Central Asia is the core region of the Asian continent and stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. It is also sometimes referred to as Middle Asia, and, colloquially, "the 'stans" (as the five countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of") and is within the scope of the wider Eurasian continent.
In modern contexts, all definitions of Central Asia include these five republics of the former Soviet Union: Kazakhstan (pop. 16.6 million), Kyrgyzstan (5.5 million), Tajikistan (7.6 million), Turkmenistan (5.1 million), and Uzbekistan (29.5 million), for a total population of 64.7 million as of 2012. Other areas sometimes included are Afghanistan, Mongolia, eastern Iran and northern and western Pakistan, and sometimes Xinjiang and Tibet in western China, Jammu and Kashmir in northern India, and southern Siberia in eastern Russia.
Various definitions of its exact composition exist, and no one definition is universally accepted. Despite this uncertainty in defining borders, it does have some important overall characteristics. For one, Central Asia has historically been closely tied to its nomadic peoples and the Silk Road. As a result, it has acted as a crossroads for the movement of people, goods, and ideas between Europe, West Asia, South Asia, and East Asia.
During pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, Central Asia was a predominantly Iranian region that included the sedentary Eastern Iranic speaking Bactrians, Sogdians and Chorasmians, and the semi-nomadic Scythians and Alans. The ancient sedentary population played an important role in the history of Central Asia. After expansion by Turkic peoples, Central Asia also became the homeland for many Turkic peoples, including the Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Kyrgyz and Uyghurs. Central Asia is sometimes referred to as Turkestan.
From the 19th century, up to the end of the 20th century, most of Central Asia has been part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, both being Slavic majority countries. As of 2011, the "stans" are still home to about 7 million Russians and 500 thousand Ukrainians.
Other articles related to "central asia, central, asia":
... Cities within the possible boundaries of Central Asia City Country Population Image Information Astana Kazakhstan 7005708794000000000708,794 (2010) The capital and second largest city in Kazakhstan ... It is a recognised financial centre of Kazakhstan and the Central Asian region ... Its architecture and archaeological sites form one of the pillars of Central Asian history and art ...
... Khutulun was a 13th century Mongol princess, the daughter of the Mongol leader Qaidu Khan and a great-great granddaughter of Genghis Khan ... According to legend she was a skilled warrior and wrestler who vowed that she would only marry a man who could defeat her in wrestling ...
... Central Asia is the core region of the Asian continent and stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the ... It is also sometimes referred to as Middle Asia, and, colloquially, "the 'stans" (as the five countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with ... In modern contexts, all definitions of Central Asia include these five republics of the former Soviet Union Kazakhstan (pop ...
... the timeline of the Islamization of Inner Asia and the Turkic peoples who lay beyond the bounds of the caliphate ... who fought against the caliphate in order to stop Arabization and Islamization in Asia ... Histories merely note the fact of pre-Mongol Central Asia's Islamization ...
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