Tajikistan

Anya Emerson

Basic Information

Official Title: Republic of Tajikistan

Population---8,191,958

Leader(s)--- President Emomali Rahmon, Prime minister Kohir Raulzoda

Government(type)---Presidential Republic

Capital: Dushanbe

Languages ---Tajik

GDP per Capita---$2,700

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History

The first civilizations in Tajikistan were Iranian nomadic groups that settled in the area in the 6th century B.C.E. Since then, Tajikistan has been part of many empires all of which are important to the culture and the countries welfare. Tajikistan lies on where the silk road was, a major trade route throughout China bugging around 207 BCE. This brought many different ideas and goods into the area of current day Tajikistan.


B.C.E and other Empires

Tajikistan's first settlers were Iranian people who have lived in central Asia since the First Millennium B.C.E. The population was mainly Khwarezm and Bactria. This was included in the Persian Empire and was then taken over by Alexander the Great. Tajikistan and the surrounding areas were considered part of an Iranian dynasty. Around the middle of the 7th century, Arabs invaded and brought ideas of Islam into the area. The Turkic also invaded around 999. Many people that lived in the area became Turks. The term Tajik was originally given to the Arabs by the people who were natives, but when the Turks invaded it was used as term used for people who still spoke Iranian dialects and similar languages. For the next eight centuries the area was ruled by the emir of Bukhara.


Soviet Union

In the 1860-1970's Russia conquered a lot of the area in and around Tajikistan. A large percent of the population was part of the Turkestan A.S.S.R (Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic). It was formed April 1918 after the Russian Revolution in 1917. By 1920, Russian revolutionaries had gained a lot of land, mostly in current day Tajikistan. They called the land they claimed as the Bukharan People's Soviet Republic. Many groups rebelled against the Soviets but were not successful. Under rule of the Soviet Union, the Tajik A.S.S.R improved its economy and social life immensely. Many irrigation dams were built as were electric power generators. Health care and education expanded as well.


Independence

Tajikistan declared its independence as the Republic of Tajikistan on September 9th, 1991; although there was some debate if they should declare independence or not. In 1992 civil war broke out from 1992-1997 between soviet-era powers and Coalition of Islamists and Liberals. A peace treaty was arranged by the United Nations, Iran and Russia. The aftermath is close to 20,000 deaths, 600,000 people displaced as well as a fallen economy and government. President Emorali Rahmonov was elected in 1994 and was reelected in 1999. He was elected in a third term but many people say it was unfair and people didn't actually vote.

Geography

Tajikistan is a landlocked country surrounded by China, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Most of Tajikistan has mountains. The climate changes greatly depending on altitude. There are many different and diverse plant and animal species.


Mountains and Rivers

Over half of the country is 10,000ft or more above sea level and 90% is part of a mountain range. The remaining 10% is valleys. The main Mountain ranges in the area are the Pamir and Alay range. The highest peak in the country is the Ismoil Somoni Peak with a height of 24,590ft. The mountains have many minerals and metals. Some of which are iron, lead, copper, mercury and gold. The Pamir Mountain Range has the largest glacier that isn't in the Arctic Circle. The glaciers runoff into the rivers and are a main source to the Aral Sea. The two main Rivers of Asia, the Amu Darya River and the Panj River flow through Tajikistan. Both mark the boundaries between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Most of the rivers go from East to West; eventually they empty into the Aral sea basin. Overall, there are an estimated 900 rivers in Tajikistan.


Climate

Tajikistan is looted at between 36-41 N latitude and between 67-75 E longitude. It has mainly a Mediterranean climate in the center and it has warm Mediterranean climate, cold desert climate and semi arid climate. Since it is a landlocked country with many mountains it's for the most part, dry. The average rainfall per year in low altitude areas is 19.7 to 23.6 inches of rain. In higher altitude climates it can snow up to 88 inches each year. This is more rain fall than other Central Asian countries receive.

Valleys don't get as cold as mountain ranges, but those areas still can get below freezing. In the summer, the average temperatures for lower altitude areas is 73 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit and in the winter the average temperature is 30.2 to 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit. In higher elevated areas the average summer temperature is 41 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 5 to -4 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.


People and Agriculture

Most people live in lowlands or valleys. The most populated areas are the Forgone Valley in the north, the Kofarnihon valley, and the Vakhsh valley in the south. Under 1/3 of the population lives in urban areas. Most of the country isn't habitable for human life, although the areas that are are irrigated to sustain many cotton and wheat plantains. There are also many fruit orchards and vineyards some of which grow apricots, plums, pomegranate, apples, figs and cherries. Despite this, Tajikistans still struggle to get food due mainly to droughts, economic downfall, and war.

Most people live in qishlaqs which are small, one family homes with mud fences and flat roofs. They are put closely together to form villages with 200-700 quishlaqs. Since the country and the surrounding areas are on an active seismic belt, this causes major earthquakes in the area to be common. Other natural disasters are landslides and flooding.

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