History of Kyrgyzstan — Asia Travel

kyrgyz.2jpgKyrgyzstan, just like all Central Asian states, is considered to be one of the oldest centers of origin of human civilization. The earliest evidences of human habitation in this particular area were found in the central Tien Shan and the Ferghana Valley. The age of such artifacts indicates that they all belong to the Paleolithic era.

Several parkings found In the vicinity of Bishkek and Naryn relating to the Neolithic period. More recent archeological finds are the rock paintings, which were discovered in the area of the river Sary-Jaz, let scientists suggest that the tribes were living here at the turn of the IV — III centuries BC were already familiar with stone tools, were capable to make pottery, were able to cope with bow and arrows. Moreover, the emergence of pastoralism and agriculture is also related with this time.

It was only later, in the Bronze Age, when in Kyrgyzstan territory lived many tribes engaged in cattle breeding and agriculture.

Gradually the economic way of life within the tribes changed, as well as the structure of the population changed. The nomads were united in tribal alliances and the communities of farmers began to use the slave labor.

The first of the known tribal groupings — Saks, was established in the north of Kyrgyzstan, and it lasted from the VII-th up to the III-th century BC.

Later, some part of Massaget and Saks tribes, on the basis of his subordinates, were united with the tribe of Usuns. This existed till the V century AD. At the same time, the southern region of present Kyrgyzstan became part of the Parkan state, and later came under the rule of the Kushan Empire.

The beginning of VIII century AD was marked with the seizure of power in almost all areas by the confederation of Turkic tribes, which in the Middle Ages passed into the hands of tribal union of Karluks. This period was characterized by an increase in the number of towns and settlements in various parts of the Chu and Talas Rivers. In addition, the trade started to develop rapidly, and commercial interests were no longer distributed to nomadic tribes, but to caravans that went from Eastern Europe along the Silk Road.

manasIt was namely during this period, when the first Kyrgyz tribes revealed at the local areas.

The first written mention of Kyrgyz, as a nation was dated within 569 year. As well as we can know from reports, that year the ambassador of Byzantine Empire was given a slave — the Kirghiz. In the VIII — IX centuries, the Kirghiz present in the chronicle materials, as allies of Turkic tribes in the flops of their campaigns against the Uighurs. In the XIII century the people of Kyrgyzstan were conquered by Mongols, and only at the end of XIV century, they regained the independence.

Starting from the XVI century, the Kirghiz ever became dependent to some neighboring nations.

By the middle of the XVIII century the tribes of Kirghiz formed tribal relations, which were then maintained until the end of the XX century. There was the leader — aksakal at the head of each clan, elders were united into tribal council.

In the early XIX century, power over the tribes of Kirghiz was captured by the Kokand Khanate, but freedom-loving people tried to do their best in order to escape the yoke of a khan. Therefore, popular uprisings broke out in different parts of the country. Thus, in 1842-1843 years the popular rebellion swept the Issyk-Kul region, in 1845 an uprising took place in Osh, the 1857-1858 year was marked by revolts of Chui and Talas Kirghiz, but the biggest excitement happened in 1873-1876 years, respectively.

In the fifties of the XIX century a large-scale connection the local areas to Russia began. Regular Russian Army, together with which the settlers from its European part moved out, step by step seized the best lands of the country. In 1867 year the entire territory of Northern Kyrgyzstan was annexed by the Russian Semirechye region, and by 1876 year the southern part of the country moved away to Syr Darya and Ferghana regions.

After the revolution of 1917 year the real political struggle for power developed in Kyrgyzstan. United by a common idea of the struggle for independence, the two political parties: «Shura-i-Islam» (the «Board of Islam») and «Alashorda», came out against the Soviets. However, the Bolshevik government together with the support of public mining settlements stifled dissent, and has made entry of Kyrgyzstan into the part of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Basmaches liberation movement could not bring positive results, and by 1920 year the people’s resistance was finally crushed.

Years of Soviet rule brought significant changes in the life of Kirghiz people. At first it was proclaimed equality of the sexes, then polygamy was abolished as well as bride price was prohibited. In 1924 year the republic received autonomy and became known as Kara-Kyrgyz area. After that, in May 1926 year it acquired the status of the Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, and in 1936 year, it finally became the Kyrgyz SSR.

Twenties and thirties years of last century became a milestone of Kyrgyz industry. The coal industry, metallurgy, production of mercury and antimony, food and some light industry started to be developed. Moreover, the collectivization of agriculture began, which for centuries was in the hands of nomadic tribes.

But at the same time repressions began. Wealthy peasants (bais), hiding behind the idea of the struggle against class enemies, were persecuted, imprisoned, killed or dispossessed and condemned to starvation.

In the period of 1936-1938 years during the Stalinist rampant in the country was almost completely wiped out the scientific and creative intelligentsia, as well as the religious elite. The Arab books and manuscripts were also destroyed.

The postwar period was characterized by the development of the national economy and the growth of the general rise in living standards. The basis of economic complex became a diversified industry and a strong agriculture, science and qualified personnel.

However, as early as 70-80 years of last century, the republic’s economy outlined serious problems that were caused by the transition to new market relations, declared a regular policy of the Communist Party of the USSR. On these grounds ethnic conflicts exacerbated. The relations with the Uzbek minority, compactly living in the Osh region, were soured considerable and reveal clashes occurred.

Beginning of the nineties was a difficult period for Kyrgyzstan. In 1989 year, there were the frequent mass demonstrations of the people, squatting on land in the vicinity of Frunze started. In winter of 1990 year, series of protest meetings rolled over the whole country against the Armenian immigrants. And started with the summer, protracted bloody clashes between Uzbeks and Kirghiz in the Osh also took place.

kyrgyzUnfolding struggle for power between the Prime Minister and First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kyrgyzstan did not allow to choose the president of the country.

Therefore, Askar Akayev, who spoke at the party congress to propose measures to resolve the situation, immediately began to be perceived by most as an essential political figure. In 1990 year, namely Akayev was at the head of the movement for market reforms in a renewed USSR. Therefore, it was quite logical that in 1991 year, M.S Gorbachev suggested that he take the post of vice-president of the Soviet Union. However, this suggestion was refused.

By the efforts Kyrgyz deputies Askar Akayev has been called from Moscow and received the authority of the first president of the republic. Together with the already elected the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov they were able to repay inter-ethnic conflict in Osh.

In August of that year, the president refused to follow orders of the State Emergency Committee. Thus, by September 1, the republic declared its independence.

Akayev was elected and reelected to the post of President of Kyrgyzstan for 3 times. His intention was to make the republic a «second Switzerland», building «democracy of the European type.» Therefore, he allowed the creation and activities of opposition parties and movements, trying to prevent the outflow of Russian-speaking population. Slavic University was opened with his «blessing», as well as the Assembly of Peoples of Kyrgyzstan established by his efforts, which fought for the unity of interests of ethnic entities which inhabited the country. Moreover, in 2001 year, a number of amendments to the Constitution was adopted, which guaranteed the Russian language to be official status in the state.

Akayev’s administration was very determined to implement socio economic reforms: introduced national currency, declared private ownership of land, revealed privatization, for a long time hindered the growth of inflation in the country. In addition, Kyrgyzstan became the first CIS country to join WTO.

Foreign policy of the first President was aimed at establishing equal partnerships between regions and states. It was namely him, who asked to restore the Great Silk Road. Moreover, Akayev supported the idea of making the Central Asian zone to be free of nuclear weapons. Fully support friendly relations with Russia while he allowed the U.S.A to place on the territory of the country military bases following the idea of «struggle with terror.»

However, over the years, Akayev government was increasingly criticized for the growth of authoritarian tendencies, he was openly accused of corruption. The last straw was the arrest of one of the opponents and shooting demonstrations on his behalf.

The 2005 year’s elections, where Akayev and his supporters won again were found adulterated, and the country revealed a wave of uprisings. On March 24, 2005 the rebels captured the Bishkek and the palace of the president. Akayev and his family were forced to flee to Russia, where he signed a letter of resignation from the presidency.

Thus, the idealism of the first president crashed with hard rules of the political struggle in the Asian region.

These days, Kyrgyzstan – is an independent sovereign state, lives in the chosen democratically way, controlled by the first in its history, a woman — the president – Roza Otunbayeva.