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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Russian Turkestan (Russian: Русский Туркестан, Russkiy Turkestan) was the western part of Turkestan within the Russian Empire (administered as a Krai or Governor-Generalship), comprising the oasis region to the south of the Kazakh steppes, but not the protectorates of the Emirate of Bukhara and the Khanate of Khiva.



The Defence of the Samarkand Citadel in 1868
Map of the Syr-Darya Oblast in 1872

Although Russia had been pushing south into the steppes from Astrakhan and Orenburg since the failed Khivan expedition of Peter the Great in 1717, the beginning of the Russian colonial conquest of Turkestan is normally dated to 1865, when the city of Tashkent fell to a force under General Mikhail Chernyayev. Chernyayev had exceeded his orders (he only had 3,000 men under his command at the time) but Saint Petersburg recognised the annexation in any case. This was swiftly followed by the conquest of Khodzhent, Dzhizak and Ura-Tyube, culminating in the annexation of Samarkand and the surrounding region on the Zeravshan River from the Emirate of Bukhara in 1868.

In 1867 Turkestan was made a separate Governor-Generalship, under its first Governor-General, Konstantin Petrovich Von Kaufman. Its capital was Tashkent and it consisted initially of three oblasts (provinces): Syr Darya, Semirechye and the Zeravshan Okrug (Military Region). To these were added in 1873 the Amu Darya Division (Russian: отдел, otdel), annexed from the Khanate of Khiva, and in 1876 the Fergana Oblast, formed from the remaining rump of the Kokand Khanate that was dissolved after an uprising in 1875. In 1894 the Transcaspian Region, which had been conquered in 1881-1885 by Generals Mikhail Skobelev and Mikhail Annenkov, was added to the Governor-Generalship.

The administration of the region had an almost purely military character throughout. Von Kaufman died in 1882, and a committee under Fedor Karlovich Giers (or Girs, brother of the Russian Foreign Minister Nikolay Karlovich Giers) toured the Krai and drew up proposals for reform, which were implemented after 1886. In 1888 the new Trans-Caspian railway, begun at Uzun-Ada on the shores of the Caspian Sea in 1877, reached Samarkand. 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 or Headmen). It was quite unlike European Russia. In 1908 Count Konstantin Konstantinovich Pahlen led another reform commission to Turkestan, which produced in 1909-1910 a monumental report documenting administrative corruption and inefficiency.

In 1897 the 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 ethnic Russian settlers flowing into Turkestan than had hitherto been the case, and their settlement was overseen by a specially created Migration Department in Saint Petersburg (Переселенческое Управление). This caused considerable discontent amongst the local population as these settlers took scarce land and water resources away from them. In 1916 discontent boiled over in the Basmachi Revolt, sparked by a decree conscripting the natives into labour battalions (they had previously been exempt from military service). Thousands of settlers were killed, and this was matched by Russian reprisals, particularly against the nomadic population. Order had not really been restored by the time the February Revolution took place in 1917. This would usher in a still bloodier chapter in Turkestan's history, as the Bolsheviks of the Tashkent Soviet (made up entirely of Russian soldiers and railway workers, with no Muslim members) launched an attack on the autonomous Jadid government in Kokand early in 1918, which left 14,000 dead. Resistance to the Bolsheviks by the local population (dismissed as 'Basmachi' or 'Banditry' by Soviet historians) continued well into the 1920s.


Governors of Turkestan

  • 1865-1867 Mikhail Grigoryevich Chernyaev (Military Governor)
  • 1866-1867 Dmitri Ilyich Romanovskiy (Civil Governor)

Governor Generalsh[1]

  • 1867-1881 Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman
  • 1881-1882 Gerasim Alexeevich Kolpakovskiy
  • 1882‒4 Mikhail Chernyayev
  • 1884‒9 Nikolai Rozenbakh
  • 1889-1898 Aleksander Borisovich Vrevskiy
  • 1898-1901 Sergey Mikhailovich Dukhovskiy
  • 1901-1904 Nikolay Alexandrovich Ivanov
  • 1904-1905 Nikolay Nikolayevich Tevyashev
  • 1905-1906 Vsevolod Victorovich Zaharov
  • 1906 Demyan Ivanovich Subbotin
  • 1906 Evgeniy Osipovich Matsievskiy
  • 1906-1908 Nikolay Ivanovich Grodekov
  • 1908-1909 Pavel Ivanovich Mischenko
  • 1909-1910 Aleksander Vasilyevich Samsonov
  • 1910-1911 Vasiliy Ivanovich Pokotilo
  • 1911-1914 Aleksander Vasilyevich Samsonov (restored)
  • 1914-1916 Fedor Vladimirovich Martson
  • 1916 Mikhail Romanovich Erofeev
  • 1916‒17 Aleksey Kuropatkin

Soviet rule

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, a Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkestan ASSR) prior to the creation of the Soviet Union was created in Soviet Central Asia (excluding modern-day Kazakhstan), which in 1924 was split into the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkmenistan) and Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbekistan). The Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajikistan) was formed out of part of the Uzbek SSR in 1929, and a few years later the Kyrgyz SSR (Kyrgyzstan) was separated from Kazakhstan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these republics gained their independence.


  1. ^ Regnal Chronologies accessed 23rd November 2009
  • Eugene Schuyler Turkistan (London) 1876 2 Vols.
  • G.N. Curzon Russia in Central Asia (London) 1889
  • Ген. М.А. Терентьев История Завоевания Средней Азии (С.Пб.) 1903 3 Vols.
  • В.В. Бартольд История Культурной Жизни Туркестана (Москва) 1927
  • Count K.K. Pahlen Mission to Turkestan (Oxford) 1964
  • Seymour Becker Russia's Protectorates in Central Asia, Bukhara and Khiva 1865-1924 (Cambridge, Mass.) 1968
  • Adeeb Khalid The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform. Jadidism in Central Asia (Berkeley) 1997
  • T.K. Beisembiev The Life of Alimqul (London) 2003
  • Daniel Brower Turkestan and the Fate of the Russian Empire (London) 2003
  • Erkinov. A. Praying For and Against the Tsar: Prayers and Sermons in Russian-Dominated Khiva and Tsarist Turkestan.Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 2004(=ANOR 16), 112 p.

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Kazakhstan article)

From Wikitravel

Asia : Central Asia : Kazakhstan
Quick Facts
Capital Astana
Government Republic
Currency Tenge (KZT)
Area total: 2,717,300 km2
water: 47,500 km2
land: 2,669,800 km2
Population 16,402,861 (July 2009 est.)
Language Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business) 95% (2001 est.)
Religion Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2%, other 7%
Electricity 220W
Calling Code 7
Time Zone GMT+5

Kazakhstan is by far the largest of the Central Asia's states of the former USSR. It has borders with Russia, China, and the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. It is the world's ninth biggest country by size, and it is more than twice the size of the other Central Asian states combined. Its lack of significant historical sites and endless featureless steppe have put many off Kazakhstan, while many still are captivated by the emptiness and mystery of this goliath state. It will be many travelers' first port of call on their Central Asian adventure, and there is much for the intrepid traveller to enjoy.


Native Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation. The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th century, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1936.

During the launching of the 1950s and 1960s agricultural "Virgin Lands" program, Soviet citizens were encouraged to help cultivate Kazakhstan's northern pastures. This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives. Independence has caused many of these newcomers to emigrate.

Current issues include: Developing a cohesive national identity; expanding the development of the country's vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets (an oil pipeline to China has been built; the gas pipeline is under construction); achieving a sustainable economic growth outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors, and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.

Almaty Province
Kazakhstani North
Kazakh Desert
Caspian Basin
Central Highlands
  • Astana (Aqmola) — 2nd largest city, and capital since December 1998. Worth visiting but you only need a few days to get to the most recommended sightseeings. The city is brand new and being built very rapidly. If you want to see what Akmola (Astana previous name) looks like, you need to do it now as the old city is disappearing quite rapidly.
  • Atyrau — Oil capital of Kazakhstan, where large onshore Tengiz and offshore Kashagan oilfields are located.
  • Almaty — largest city, and capital prior to December 1998. Definitely a must-see. Beside the western-style city, you may want to go to the Medeu and other places in the nearby mountains.
  • Aktau — port city on the Caspian
  • Aktobe
  • Karaganda — Industrial city between Astana and Almaty; worth visiting if you like mining history.
  • Pavlodar — the oldest Russian city in the country, founded in 1720, closed until 1992 for its military significance in tank production, and home to one very impressive mosque, as well as other interesting Orthodox churches and various memorials
  • Shymkent — Kazakhstan's second largest city, an old market town located near Tashkent and some beautiful mountains; now booming with oil exploration
  • Turkestan — another ancient city, long a border town between the Persian culture to the south and the Turkic nomadic culture to the north, now majority Uzbek and home to several important cultural-historical monuments
  • Ust-Kamenogorsk — mining city in the Altai mountains

Get in

Generally, nationals of almost any country will be required to obtain a visa to enter Kazakhstan. However, nationals of certain countries may enjoy the simplified procedure for obtaining a visa. On presenting an application in writing, nationals of such countries may obtain a single entry tourist visa (up to 30 days) and double entry tourist visa (up to 60 days) at the relevant Kazakhstan diplomatic mission. This is a list of countries enjoying the simplified procedure: Australia, Austria, Belgium, United Kingdom, Greece, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, USA, Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, South Korea, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Israel, Croatia, Oman, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (this list was last updated in July 2009).

Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Ukraine do not need visas to enter Kazakhstan.

For more information you should contact a Kazakhstan diplomatic mission in your area or Kazakhstan MFA's website Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.

By plane

Air Kazakhstan stopped flying at the end of March 2004. The most important carrier is now Air Astana[1] which flies to Almaty, Astana, Aktau, Aktobe, Atyrau, Uralsk, Dubai, Moscow, Delhi, Beijing, Istanbul, Bangkok, Hannover, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Seoul.

Lufthansa has also seven days flights to Almaty, from where you can go anywhere via local carrier SKAT, which flies to most cities in Kazakhstan. British Airways (Almaty-Heathrow route taken over by bmi from Sept 2007) and KLM now fly several times a week to Heathrow and Schiphol. There is also non-stop connection twice a week from Prague, operated by Czech airlines. Turkish Airlines is good passenger carrier, with flights to Istanbul (ask a travel agent about the student fares, which can be a great deal). There are twice a week flights from Seoul to Almaty; one is Asiana Airlines, and the other is Astana. Airbaltic also flies to Almaty; if you reserve tickets in advance, you can go there for €130 (from Riga).

By train

Popular routes include Almaty to/from Moscow (77 hours), Novosibirsk (35 hours) and Ürümqi, China.

The trains are a great way to meet people. A lot has been written about the pitfalls of being included in a vodka drinking party on a train, but for the most part fellow travelers are friendly, and keen to find out about you ("why aren't you married?" and, if you are, "why don't you have children?", and if you do, "why don't they have children?"!). Most travellers take food for the journey, as restaurant car provision is sporadic (and they expect you to share yours too!). If you don't have enough to last the distance, the trains generally stop for 15-20 mins at each station and there are always people on the platform selling food and drink, at any time of day or night.

By car

You can enter Kazakhstan by car through many of the border checkpoints on main roads into the country. However, be prepared to wait up to 24 (twenty-four) hours in the queues, with rather poor facilities.

By bus

It is fairly easy to travel from Ürümqi to Almaty via sleeper bus, especially if you aren't in a hurry and don't mind living on a bus for a good 24 to 36 hours. The border crossing itself is a bit of a hike, and you may be made to carry all of your belongings with you for quite a ways in some seriously warm weather. The bus trip and "baggage fees" are around US$45. You can pick up your Kazakhstan visa at the embassy in Urumqi as well, but be prepared to chill for at least a week waiting, and be sure to get a copy of your passport before handing it over.

By boat

Freighters travel regularly between Baku and Aktau, and it is possible to hitch a ride. Note, though, that it is common for ships to get held up, even for weeks, before entering port, so you had better stock up on food and water before boarding. See freighter travel to better understand how this works.


You must register your visa within five days of entering Kazakhstan if your border entry card has only one stamp. After your first registration you must register in each destination if you stay more than 72 hours (see each destination for further details). If you stay in Kazakhstan less than five days then you may not need to register but this needs to be confirmed (28 July 2008).

If you have a one-entry tourist visa for 30 days, no registration is needed. In Almaty airport, custom officials say that you don't need to register as long as you don't plan on staying more than 90 days (only for tourists), as of July 2008.

Get around

You can travel within country using taxis, buses, trains and planes, it depends on your budget and demands. Renting a car is rather costly compared to other means of transport.

In Semipalatinsk (Semey) a minivan costs 35 tenge, and a large bus costs 35-40 tenge (in Astana it ranges about 60-65 tenge), common taxi fare is minimally 300 tenge (at the time, March of 2009, USD 1 was approximately 150 tenge).

By public buses

Public transportation in big cities is rather popular. You can use buses, trolleys, trams and minibuses. One big minus of all of them is that they never come on schedule and very crowded on peak time. Moreover, there is absolutely no plan with bus stops and schedule whatsoever. If you don't speak Russian, taking the bus will be quite tricky but not impossible.

By taxi

Use taxis as they are very cheap (€2 to €6 within city). You don't have to use official taxis in most cities, basically you can stop almost any car on the street by raising your hand. It works good in Almaty & Astana, but in Karaganda the best way is one of taxis by phone. It some cheaper and even faster than hitch-hike waiting.

A note of warning, getting to the Almaty airport can be expensive, a taxi to the Airport can cost USD 50. Taxis to the airport vary greatly in price. Any foreigner will be quoted a fantastic rate but usually cabs will come down once they see they aren't going to be able to get that much. USD50 is outlandish. Do not accept the first price as it will result in your being overcharged. It should be less than USD10, although it can never be guaranteed that a foreigner will get that price. A better option are the minibuses and buses that go to the airport. The word "airport" is very similar in Russian and English.

A common way to get around is by unofficial taxis. Any time of day, just wave your hand and someone will stop. Locals do this all the time. Negotiate the price and destination before you agree to go. About $2-$4 is fair for a ride within the center of Almaty. If your russian is poor or nonexistent, you will be charged a lot more than locals; to avoid this, try to use public buses as much as you can and don't hesitate to tell the driver how much you are ready to pay (do this before he tells you how much he wants!). To be safe though, do not get in a car if more than one person is driving. Also, do not take these kind of taxis for long distances or anywhere that goes through remote areas, as there are frequent robberies, especially of foreigners.

By train

Train is the most popular way of covering the huge distances between Kazakhstan's main cities. Main train stations are located in Astana, Karaganda and Almaty, but they can be found almost in every big city.

You will have to buy a ticket in advance (sometimes even one day before departure) and a seat/bed number will be given to you. Ticket offices can be found in other locations than the really busy (and extremely slow, I mean it!) ticket offices found in the train stations. Also don't forget that you will need your passport to buy a train ticket.

Most long distances trains leave in the evening and provide beds with clean sheets for the journey ahead.

By long distance buses

They are a popular alternatives to trains and are faster but less comfortable than them. As for trains, you will need to buy your ticket in advance and will be given a seat number. Be careful when the bus makes a bathroom stop, the driver don't check if all passengers are on board before resuming driving!

Fares are relatively low, for instance a single from Almaty to Karaganda (14 hours) will cost you 2500T, much cheaper than an flight ticket.

By plane

Air Astana provides offices in a few major hotels in big cities; it's the fastest way of travelling within the city for those who can afford it. Planes are brand new and match european standards in quality.


A fun and cheap way to get around is by taking a "marshrutka". These are the dilapidated vans that cruise around town. They usually have a sign (in Russian) listing the destination, and the driver will usually call out where they are going. But you will not find them in Almaty.


To many foreigners, the Kazakh language has been seen as very difficult to understand and to pronounce; however, it has been contrasted as easier than some other regional languages like Kyrgyz. Actually, travellers proficient in Turkish might be able to get by because Kazakh is of the same Turkic language family.

If you speak and/or understand the Russian language, then you should be fine. Still, Russian is considered to be tougher to learn (grammatically speaking). At the very least, become familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet and learn a few phrases.

Note that despite the president's campaign to stamp out the Russian language, Almaty and much of the North are still predominantly Russian speaking.

Many people under age 20 will know some English as well as many customs officials and airport people know English.

It is difficult to get around the country without some Russian or Kazakh language skills; though, within the more modernized cities, it is easier. Have your place of residence written on a card and get a cab if you get lost (you might be somewhat overcharged by the cab, but it is better than being lost).


The national currency is Tenge (KZT, Cyrillic: тенге). As of December, 2009, the exchange rates are:

  • US$ 1 = KZT 148.5
  • € 1 = KZT 213.5

Even for people who are not big shoppers, the beautifully crafted felt items will appeal. They are also easy to carry, and inexpensive to post.


Meat, potatoes, rice and pasta. And lots of it. If you're vegetarian be wary, because if it doesn't have meat in it, it was almost certainly cooked on meat stock.

Some recommend dishes:

  • Laghman - a thick noodle dish, usually served as a soup
  • Manty - large steamed dumplings full of meat and onions
  • Plov - wonderful dish of fried rice, meat, carrots, and sometimes other bits such as raisins or tomatoes
  • Besh parmak - wide, flat noodles, with boiled mutton on top - the traditional meal of Kazakhs
  • Shashlyk - skewered, roasted chunks of meat, served with some sort of flatbread (usually lavash) and onions

If you're a vegetarian, you're probably thinking there's nothing for you in Kazakstan. And you're right - so long as you eat out. But if you're cooking your own food, you'll be more than satisfied. Kazakstan has some excellent produce available at little markets everywhere. For a treat in Almaty, try Govinda's, a delicious vegetarian Hare Krishna restaurant. Malls have food courts with some vegetarian options too. Even some small Kazakh eateries will prepare vegetarian meals for you if you make it very clear to them (e.g. "byez myasa" (without meat), "ya vegeterianetz" (I [male] am a vegetarian), "ya vegetarianka" (I [female] am a vegetarian) in Russian). At some places (e.g. smak) you can even find vegetarian manty made with pumpkin.

The legacy of Korean resettlement in Kazakhstan means that Korean dishes, particularly salads, are very common. At the country's many bazaars (independent food and goods markets), look for the Korean ladies selling these. They will wrap you up any number of delicious, often spicy and garlicky salads to take away in plastic bags. If you are vegetarian, this may be the only decent thing you get to eat while you're in the country.

On the other hand, in Kazakhstan you can find any dishes you want, but Chinese and Japanese dishes are very expensive. The most delicious is caviar, which is very cheap, you can buy 1 kilo of caviar for less than USD300 in Almaty Zyeloniy Bazaar, but you can't export or take it with you home, you will be stopped at airport and pay high fines.

Eating out is relatively cheap; you basically order the meat dish and then add rice, potatoes, etc. Each element is priced individually, so you can order for instance only meat or only rice. Prices are relatively cheap, count 300T for chicken and up to 600T for beef. Of course, the fancier the restaurant, the higher the price. If you don't speak Russian, things are relatively hard as the majority of restaurants don't have English menus (with the exception of some hyped places in Alamty).


You can find any sort of drink you want, some of the traditional beverages include:

  • Kumiss - fermented mare's milk.
  • Kumyran (Shubat)- fermented camel's milk
  • Kvas - described as similar to root beer it can be bought in a bottle in a store, or by the cup from people with giant yellowish tanks of it on the street

Cheap alcoholic drinks can be found at every little corner shop (called the astanovka). These places are open 24/7, just knock on their door if the shopkeeper is asleep. Kazakhstan's specialty is cognac, though stores still sell vodka cheaper than bottled water at times. However, some of these astanovka sometimes sell alcohol of dubious origin; for the sake of your stomach you may want to buy your beverage in a supermarket, although the price will definitely be higher.

The juices, in cartons, are delicious, especially peach juice.


There are numerous hotels, from very cheap ones (10 euro per night) to the luxurious ones. You wouldn't find the cheapest ones on the web; the only way to book them is to call directly, but in that case you'll have to speak Russian at the least.

There are almost no camping sites except in Burabay/Borovoe in Kazakhstan. You can, however, camp almost anywhere due to the huge uninhabited spots. The scenery is beautiful but because of the very hot weather: don't forget to take plenty of water with you as you can very easily spend many of days without seeing anybody. If you camp near a nomadic tribe, ask for the permission to stay near; it will not be refused.


Work is not impossible to find. English teaching schools are sprouting up all over. The English department at KIMEP might be a good place to start, depending on credentials and experience.

Stay safe

The general rules of safety in Kazakhstan are the same as in any other civilized country of the world. Besides the normal risk of pick-pockets, etc. The main risk is meeting a group of corrupt police; try to avoid being taken to the police station. However, in general, Kazakhstan is a very friendly country where foreigners are respected as the hospitality is one of the Kazakh main traditions. It is good to have a passport and migration card or copy of them in pocket, cause the policeman may to want to check it in any time, especially at night.

Fire brigade: dial 101 (land line and any mobile phones) Police: dial 102 (land line and any mobile phones) Ambulance: dial 103 (land line and any mobile phones)

Rescue service: dial 112 (any land or mobile phone) you may call 112, describe problem and call willbe redirected to according service but you have to know Russian or Kazakh in most cases for conversation with dispatcher. all calls are recorded.


Avicenna: the best private hospital in Kazakhstan is in the city of Kokshetau. It has the best service and real professionals. If you get sick and you are near Kokshetau, visit Avicenna.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

"WEST TURKESTAN (see 27.419). - After the revolution in Russia, Western (or Russian) Turkestan became a member of the Federation of Soviet Republics. It was divided into five provinces: Semiryechia, Syr Dania, Ferghana, Samarkand and Trans-Caspia. The exact position of the native states of Bukhara and Khiva, which were later occupied by the Soviet Government, remained obscure. Each of the five provinces, by the constitution of the Republic, is governed by a provincial Executive Committee or council which sends representatives to Tashkent, the capital, where the Central Executive Committee of the Republic meets. This Committee consists of 75 members, sending representatives to Moscow to the meetings of the Central Committee of the All-Russian Federation of Soviet Republics, but the Turkestan Republic showed itself very little inclined to accept the control which the Central Committee at Moscow endeavoured to maintain. The Turkestan Committee elects a small council, forming a kind of cabinet and having control of the different branches of the administration. The right of voting being confined to members of the Communist party, the Government represented by no means one really elected by universal suffrage but rather a dictatorship of the lower classes. The Russians in Turkestan form only about 5% of the total pop., and since most of the rural Mussulman pop. take no part in the voting, the country is governed to all intents and purposes by men elected by the very small proportion of Russians of the lower classes living in the towns. Figures for the pop. of some of the large towns in 1916 were: - Khokand, 112,000; Namangan, 103,000; Samarkand, 89,000; Tashkent, 201,000. All trade and industry were in 1921 at an absolute standstill owing to Bolshevism.

Great success had attended the cultivation of cotton, and the high prices obtained for the Turkestan article (most of which is grown in Ferghana, where 742,000 acres were cultivated in 1915), coupled with the increase of railways, led to the abandonment of corn in favour of the cultivation of cotton, and, although W. Turkestan is a good wheat-producing country, cereals were actually imported from Russia and Siberia and cotton exported in exchange. Factories for cleaning and baling raw cotton and for extracting cotton oil were set up, and employed a large number of people, mostly in Ferghana. These factories were worked by crude oil from the Baku wells. The total area under cotton in 1916, including that grown in Khiva and Bukhara, was 1,838,215 acres, yielding about 18,000,000 poods or 290,000 tons of raw cotton.

The cultivation of vines had also increased, and wine industries had been initiated, chiefly in Tashkent and Samarkand. A larger product of the vine was in the form of raisins and currants, of which quantities were exported to Russia.

Large quantities of fruits - apples, pears, quinces, peaches, nectarines, apricots, grapes and melons - were exported by special trains to central Europe, where the Turkestan crop was received a short time before the south European supplies ripened.

Minerals remained for the most part unworked, though the profitable coal fields and oil wells in Ferghana were used when disturbances in Trans-Caspia cut Turkestan off from the Baku oil, on which it relies entirely for its industrial life. Mining is hampered by the lack of roads and by the want of machinery.

A very large industry in Bukhara is the export of Astrakhan lamb skins (called locally Karakul). Enormous flocks of these sheep are kept in the deserts around Bukhara. Attempts to breed these sheep in other countries have always resulted in a deterioration in the quality of the skins owing to some peculiarity of climate. Before the World War about i 2 million skins were obtained annually at a cost of 6 to 8 roubles each.

There are practically no branch roads in Turkestan, and the only means of transport in bulk is either by wagon on the few main roads, or by railway. The largest new railway project is the Semiryechenskaya railway. This line was intended to leave the OrenburgTashkent line at Arys (146 versts N. of Tashkent) and go to Vierni, a distance of about goo versts. Actual construction was completed to Burnoi (220 versts) when Bolshevism came to crush all enterprise and initiative. Some work was done E. of Burnoi, but the line was 2 (h+D)2 not laid and no trains ran in 1921 beyond Burnoi. It was intended later to continue this line from Vierni to Semipalatinsk (about goo versts) and join up with the Trans-Siberian line. Important railway lines were constructed from Kagan (the station on the main line io m. S. of Bukhara City) to Karshi and Kerki, whence the line runs up the right bank of the Oxus to Termez on the Afghan border.

A branch runs from Karshi to Kitab, and the intention was to join Kitab to Samarkand. All these lines were destroyed by the Bukharians in 1918 but could presumably be easily repaired. The total length of these railways in Bukhara was about 400 m. and there are, in addition, lines from Andijan to Jalalabad coal-fields, about 45 m., from Khokand to Namangan, about 57 m., and from Fechenko (N. E. of Skobelev) to Sharikhan, about 11 miles. (F. M. B.)

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