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Kyrgyzstan: Table A. Chronology of Significant Events
Country Study > Appendices > Table A. Chronology of Significant Events


Early History

Fifth century B.C. - Bactrian, Soghdian, and Tokharian states dominate area of present-day Uzbekistan, including cities of Bukhoro (Bukhara) and Samarqand (Samarkand) and begin profit from trade on Silk Route. Province of Mawarannahr begins long period of prosperity in eastern Uzbekistan.

Fourth-third centuries B.C. - Kyrgyz tribes invade northern China.

329 B.C. - Alexander the Great captures Maracanda (Samarqand) in conquest of southern Central Asia from Persian Achamenid Empire.

First century A.D. - Han Dynasty of China trades with Soghdians and Bactrians of Central Asia.

First-fourth centuries A.D. - Present-day Tajikistan ruled by Buddhist Kushans, who spread their faith to Soghdians.

ca. A.D. 500 - Feudal society emerges in present-day Kyrgyzstan.


750 - Arabs complete conquest of Central Asia with victory over Chinese at Talas River, imposing Islam and new culture.

766 - Turkic Qarluq confederation establishes state in present-day eastern Kazakhstan.

Eighth-ninth centuries - Under Arab Abbasid Caliphate, golden age of Central Asia; Bukhoro becomes a cultural center of Muslim world.

Late eighth-tenth centuries - Turkic Oghuz tribes migrate into Central Asia from Mongolia and southern Siberia.

Ninth century - Islam becomes dominant religion of all Central Asia.

840 - Kyrgyz Khanate reaches greatest extent, defeating Uygur Khanate in Mongolia.

Tenth century - Term Turkmen first applied to southern Islamic Oghuz tribes; Persian Samanid Dynasty replaces Abbasids, continues cultural activity of Mawarannahr.

Late tenth century - Seljuk Empire founded, based on Oghuz tribes, including Turkmen.

999 - Turkic Qarakhanids overthrow Samanids, ending last major Persian state in Central Asia.


Eleventh century - Seljuks and Qarakhanids end dominance of Ghaznavid Empire in south Central Asia, dominating west and east, respectively.

ca. 1100 - Persian replaces Arabic as standard written language in most of Central Asia, remains in official use through fifteenth century.

1130s - Turkic Karakitais conquer Qarakhanids; dominate region for 100 years.

Mid-twelfth century - Revolts by Turkmen hasten disintegration of Seljuk Empire; Turkmen begin settling present-day Turkmenistan, notably Merv on Silk Route.

1200 - Khorazm (Khorezm, Khwarazm), split from Seljuk Empire, consolidates empire including Mawarannahr and most of Central Asia; cultural activity continues.

1219-25 - Mongols conquer Central Asia, pushing Turkmen westward toward Caspian Sea, intensifying Turkification of Mawarannahr, reducing Iranian influence, and destroying cultural centers.

ca. 1250 - Son of Chinggis (Genghis) Khan conquers Yenisey Kyrgyz, beginning 200 years of Mongol domination.

1380-1405 - Timur (Tamerlane) unifies Mongol holdings in Central Asia, fosters last cultural flowering of Mawarannahr; Turkish first rivals Persian as literary language.

Fourteenth-sixteenth centuries - Turkmen tribes reorganize and consolidate.

Sixteenth century - Uzbek empire fragmented by fighting among khanates; decline of Silk Route.

1501-10 - Uzbek nomadic tribes conquer Central Asia, establish Khanate of Bukhoro.

1511 - Khan Kasym unites Kazak tribes.

Sixteenth-nineteenth centuries - Migration east and southeast of large nomadic Turkmen tribal groups descending from Salor group.


Seventeenth-eighteenth centuries - Kazak nomads and Mongols raid and weaken Uzbek khanates; conflict with Iran isolates Uzbeks in Muslim world; Kyrgyz tribes overrun by Kalmyks and Manchus.

ca. 1700 - Khanate of Bukhoro loses Fergana region; Quqon (Kokand) Khanate founded, based in Fergana Valley.

1726 - Kazak Khan Abul Khair seeks Russian protection from Kalmyk invaders, beginning permanent Russian presence in Kazakhstan.

Mid-eighteenth century - Turkmen Yomud tribes invade Khorazm.

1758 - Kyrgyz tribes become Chinese subjects with substantial autonomy.

1785 - Kyrgyz seek Russian protection from Quqon Khanate.

Eighteenth-early nineteenth centuries - Three Uzbek khanates revived by strong dynasties, centralized states; British and Russians begin rivalry for Central Asia.

Nineteenth Century

1820s - Kazak Great Horde is last of three hordes to come under Russian control.

1836-47 - Under Khan Kene (Kenisary Kasimov), Kazaks rise up against Russian occupation.

1855-67 - Yomud tribes rebel against Uzbek authority, which disperses the eastern Yomud.

1860s - Jadidist reform movement founded.

1861 - Abolition of serfdom in Russian Empire begins migration of Russian peasants to Kazakhstan.

1865-68 - Russian conquest of Tashkent, Bukhoro, and Samarqand; Khanate of Bukhoro becomes Russian protectorate.

1867 - Guberniya (Governorate General) of Turkestan established as central Russian administration, eventually including (1899) present-day Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and southeastern Kazakhstan; remainder of Kazakhstan becomes Steppe District.

1869 - Russians establish foothold in Turkmen territory at Krasnovodsk.

1870s - Russian cotton cultivation significantly expanded; Russians carry out punitive raids against Turkmen in Khorazm.

1873 - Russians capture Khiva.

1876 - Russians incorporate Quqon Khanate; all Uzbekistan and northern Kyrgyzstan in Russian Empire.

1881 - Russians crush Turkmen resistance at Gokdepe fortress; Turkmen territory annexed into Guberniya of Turkestan.

1890s - Uzbek revolts against Russian rule quelled easily; large-scale Russian settlement begins in northern Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, diminishing Kazak and Kyrgyz nomadism.

Twentieth Century

1900 - Jadidism becomes first major movement of Central Asian political resistance.

1906-07 - Central Asians have six seats in first and second Russian Dumas.

1907-17 - Central Asians have no seats in third and fourth Russian Dumas.

1916 - Kazaks, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, and Uzbeks rebel against Russian land confiscation, conscription; many Kazaks, Kyrgyz flee to China.

1917 May - Russian provisional government abolishes Guberniya of Turkestan; power divided among various groups, including Tashkent Soviet.

November - Bolshevik Revolution begins establishment of Soviet state.

1918 - Bolsheviks declare Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, including most of present-day Central Asia in Russia; Bolsheviks crush autonomous government in Quqon; Jadidists and others begin decade-long Basmachi revolt involving elements from all five republics and mercenaries; Alash Orda establishes independent Kazak state.

1918-19 - Widespread famine.

1920 - Soviet General Frunze captures Ashgabat, ending anticommunist government there, and Bukhoro, ending khanate; Faizulla Khojayev becomes president of newly established Soviet Bukhoran People's Republic; Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic established, including Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

1921 - Communists win in Russian Civil War, reduce power of Central Asian party branches.

1921-27 - New Economic Policy (NEP) expands cotton cultivation in Central Asia.

1924 - Soviet socialist republics of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan formed, with Tajikistan an autonomous republic in latter.

1925 - Most Basmachi resistance in Tajikistan overcome; large-scale refugee movement from eastern Bukhoro; Kazak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Kazak ASSR) separated from Kyrgyz ASSR.

1927-34 - Waves of communist party purges in all republic branches; Central Asian autonomy drives intensify purges there.

1929 - Soviet Socialist Republic of Tajikistan established, northern territory added.

1929-34 - Soviet collectivization induces widespread famine in Central Asia.

1930s - Khojayev, other Central Asian communist leaders executed in Stalin purges, replaced by Russians.

1936 - Kazak and Kyrgyz ASSRs given full republic status in Soviet Union; Karakalpakstan transferred from Russia to Republic of Uzbekistan.

Late 1930s - Nomadic lifestyle ends for most Turkmen.

1941-43 - Many European Soviet plants moved to Central Asia to avoid capture by invading Nazis.

1956-64 - Rehabilitation of some Central Asian communist leaders purged by Stalin; Russification remains prerequisite for party advancement; Virgin Lands program restructures agriculture in Central Asian republics.

1959-82 - Tenure of Sharaf Rashidov as first secretary of Communist Party of Uzbekistan.

1985 - Election of Mikhail S. Gorbachev as first secretary of Communist Party of Soviet Union, heralding impact of Moscow reform programs in Central Asia.

1986 - Widespread purge of Communist Party of Uzbekistan leadership begins after exposure of corruption in Rashidov regime; nationalism, anti-Russian feeling intensify.

December - Widespread demonstrations in Kazakhstan after appointment of Gennadiy Kolbin as party leader in Kazakhstan; Kazak opposition groups appear; unrest continues through 1989.

Late 1980s - Uzbekistani intellectuals begin forming opposition political groups.

1989 - Uzbeks clash with Meskhetian Turks and Kyrgyz in Osh; Moscow names Islam Karimov first secretary of Communist Party of Uzbekistan.

1989 - Political opposition group Agzybirlik formed in Turkmenistan; refused credentials.

June - Nursultan Nazarbayev named communist party head in Kazakhstan.

1990 February - Riots in Dushanbe protest communist housing policy in Tajikistan; state of emergency declared, opposition parties suppressed.

June-August - Violent conflict between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks and anticommunist demonstrations in Kyrgyz cities; opposition group, Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan, emerges.

August - Republic of Turkmenistan declares sovereignty within Soviet Union.

October - Saparmyrat Niyazov elected president of Turkmenistan, running unopposed.

November - Askar Akayev elected president of Republic of Kyrgyzstan, defeating communist incumbent.

1991 August - Coup against Gorbachev government fails in Moscow; Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan declare independence from Soviet Union.

September - Tajikistan declares independence from Soviet Union; communist Rahmon Nabiyev named president after ban of Communist Party of Tajikistan fails.

October - Turkmenistan declares independence from Soviet Union; Akayev elected president of independent Kyrgyzstan, running unopposed.

November - Communist Party of Uzbekistan reorganized, renamed People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan.

December - Nazarbayev elected president of Kazakhstan, which declares independence from Soviet Union; five Central Asian states sign Alma-Ata Declaration formally establishing Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); Communist Party of Turkmenistan renamed Democratic Party of Turkmenistan, retains political domination; Uzbekistan elects new parliament and Karimov its first president.

1992 - Five Central Asian states join Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

1992 - Niyazov introduces "Ten Years of Prosperity" economic reform program for Turkmenistan.

March - Antigovernment riots begin in Dushanbe, escalate into civil war in April.

May - Turkmenistan adopts new constitution; Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan sign treaties of friendship and cooperation with Russia.

June - Niyazov reelected president of Turkmenistan, running unopposed; Kyrgyzstan signs treaty of friendship and cooperation with Russia.

Mid-year - Five Central Asian states begin taking over former Soviet military installations on their respective territories.

July - Tajikistan signs treaty of cooperation and assistance with Russia, allowing Russian forces to clear antigovernment forces from Tajikistan.

September - Tajikistan's president Nabiyev forced to resign; coalition government takes power.

November - Tajikistan's coalition government resigns, communist Rahmonov named head of state; opposition forces continue civil war.

December - Uzbekistan adopts new constitution; Birlik, main opposition party, banned in Uzbekistan; Dushanbe falls to Tajikistani government forces.

1993 - "Cult of personality" of Niyazov extended in Turkmenistan with renaming of streets, buildings, and city of Krasnovodsk (Turkmenbashy).

1993 - Repression of opposition and media increases in Uzbekistan; by December, only state organs can register.

January - New Kazakhstani constitution adopted, names Kazak official state language; Akayev requests government emergency measures to end Kyrgyzstan's drastic economic decline. Kazakhstani government forms National Council for Economic Reform; government of Tajikistan makes criminal charges against opposition leader Hajji Akbar Turajonzoda.

April - Chevron Oil finalizes joint venture to develop Tengiz offshore oil fields with Kazakhstan.

June - Tajikistan bans three major opposition parties; Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province ends claims of independence from Tajikistan.

July - Kyrgyzstan signs military cooperation agreements with Russia; Afghan and Tajik rebels kill twenty-eight Russians in capturing border post in Tajikistan.

September - Agreement for new ruble zone signed by Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; four Central Asian states, excluding Turkmenistan, join five other CIS states, including Russia, in economic union.

November - Tenge becomes official currency of Kazakhstan; Tajik rebels resume fighting in Gorno-Badakhshan.

December - Turkmenistan signs treaty of cooperation, mutual assistance, and joint border security with Russia; Akayev dismisses Kyrgyzstani government of Tursunbek Chyngyshev after vote of no confidence; Kazakhstan approves Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as non-nuclear signatory; Kazakhstan's parliament dissolves itself.

1994 January - Referendum approves extension of Niyazov's term as president of Turkmenistan to 2002.

March - First multiparty elections in Kazakhstan (for parliament), dominated by Nazarbayev supporters.

May-July - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan join North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Partnership for Peace.

June - Kyrgyzstan eases language, citizenship restrictions to slow emigration of Russians.

September - Kyrgyzstani government resigns; parliament dissolved.

October - Cease-fire begins in Tajikistani civil war.

November - Rahmonov elected president of Tajikistan, without participation of major opposition parties; plebiscite approves new Tajikistani constitution.

December - New Majlis (assembly) elected in Turkmenistan, dominated by Democratic Party.

December-January 1995 - Uzbekistan's parliamentary elections dominated by People's Democratic Party.

1995 - Sporadic cease-fires, peace talks, and resumption of fighting in Tajikistan.

February - Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan sign ten-year partnership and cooperation agreement with European Union (EU); parliamentary elections in Tajikistan boycotted by opposition; first of three election rounds for new bicameral parliament of Kyrgyzstan.

March - Referendum extends Karimov's term as president of Uzbekistan to 2000; Kazakhstani parliament resigns, Nazarbayev begins rule by decree.

April - Referendum extends Nazarbayev's term to 2000.

May - Tajikistan introduces new currency, Tajikistani ruble.

June - Two Turkmen opposition leaders sentenced to prison terms.

August - Kazakhstan's new constitution approved by popular referendum.

December - Parliamentary elections held in Kazakhstan under protest by opposition parties.

1996 February - Referendum extends presidential powers of Akayev; Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan sign extended customs union agreement with Belarus and Russia; Turkmenistan signs major natural gas sales agreement with Turkey.

March - After resignation of Kyrgyzstan's government, Akayev names new cabinet headed by Apas Jumagulov, prime minister of previous government.

April - Directors of seventeen banks in Kyrgyzstan charged with illegal use of funds, triggering national bank scandal; Kyrgyzstan bans Ittipak, Uygur separatist organization; Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan sign Shanghai border security treaty with China and Russia, pledging aid to China against separatists from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

May - Kazakhstan bans Russian newspaper Komsomol'skaya pravda for article by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn claiming parts of Kazakhstan as Russian territory; to ease severe economic crisis, Kazakhstani government cancels US$300 million of agriculture sector's debts; Uzbekistan's Karimov threatens withdrawal from Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) for Iran's "politicization" of ECO by criticism of Israel and United States; Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan support Karimov.

June - Kazakhstan opens widespread antinarcotics offensive and amnesties 20,000 prisoners to relieve prison overcrowding; Tajikistan signs plan for energy export to Russia; Karimov makes official visit to

June - United States to improve bilateral and UN relations; Uygurs in Kazakhstan continue protests against Shanghai treaty; Nazarbayev's threat to dissolve parliament gains passage of unpopular pension bill; chairman of Kazakhstan's Supreme Court dismissed for corruption.

July - Rahmonov of Tajikistan consolidates power by organizing National Security Council under presidential control and by antinarcotics campaign in rebel stronghold Gorno-Badakhshan, using nominally neutral Russian border troops.

August - Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan sign accord for creation of single economic market by 1998; UN-sponsored cease-fire of July is broken by heavy fighting in Tajikistan's central region, as rebels renew thrust toward Dushanbe.

October - Antigovernment United Tajikistan Opposition proposes National Reconciliation Council including 80 percent opposition and 20 percent government members; Tajikistan government rejects formula. Japan commits US$140 million to upgrade three airports in Uzbekistan and US$200 million for infrastructure and medical centers in Kazakhstan; bilateral accords with Iran and Russia reaffirm Turkmenistan's "permanent neutrality."

August - Turkmenistan's Nabiyev confers in Moscow with Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, reaching no agreement on natural gas deliveries to Russia or on ownership of Caspian Sea resources.

October-November - Rebel forces open corridors from Afghanistan into eastern Tajikistan, threatening to take full control of eastern and central regions; government forces offer weak resistance.

November - Acute energy shortage brings winter rationing of electric power and heat in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

December - Tajikistan's Rahmonov signs new cease-fire agreement with rebel coalition; ensuing peace agreement calls for reconciliation council to amend constitution; Kazakhstan sells its first bond issue on the international bond market; Turkmenistan's 1996 inflation rate estimated at 140 percent, highest among Central Asian republics; Kazakhstan and international consortium set terms for pipeline construction to export Kazakhstan's Tengiz oil.

1997 January - Kazakhstan begins shipping oil from its Tengiz field by tanker across Caspian Sea for resale by Iran; 2 million tons to be shipped annually until new export pipeline completed; two Japanese firms agree to build $US138 million telephone network in Uzbekistan; at meeting of Central Asian Economic Union, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan sign mutual defense treaty and discuss mutual convertibility of currencies; Topchubek Turgunaligev, head of opposition Erkin Party in Kyrgyzstan, sentenced to prison for embezzlement as political repression tightens.

January-March - Six rounds of peace talks between Tajikistan government and United Tajikistan Opposition yield significant agreements on reintegration of political and military organizations.

February - Japan signs US$580 million agreement to build polypropylene plant in Turkmenistan.

March - Kyrgyzstan extends Russian border troop presence through end of 1997.

March - Nazarbayev restructures Kazakhstan's government, reducing power of Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin.

May - Terms set for pipeline connecting Tengiz oil field in Kazakhstan with Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, to open September 1999.

June - Peace accord between Rahmonov government and United Tajik Opposition formally ends civil war in Tajikistan.

July - New National Reconciliation Commission scheduled to begin work on procedures for parliamentary elections to be held in Tajikistan by the end of 1998.

July - Andijan-Osh-Kashgar Highway opens, connecting points in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan with China.

August - Kazakhstan and Russia sign treaty easing conditions for Russians in Kazakhstan, aimed at reducing emigration of Russian technical experts.

August - Political negotiations in Tajikistan delayed by scattered fighting and disagreements over conditions.

September - United States forces join troops of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan in peacekeeping exercise in south-central Kazakhstan, the first such combined exercise.

Data as of September 1997

Last Updated: March 1996

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Kyrgyzstan was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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