central Asia, and Arabic sources located them under the term Guzz in the area of the middle and lower Syrdariya in the 8th century. By the 10th century, the Oghuz had expanded west and north of the Aral Sea and into the steppe of present-day Kazakhstan, absorbing not only Iranians but also Turks from the Kipchak and Karluk ethnolinguistic groups. In the 11th century, the renowned Muslim Turk scholar Mahmud al-Kashgari described the language of the Oghuz and Turkmen as distinct from that of other Turks and identified twenty-two Oghuz clans or sub-tribes, some of which appear in later Turkmen genealogies and legends as the core of the early Turkmen.[4]

First mention of Oghuz goes back to the time prior to the Göktürk state- there are references to the Sekiz-Oghuz ("eight-Oghuz") and the Dokuz-Oghuz ("nine-Oghuz") union. The Oghuz Turks under Sekiz-Oghuz and the Dokuz-Oghuz state formations ruled different areas in the vicinity of the Altay Mountains. During the establishment of the Göktürk state, Oghuz tribes inhabited the Altay mountain region and also lived along the Tula River. They also formed as a community near the Barlik river in present-day northern Mongolia.

Oghuz expansion by means of military campaigns went at least as far as the Volga River and Ural Mountains, but the geographic limits of their dominance fluctuated in the steppe areas extending north and west from the Aral Sea. Accounts of Arab geographers and travelers portray the Oghuz ethnic group as lacking centralized authority and being governed by a number of "kings" and "chieftains." Because of their disparate nature as a polity and the vastness of their domains, Oghuz tribes rarely acted in concert. Hence, by the late 10th century, the bonds of their confederation began to loosen. At that time, a clan leader named Seljuk founded a dynasty and the empire that bore his name on the basis of those Oghuz elements that had migrated southward into present-day Turkmenistan and Iran. The Seljuk Empire was centered in Persia, from which Oghuz groups spread into Azerbaijan and Anatolia.[4]

After the fall of Göktürk kingdom, Oghuz tribes migrated to the area of Transoxiana, in western Turkestan, in modern Kazakhstan and Kirghizstan. This land became known as the "Oghuz steppe" which is an area between the Caspian and Aral Seas. Ibn al-Athir, an Arab historian, stated that the Oghuz Turks had come to Transoxiana in the period of the caliph Al-Mahdi in the years between 775 and 785. In the period of the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun (813–833), the name Oghuz starts to appear in the Islamic historiography. By 780 AD, the eastern parts of the Syr Darya were ruled by the Karluk Turks and the western region (Oghuz steppe) was ruled by the Oghuz Turks.

The name Turkmen first appears in written sources of the 10th century to distinguish those Oghuz groups who migrated south into the Seljuk domains and accepted Islam from those that had remained in the steppe. Gradually, the term took on the properties of an ethnonym and was used exclusively to designate Muslim Oghuz, especially those who migrated away from the Syrdariya Basin. By the 13th century, the term Turkmen supplanted the designation Oghuz altogether. The origin of the word Turkmen remains unclear. According to popular etymologies as old as the 11th century, the word derives from Turk plus the Iranian element manand, and means "resembling a Turk." Modern scholars, on the other hand, have proposed that the element man /men acts as an intensifier and have translated the word as "pure Turk" or "most Turk-like of the Turks."[4]

In the 11th century, Seljuk domains stretched from the delta of the Amu Darya delta into Iran, Iraq, the Caucasus region, Syria, and Asia Minor. In 1040 the Seljuk Turks crossed the Oxus from the north, and having defeated Masud, sultan of Ghazni, raised Toghrul Beg, grandson of Seljuk, to the throne of Iran, founding the Seljukid dynasty, with its capital at Nishapur. A younger brother of Toghrul, Daud, took possession of Merv and Herat. Toghrul was succeeded by his nephew Alp Arslan (the Great Lion), who was buried at Merv. It was about this time that Merv reached the zenith of her glory. In 1055 Seljuk forces entered Baghdad, becoming masters of the Islamic heartlands and important patrons of Islamic institutions. Until these revolts, Turkmen tribesmen were an integral part of the Seljuk military forces. Turkmen migrated with their families and possessions on Seljuk campaigns into Azerbaijan and Anatolia, a process that began the Turkification of these areas. During this time, Turkmen also began to settle the area of present-day Turkmenistan. Prior to the Turkmen habitation, most of this desert had been uninhabited, while the more habitable areas along the Caspian Sea, Kopetdag Mountains, Amu Darya, and Murgap River (Murgap Deryasy) were populated predominantly by Iranians. The city-state of Merv was an especially large sedentary and agricultural area, important as both a regional economic-cultural center and a transit hub on the Silk Road.[4] The last powerful Seljuk ruler, Sultan Sanjar (d. 1157), witnessed the fragmentation and destruction of the empire because of attacks by Turkmen and other tribes.[4] During the reign of Sultan Sanjar or Sinjar of the same house, in the middle of the 11th century, Merv was overrun by the Turkish tribes of the Ghuzz from beyond the Oxus. It eventually passed under the sway of the rulers of Khwarizm (Khiva). After mixing with the settled peoples in Turkmenistan, the Oguz living north of the Kopet-Dag Mountains gradually became known as the Turkmen.

The Seljuk empire broke down in the second half of the 12th century, and the Turkmen became independent tribal federation.

Mongols and Timurids[edit]
In 1157, the rule of Seljuks dynasty came to an end in the province of Khorasan. The Turkic rulers of Khiva took control of the area of Turkmenistan, under the title of Khwarezmshahs in 1221, central Asia suffered a disastrous invasion by Mongol warriors who swept across the region from their base in eastern Asia.

Map of the Timurid Empire
Under their commander, Genghis Khan, the Mongols conquered Khwarezm and burned the city of Merv to the ground. The Mongol leader ordered the massacre of Merv's inhabitants as well as the destruction of the province's farms and irrigation works which effectively ended the Iranian dominance in urban areas and agricultural communities of khwarezm. These areas were soon repopulated by the Turkmen who survived the invasion and had retreated northward to the plains of Kazakhstan or westward to the shores of the Caspian Sea. After division of Mongol empire, present Turkmenistan was passed to Chagatai Khanate except southernmost part was belonged to Ilkhanate.

Small, semi-independent states arose under the rule of the region's tribal chiefs later in the 14th century. In the 1370s, Amir Timur (known as Tamerlane in Europe), one of the greatest conquerors in human history, captured Turkmen states once more and established the short lived Timurid Empire, which collapsed after Timur's death in 1405, when Turkmens became independent once again.

New Political Arrangements[edit]
As a whole, the 14th to 16th centuries was a period in which the Turkmen's dislocation due to the Mongol invasions gave way to new political groupings which became tribal groupings which have continued to modern day.[4]

In addition to the new political arrangements, historical sources suggest that a large tribal union called the Salor confederation remained from the original Oghuz tribes and into modern times. In the late 17th century, the confederation fell apart and three senior tribes moved eastward and then southward. Of these tribes, the Yomud split into eastern and western groups, and the Teke migrated to the Akhal region near the Kopetdag Mountains and eventually into the Murgap River basin. Other Salor tribes moved into the region near the Amu Darya delta and into other parts of modern day southeast Turkmenistan. Salor groups also live in Turkey, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and China.[4]

Turkmenistan in the 16th and 17th centuries[edit]
The history of Turkmenistan from the 16th until the 19th century is mostly known by the relations with the states of Iran, Khiva, Bukhara, and Afghanistan (after declaring independence from Iran in 1747).[4] However, wars of the period took place mostly in the lands of Turkmenistan. The invasion of the Khan of Khiva, Abul Gazi Bahadur Khan, from 1645 to 1663, caused some difficulties to the Turkmens, coupled with the impact of the drought that occurred at about the same period, most of the Turkmens within the khanate moved to areas around Akhal, Atrek, Murgap and Tedjen. In this period, many of the Turkmens tribes living around the Lake Aral left also migrated because of pressures from both the Khanate of Khiva and the Kalmyks and migrated to around Astrakhan and Stavropol in northern Caucasus.

Popular epics such as Koroglu, and other oral traditions, took shape during this period which could be taken as a beginning of Turkmen nation. The poets and thinkers of the time such as Devlet Mehmed Azadi and Makhtumkuli became a voice for an emerging nation, calling for unity, brotherhood and peace among Turkmen tribes. Makhtumkuli is venerated in Turkmenistan as the father of the national literature. Most of present Turkmenistan was divided between Khanates of Khiva and Bukhara except southernmost parts were handed to Persia. Nader, was shah of Persia conquered it in 1740 but after him assassination in 1747, Turkmen lands were recaptured by Uzbek khanates of Khiva and Bukhara. During the 1830s, the Tekke Turkomans, then living on the Tejen River, were forced by the Persians to migrate northward. Khiva contested the advance of the Tekkes, but ultimately, about 1856, the latter became the sovereign power of southern and southeastern parts of present Turkmenistan.

Russian Colonization and Great Game[edit]
In the 18th century Turkoman tribes came into contact with Tsarist Empire. The Russian Empire began to move into the area in 1869 with the establishment of the Caspian Sea port of Krasnovodsk, current-day Turkmenbashy.[4] After the suppression of Bukhara and Khiva emirate, Russians decided to move into Transcaspian region, allegedly to subdue Turkmen slave trade and banditry. The service of some Turkmen tribes, especially the Yomud, for the Khivan Khan also encouraged the Russia to punish them by raids into Khorazm, which killed hundreds.[4] These wars culminated in the campaigns of General Mikhail Skobelev, and in 1881 fighting climaxed with the massacre of 7,000 Turkmen at the desert fortress of Geok Depe, near modern Ashgabat; another 8,000 were killed trying to flee across the desert. By 1894 imperial Russia had taken control of almost all of Turkmenistan except around part of Konye-Urgench was in Khiva and around part of Charju was in Emirate of Bukhara.

The Transcaspian Railway was started from the shores of the Caspian in 1879 in order to secure Russian control over the region and provide a rapid military route to the Afghan border. In 1885 a crisis was precipitated by the Russian annexation of the Pandjeh oasis, to the south of Merv, on a territory of modern Afghanistan, which nearly led to war with Britain.[5] as it was thought that the Russians were planning to march on to Herat in Afghanistan. Until 1898 Transcaspia was part of the Governor-Generalship of the Caucasus and administered from Tiflis, but in that year it was made an Oblast of Russian Turkestan and governed from Tashkent. Nevertheless Turkestan remained an isolated colonial outpost, with an administration that preserved many distinctive features from the previous Islamic regimes, including Qadis' courts and a 'native' administration that devolved much power to local 'Aksakals' (Elders). In 1897 the Transcaspian Railway reached Tashkent, and finally in 1906 a direct rail link with European Russia was opened across the steppe from Orenburg to Tashkent. This led to much larger numbers of Slavic settlers flowing into Turkestan than had hitherto been the case, and their settlement was overseen by a specially created Migration Department in St. Petersburg (Переселенческое Управление). This caused considerable discontent amongst the local Turkmen population, as mainly Russian-populated cities such as Ashgabat appeared.

The best-known Military Governor to have ruled the region from Ashkhabad was probably General Kuropatkin, whose authoritarian methods and personal style of governance made the province very difficult for his successors to control and led to a revolt in 1916. Consequently the administration of Transcaspia became a byword for corruption and brutality within Russian Turkestan, as Russian administrators turned their districts into petty fiefdoms and extorted money from the local population. In 1908 Count Konstantin Konstantinovich Pahlen led a reforming commission to Turkestan which produced a monumental report detailing these abuses of power, administrative corruption and inefficiency.

Revolution and Civil War[edit]

Krasnoe znamja in Tashkent 1817
Following the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, Ashgabat became a base for anti-Bolshevik counter-revolutionaries, who soon came under attack from the Tashkent Soviet. The Communists succeeded in taking control of Ashkhabad in the summer of 1918, forming a Soviet. In response, Junaid Khan and forces loyal to the old Russian regime joined together to drive out the Communists. In July 1919, these anti-Communist allies established the independent state of Transcaspia. A small British force from Meshed occupied Ashgabat and parts of southern Turkmenistan until 1919. It is alleged that 26 Baku Commissaires were gunned down by British forces or their Transcaspian allies. The region was one of the last centres of Basmachi resistance to Bolshevik rule, with the last of the rebellious Turkoman fleeing across the border to Afghanistan and Iran in 1922-23.

Soviet Union[edit]
In 1924, the Turkestan ASSR was dissolved, and the Turkmen SSR became one of the republics of the Soviet Union. At this time the modern borders of Turkmenistan were formed. The Turkmen SSR was under full control of Moscow, which exploited its raw materials resources for the purposes of the Soviet Union. Sovereignty was only a formality, since Moscow ultimately ruled all Soviet states. Incensed by attempts from Moscow to end their nomadic lifestyle, establish collective farms, and destroy their religion, Turkman basmachi staged guerrilla warfare against the communist government until 1936. More than a million Turkmen fled into exile in Afghanistan or Iran. Of the 441 mosques that existed in Turkmenistan in 1911, only 5 remained open in 1941. In the meantime, the ethnic balance of Turkmenistan was altered by an influx of thousands of Russian immigrants from other parts of the Soviet Union.

Soviets renamed Ashgabat into Poltoratsk after a local revolutionary, however the name "Ashgabat" was restored in 1927 to please the local population, though it was usually known by the Russian form "Ashkhabad". From this period onward the city experienced rapid growth and industrialisation, although this was severely disrupted by a major earthquake on October 6, 1948. An estimated 7.3 on the Richter scale, the earthquake killed over 110,000 (2/3 the population of the city), however the official number announced by Soviet news was only 14,000.[citation needed]

In the 1950s, the 1375 kilometer long Qaraqum Canal was built. Draining the Amu-Darya river, it enabled huge areas to be opened for cotton production, but resulted in the destruction of the native riparian tugai forests. It also greatly diminished the inflow of water to the Aral Sea, resulting in an ecological catastrophe.

Turkmenistan remained one of the most economically and socially backward republics in USSR, with largely agrarian economy, despite exploration and exploitation of enormous oil and gas resources – discovery of 62 trillion cubic feet Dawletabad gas field in the 1960s became the largest gas field find in the world outside Russia and Middle East.

Independence and Turkmenbashi[edit]
Turkmenistan became independent on October 27, 1991, amidst the dissolution of the Soviet Union (commemorated annually). The former head of Turkmenistan's Communist Party at the time of independence, Saparmurad Niyazov, was elected president of the newly independent nation in an uncontested election. The authoritarian Niyazov, who has assumed the title of "Turkmenbashi", or "Leader of all Turkmen", was accused of developing a totalitarian cult of personality. His opus, the Ruhnama, was made a mandatory reading in Turkmenistan's schools and months of the calendar were renamed after members of his family. Opposition parties are banned in Turkmenistan and the government controls all sources of information. In December 1999, Turkmenistan's constitution was amended to allow Niyazov to serve as president for life.

Niyazov was the main proponent of Turkmenistan's constitutional neutrality. Under this policy, Turkmenistan does not participate in any military alliance and does not contribute to United Nations monitoring forces. This in fact means an internal isolation of Turkmenistan from world politics.

In late 2004, Niyazov met with former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to discuss an oil contract in Turkmenistan for a Canadian corporation. In March 2005, news of this meeting caused an uproar amongst opposition circles in Canada, who claimed the affair could damage Chrétien's legacy.

In 2005, Niyazov announced that his country would downgrade its links with the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose alliance of post-Soviet states; he furthermore promised free and fair elections by 2010 in a move that surprised many Western observers.

Niyazov acknowledged having heart disease in November 2006. On December 21, 2006, Niyazov died unexpectedly, leaving no heir-apparent and an unclear line of succession. A former deputy prime minister rumored to be the illegitimate son of Niyazov,[1] Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, became acting president, although under the constitution the Chairman of the People's Council, Öwezgeldi Ataýew, should have succeeded to the post. However, Ataýew was accused of crimes and removed from office.

Since 2006[edit]
In an election on February 11, 2007, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow was elected president with 89% of the vote and 95% turnout, although the election was condemned by outside observers.[2]

Following his election, Berdimuhamedow moved to reduce foreign isolation and reversed some of Niyazov's more egocentric and damaging policies. Internet cafes offering free and uncensored Web access opened in Ashgabat,[6] compulsory education was extended from nine to ten years and classes in sports and foreign languages were re-introduced into the curriculum, and the government announced plans to open several specialized schools for the arts.[7] President Berdimuhamedow has called for reform of education, health care and pension systems, and government officials of non-Turkmen ethnic origin who had been sacked by Niyazov have returned to work.[8]

President Berdimuhamedow began to reduce the personality cult surrounding Niyazov and the office of the president. He called for an end to the elaborate pageants of music and dancing that formerly greeted the president on his arrival anywhere, and said that the Turkmen "sacred oath", part of which states that the speaker's tongue should shrivel if he ever speaks ill of Turkmenistan or its president, should not be recited multiple times a day but reserved for "special occasions." Previously the oath was recited at the beginning and end of TV news reports, by students at the beginning of the school day, and at the beginning of virtually all meetings of any official nature that took place in the country.[9]

However, Berdimuhamedow is criticized for building a personality cult of his own (albeit a modest one compared to his predecessor's). For example, he is the only person whose first name is used in government press releases; other officials always have their first names abbreviated to a single letter. He is also sometimes called the "Turkmen leader" by his country's press. Additionally, while his regime is somewhat less heavy-handed than Niyazov's, it is still rigidly authoritarian.

On March 19, 2007, Berdimuhamedow reversed one of Niyazov's most unpopular decrees by giving pensions back to 100,000 elderly people whose pensions Niyazov had slashed in the face of an unspecified budget crisis.[10]

On March 20, in a decision of significant symbolic weight in the ongoing rejection of Niyazov's personality cult, he abolished the power of the president to rename any landmarks, institutions, or cities.[11]

On March 31, 2007, the 20th Congress of the Halk Maslahaty began in the city of Mary. New laws relating to agricultural efficiency were passed, and it was decreed that school teachers' wages would soon rise by 40%.[12]

On May 12, Russia and Turkmenistan announced that they had reached an agreement to build a new natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Russia, via Kazakhstan. This has led to speculation that the European Union will become more energy-dependent on Russia, which buys Turkmen gas at below-market prices, and that as a result Russia's political influence in Eastern Europe may increase.[13]

On May 16, in what was described as one of his boldest moves up to that time, Berdimuhamedow sacked a high-ranking security official who had been instrumental in building and maintaining the late president Niyazov's extensive cult of personality. According to official Turkmen news media, Akmyrat Rejepow, the head of the presidential security service, was removed from office by presidential decree and transferred to "another job." The nature of this job was not specified.[14]

On June 14, Berdimuhamedow re-opened the Turkmen Academy of Sciences, which had been shut down by his predecessor.[15] According to reports, as of June 25 Berdimuhamedow had also ordered the closure of the International Fund of Saparmurat Niyazov, the former Turkmenbashi's personal private fund, and stated his intent to begin a series of reforms in the military.[16]

Berdimuhamedow celebrated his 50th birthday on June 29, 2007. He was awarded the Watan Order (Order of the Motherland) for his "outstanding achievements" – a gold and diamond pendant weighing about 1 kilogram. The President also published his biography and held a gala birthday celebration. The government also issued 400 gold and silver coins decorated with the president's portrait.[17]

In 2008, Berdimuhamedow restored the traditional names of the months and days of the week (Niyazov had renamed them after himself and his mother, among other things),[18] and announced plans to move the infamous gold rotating statue of Niyazov from Ashgabat's central square.[19] He has not, however, moved toward Western-style democracy.[20]

In September 2008, a new constitution was accepted by the People's Council.[21] Parliamentary elections under this new constitution were held on December 14, 2008.[22]

In December 2008, Berdimuhamedow announced changes to the national anthem, which involved removing the repeated references to former President Niyazov. The new version was to take effect on December 21, the second anniversary of Niyazov's death.[23] (Continoe)

Turkmenistan Map

History of Tajikistan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The current Tajik Republic harkens to the Samanid Empire (875–999). The Tajik people came under Russian rule in the 1860s. The Basmachi revolt that broke out in the wake of the Russian Revolution of 1917 was quelled in the early 1920s and Tajikistan became an autonomous Soviet socialist republic (Tajik ASSR) within Uzbekistan in 1924. In 1929 Tajikistan was made one of the component republics of the Soviet Union – Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajik SSR) – and it kept that status until 1991.[1]

Tajikistan gained independence in 1991, and has experienced three changes in government and a civil war since then. A peace agreement among rival factions was signed in 1997.

Pre-Islamic period (600 BC –651 AD)[edit]
Tajikistan was part of the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex in the Bronze Age, candidate for Proto-Indo-Iranian or Proto-Iranian culture. Tajikistan was part of Scythia in Classical Antiquity.

Most of modern Tajikstan had formed parts of ancient Kamboja and Parama Kamboja kingdoms, which find references in the ancient Indian epics like the Mahabharata.

Cultural of Turkmenistan

Sculpture of the woman of the pre-Islamic period (Tajikistan).
Linguistic evidence, combined with ancient literary and inscriptional evidence has led many eminent Indologists to conclude that ancient Kambojas originally belonged to India. Achariya Yāska's Nirukta[2] (7th century BC) attests that verb Śavati in the sense "to go" was used by only the Kambojas. It has been shown that the modern Ghalcha dialects, Valkhi, Shigali, Sriqoli, Jebaka (also called Sanglichi or Ishkashim), Munjani, Yidga and Yagnobi, mainly spoken in Pamirs and countries on the headwaters of the Oxus, still use terms derived from ancient Kamboja Śavati in the sense "to go".[3] The Yagnobi dialect spoken in Yagnobi province around the headwaters of Zeravshan valley in Sogdiana, also still contains a relic "Śu" from ancient Kamboja Śavati in the sense "to go".[4] Further, Sir G. Grierson says that the speech of Badakshan was a Ghalcha until about three centuries ago when it was supplanted by a form of Persian.[5] Thus, the ancient Kamboja, probably included the Badakshan, Pamirs and northern territories including Yagnobi province in the doab of the Oxus and Jaxartes.[6] On the east it was bounded roughly by Yarkand and/or Kashgar, on the west by Bahlika (Uttaramadra), on the northwest by Sogdiana, on the north by Uttarakuru, on the southeast by Darada, and on the south by Gandhara. Numerous Indologists locate original Kamboja in Pamirs and Badakshan and the Parama Kamboja further north, in the Trans-Pamirian territories comprising Zeravshan valley, north up parts of Sogdhiana/Fargana—in the Sakadvipa or Scythia of the classical writers.[7] Thus, in the pre-Buddhist times (7th or 6th century BC), the parts of modern Tajikstan including territories as far as Zeravshan valley in Sogdiana formed parts of ancient Kamboja and the Parama Kamboja kingdoms when it was ruled by Iranian Kambojas until it became part of Achaemenid Empire.

Sogdiana, Bactria, Merv and Khorezm were the four principal divisions of Ancient Central Asia inhabited by the ancestors of the present-day Tajikistani Tajiks. Tajiks are now found only in historic Bactria and Sogdiana. Merv is inhabited by the Turkoman and Khorezm by Karakalpaks, Uzbeks and Kazakhs. Sogdiana was made up of the Zeravshan and Kashka-Darya river valleys. Currently, One of the surviving peoples of Sogdiana who speak a dialect of the Sogdian language are the Yaghnobis and Shugnanis. Bactria was located in northern Afghanistan (present-day Afghan Turkestan) between the mountain range of the Hindu Kush and the Amu Darya (Oxus) River and some areas of current south Tajikistan. During different periods, Bactria was a center of various Kingdoms or Empires, and is probably where Zoroastrianism originated. The "Avesta"—the holy book of Zoroastrianism—was written in the old-Bactrian dialect; it is also thought that Zoroaster was most likely born in Bactria.

Turkmenistan Peoples

Achaemenid Period (550 BC–329 BC)[edit]

Achaemenid empire at its greatest extent
During the Achaemenid period, Sogdiana and Bactria were part of the Persian empire. Sogdians and Bactrians occupied important positions in the administration and military of the Achaemenid Empire

Hellenistic Period (329 BC–90 BC)[edit]
For more details on this topic, see Greco-Bactrian Kingdom.

Map of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom.
After the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great, Bactria, Sogdiana and Merv, being part of Persian Empire, had to defend themselves from new invaders. In fact, the Macedonians faced very stiff resistance under the leadership of Sogdian ruler Spitamenes. Alexander the Great managed to marry Roxana, the daughter of a local ruler, and inherited his land. Following Alexander's brief occupation, the Hellenistic successor states of the Seleucids and Greco-Bactrians controlled the area for another 200 years in what is known as the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. During the time period from 90 BC to 30 BC, Yuezhi destroyed the last Hellenistic successor states and, together with the Tocharians, (to whom they were closely related) created a Kushan Empire around 30 AD.

Kushan Empire (30 BC–410 AD)[edit]

Kushan Empire
For another 400 years, until 410 AD, the Kushan Empire was a major power in the region along with the Roman Empire, the Parthian Empire and the Han Empire (China). Notable contact was made with local peoples when the envoys of the Han Dynasty journeyed to this area in the 2nd century BC. At the end of the Kushan period, the Empire became much smaller and would have to defend itself from the powerful Sassanid Empire that replaced the Parthian Empire. The famous Kushan king Kanishka promoted Buddhism and during this time Buddhism was exported from Central Asia to China.

Ashgabat Mosque

The Sassanids, Hephthalites, and Gokturks (224–710)[edit]

Asia in 500, showing the Hepthalite Khanate at its greatest extent.
The Sassanids once controlled much of what is now Tajikistan, but lost the territory to the Hephthalites (possibly also of Iranian descent) during the time of Peroz I.

They created a powerful empire that succeeded in making Iran a tributary state around 483–485. Shah of Persia Peroz fought three wars with Hephthalites. During the first war he was captured by Hephthalite army and later was released after Byzantine emperor paid a ransom for him. During the second war Peroz was captured again and was released after paying a huge contribution to the Hephthalite king. During the third war Peroz was killed. The Hephthalites were subjugated in 565 by a combination of Sassanid and Kök-Turk forces. Subsequently, present Tajikistan was ruled by Göktürks and Sassanids, however when the Sassanid Empire fell the Turks kept control of Tajikistan but they later lost it to the Chinese people, however, they later managed to take control of Tajikistan once again, only to lose it to the Arabs in 710.

Islamic Empires (710–1218)[edit]
Arab Caliphate (710–867)[edit]

Ashgabat Capital City

The Age of the Caliphs
  Prophet Mohammad, 622-632
  Patriarchal Caliphate, 632-661
  Umayyad Caliphate, 661-750
The Transoxiana principalities never formed a viable confederacy. Beginning in 651, the Arabs organized periodic marauding raids deep into the territory of Transoxania, but it was not until the appointment of Ibn Qutaiba as Governor of Khorasan in 705, during the reign of Walid I, that the Caliphate adopted the policy of annexing the lands beyond the Oxus. In 715, the task of annexation was accomplished. The entire region thus came under the control of the Caliph and of Islam, but the Arabs continued to rule through local Soghdian Kings and dihqans. The ascension of the Abbasids to rule the Caliphate (750 - 1258) opened a new era in the history of Central Asia. While their predecessors the Umayyads (661 - 750) were little more than leaders of a loose confederation of Arab tribes, the Abbasids set out to build a huge multi-ethnic centralized state that would emulate and perfect the Sassanian government machine. They gave the Near East and Transoxiana a unity, which they had been lacking since the time of Alexander the Great.

Samanid Empire (819–999)[edit]

Samanid empire
The Samanid dynasty ruled (819–1005) in Khorasan (including Eastern Iran and Transoxiana) and was founded by Saman Khuda . The Samanids were one of the first purely indigenous dynasties to rule in Persia after the Muslim Arab conquest. During the reign (892–907) of Saman Khuda's great-grandson, Ismail I (khown as Ismail Samani), Samanids expanded in Khorasan. In 900, Ismail defeated the Saffarids in Khorasan (area of current Northwest Afghanistan and northeastern Iran), while his brother was the governor of Transoxiana. Thus, Samanid rule was acclaimed over the combined regions. The cities of Bukhara (the Samanid capital) and Samarkand became centres of art, science, and literature; industries included pottery making and bronze casting. After 950, Samanid power weakened, but was briefly revitalized under Nuh II, who ruled from 976 to 997. However, with the oncoming encroachment of Muslim Turks, the Samanids lost their domains south of the Oxus river which were taken by Ghaznavids. In 999, Bukhara was taken by the Qarakhanids. The Samanid Isma'il Muntasir (died 1005) tried to restored the dynasty (1000–1005), until he was assassinated by an Arab bedouin chieftain.[8]

The attack of the Qarakhanid Turks ended the Samanid dynasty in 999 and dominance in Transoxiana passed on to Turkic rulers.

Qarakhanids (999–1211) and Khwarezmshahs (1211–1218)[edit]
After the collapse of Samanid Dynasty, Central Asia became the battleground of many Asian invaders who came from the north-east.

The Mongols and their successors (1218–1740)[edit]
Mongol Empire (1218–1370)[edit]
The Mongol Empire swept through Central Asia, invaded Khwarezmian Empire and sacked the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, looting and massacring people everywhere.

Turkmenistan Army

Timurid Empire (1370–1506)[edit]
Timur, founder of the Timurid Empire, was born on 8 April 1336 in Kesh near Samarkand. He was a member of the Turkicized Barlas tribe, a Mongol subgroup that had settled in Transoxiana after taking part in Genghis Khan's son Chagatai's campaigns in that region. Timur began his life as a bandit leader. During this period, he received an arrow-wound in the leg, as a result of which he was nicknamed Timur-e Lang (in Dari) or Timur the Lame. Although the last Timurid ruler of Herat, Badi az Zaman finally fell to the armies of the Uzbek Muhammad Shaibani Khan in 1506, the Timurid ruler of Ferghana, Zahir-ud-Din Babur, survived the collapse of the dynasty and re-established the Timurid dynasty in India in 1526, where they became known as the Mughals.

Shaybanid rule (1506–1598)[edit]
The Shaybanid state was divided into appanages between all male members (sultans) of the dynasty, who would designate the supreme ruler (Khan), the oldest member of clan. The seat of Khan was first Samarkand, the capital of the Timurids, but some of the Khans preferred to remain in their former appanages. Thus Bukhara became the seat of the khan for the first time under Ubaid Allah Khan (r.1533-1539).

The Astrakhanid (Janid) dynasty (1598–1740)[edit]
The period of political expansion and economical prosperity was short-lived. Soon after the death of Abd Allah Khan the Shaibanid dynasty died out and was replaced by the Janid or Astrakhanid (Ashtarkhanid) dynasty, another branch of the descendants of Jöchi, whose founder Jani Khan was related to Abd Allah Khan Through his marriage to Abdullah Khan's Sister. The Astrakhanids are also said to be connected to The Hashemites Due to Imam Quli Khan's status as a Sayyid. Their Descendents today live in India. In 1709, eastern part of Khanate of Bukhara seceded and formed Khanate of Kokand. Thus, eastern part of present Tajikistan passed to Khanate of Kokand, while western one remained part of Khanate of Bukhara.

Persian and Bukharan rule (1740–1920)[edit]
Afsharid dynasty (1740–1756)[edit]
In 1740, the Janid khanate was conquered by Nadir Shah, the Afsharid ruler of Persia. The Janid khan Abu al Faiz retained his throne, becoming Nadir's vassal.

Manghit dynasty (1756–1920)[edit]
After the death of Nadir Shah in 1747, the chief of the Manghit tribe, Muhammad Rahim Biy Azaliq, overcame his rivals from other tribes and consolidated his rule in the Khanate of Bukhara. His successor, however, ruled in the name of puppet khans of Janid origin. In 1785 Shah Murad formalized the family's dynastic rule (Manghit dynasty), and the khanate became the Emirate of Bukhara [9]

Turkmenistan Women

Modern History: 1800s–Present[edit]
Russian Vassalage (1868–1920)[edit]
In the 19th century, the Russian Empire began to expand into Central Asia. The expansion was motivated by Russia's economic interests and was connected with the American Civil War in the early 1860s, which severely interrupted the supply of cotton fiber to the Russian industry and forced Russia to turn to Central Asia as an alternative source of cotton supply as well as a market for Russian made goods. Between 1864 and 1885 Russia gradually took control of the entire territory of Russian Turkestan from today's border with Kazakhstan in the north to the Caspian Sea in the west and the border with Afghanistan in the south. Tashkent was conquered in 1865 and in 1867 the Turkestan Governor-Generalship was created with Konstantin Petrovich Von Kaufman as the first Governor-General.[1][10]

Russian Empire, being a much bigger state with a huge population and having an advanced military, had little difficulty in conquering the regions inhabited by Tajiks, meeting fierce resistance only at Jizzakh, Ura-Tyube, and when their garrison in Samarkand was besieged in 1868 by forces from Shahr-e Sabz and the inhabitants of the city. The army of the Emirate of Bukhara was utterly defeated in three battles, and on 18 June 1868 Emir Mozaffar al-Din (r.1860-1885) signed a peace treaty with the Governor-General of Russian Turkestan Von Kaufman. Samarkand and the Upper Zeravshan were annexed by Russia and the country was opened to Russian merchants. The emir retained his throne as a vassal of Russia and with Russian help he established control over Shahr-e Sabz, the mountainous regions in the upper Zeravshan Valley(1870) and the principalities of the western Pamir (1895). At the end of August 1920 the last emir, Sayyid Alim Khan, was overthrown by Soviet troops. On 6 October 1920 the emirate was abolished and the Bukharan People's Soviet Republic was proclaimed.

Soviet Rule (1920–1991)[edit]

Flag of the Tajik SSR
When national borders were drawn in 1928, during the administrative delimitation, the ancient Tajik cities of Bukhara and Samarkand were placed outside of the Tajikistan SSR. As citizens of the newly established Uzbek SSR, many Tajiks came under pressure to conform to their newly ascribed "Uzbek" identity, and under threat of exile, many were forced to change their identity and sign in passports as "Uzbeks". Tajik schools were closed and Tajiks were not appointed to leadership positions simply because of their ethnicity. During World War II, more than 300.000 Tajikistanis were mobilized into the Red Army and fought against the Nazis.

Tajikistan (1991–present)[edit]
See also: Civil war in Tajikistan

Emomalii Rahmon, President of Tajikistan since 1994.
The Tajikistan Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) was among the last republics of the Soviet Union to declare its independence. On September 9 (1991), following the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Tajikistan declared its independence. During this time, use of the Tajik language, an official language of the Tajikistan SSR next to Russian, was increasingly promoted. Ethnic Russians, who had held many governing posts, lost much of their influence and more Tajiks became politically active.

Turkmenistan Troops

The nation almost immediately fell into a civil war that involved various factions fighting one another; these factions were often distinguished by clan loyalties. The non-Muslim population, particularly Russians and Jews, fled the country during this time because of persecution, increased poverty and better economic opportunities in the West or in other former Soviet republics.

Emomalii Rahmon came to power in 1994, and continues to rule to this day. Ethnic cleansing was controversial during the civil war in Tajikistan. By the end of the war Tajikistan was in a state of complete devastation. The estimated dead numbered over 100,000. Around 1.2 million people were refugees inside and outside of the country.[11] In 1997, a ceasefire was reached between Rahmon and opposition parties (United Tajik Opposition).

Peaceful elections were held in 1999, but they were reported by the opposition as unfair, and Rahmon was re-elected by almost unanimous vote. Russian troops were stationed in southern Tajikistan, in order to guard the border with Afghanistan, until summer 2005. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, American, Indian and French troops have also been stationed in the country. (Continoe)

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