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(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

Coordinates : 41°N 69°E / 41°N 69°E / 41; 69

Republic
Republic
of Uzbekistan Oʻzbekiston Respublikasi (Uzbek ) Республика Узбекистан (Russian )

Flag State emblem

ANTHEM: Oʻzbekiston Respublikasining Davlat Madhiyasi State Anthem of the Republic
Republic
of Uzbekistan

Location of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
(green)

Capital and largest city Tashkent
Tashkent
41°16′N 69°13′E / 41.267°N 69.217°E / 41.267; 69.217

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES Uzbek

INTER-ETHNIC LANGUAGE Russian

SPOKEN LANGUAGES

* Bukhori

* Central Asian Arabic * Dungan * Karakalpak * Kazakh * Parya * Russian * Tajik * Tatar
Tatar
* Turkish * Uzbek

ETHNIC GROUPS (1996)

* 81.1% Uzbek * 5.4% Russian

* 4.0% Tajik other, non-official, scholarly estimates are 30% * 3.0% Kazakh * 2.5% Karakalpak * 1.5% Tatar
Tatar
* 2.5% others

DEMONYM Uzbek

GOVERNMENT Unitary presidential constitutional republic

• PRESIDENT Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Shavkat Mirziyoyev

• PRIME MINISTER Abdulla Aripov

LEGISLATURE Supreme Assembly

• UPPER HOUSE Senate

• LOWER HOUSE Legislative Chamber

FORMATION

• EMIRATE OF BUKHARA 1785

• BUKHARAN PEOPLE\\'S SOVIET REPUBLIC 2 September 1920

• UZBEK SSR PROCLAIMED 27 October 1924

• DECLARED INDEPENDENCE FROM THE SOVIET UNION 31 August 1991 (Independence Day on 1 September)

• ADMITTED TO THE UNITED NATIONS 2 March 1992

• CIS ACCESSION 21 December 1991

• RECOGNIZED 26 December 1991

• INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM 29 December 1991

• ADMITTED TO THE UNITED NATIONS 2 March 1992

• CURRENT CONSTITUTION 8 December 1992

AREA

• TOTAL 448,978 km2 (173,351 sq mi) (56th )

• WATER (%) 4.9

POPULATION

• 2017 ESTIMATE 32,979,000 (42nd )

• DENSITY 70.5/km2 (182.6/sq mi) (132nd )

GDP (PPP ) 2017 estimate

• TOTAL $222.792 billion (62 )

• PER CAPITA $7,023 (125th )

GDP (NOMINAL) 2017 estimate

• TOTAL $68.324 billion (69th )

• PER CAPITA $2,154 (130th )

GINI (2003) 36.8 medium · 95th

HDI (2015) 0.701 high · 105th

CURRENCY Uzbekistani soʻm
Uzbekistani soʻm
(UZS )

TIME ZONE UZT (UTC +5)

• SUMMER (DST ) not observed (UTC +5)

DRIVES ON THE right

CALLING CODE +998

ISO 3166 CODE UZ

INTERNET TLD .uz

* Official Uzbek statistics. * As the Emirate of Bukhara , Kokand
Kokand
Khanate , and Khwarezm
Khwarezm
.

UZBEKISTAN (US : /ʊzˈbɛkɪˌstæn, -ˌstɑːn/ ( listen ), UK : /ʊzˌbɛkɪˈstɑːn, ʌz-, -ˈstæn/ ), officially the REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN (Uzbek : Oʻzbekiston Respublikasi, Ўзбекистон Республикаси, وزبېکىستان رېسپۇبلیکەسی; Russian : Республика Узбекистан), is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world. Located in Central Asia
Central Asia
, it is a secular , unitary constitutional republic , comprising 12 provinces, one autonomous republic, and a capital city. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is bordered by five landlocked countries: Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
to the north; Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
to the northeast; Tajikistan to the southeast; Afghanistan
Afghanistan
to the south; and Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
to the southwest.

What is now Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
was in ancient times part of the predominantly Persian-speaking region of Transoxiana
Transoxiana
, with cities such as Samarkand growing rich from the Silk Road . The area was later conquered by a succession of invaders including the Arab Caliphate and Turkic states such as the Göktürk Khaganate , after which it was laid waste by the Mongols
Mongols
. The city of Shahrisabz
Shahrisabz
was the birthplace of Timur
Timur
. The region was conquered in the early 16th century by Eastern Turkic -speaking nomads, and was gradually incorporated into the Russian Empire during the 19th century. In 1924, the constituent republic of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
Republic
(Uzbek SSR) was created. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
, it declared independence as the Republic
Republic
of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
on 31 August 1991 (officially celebrated the following day).

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has a diverse cultural heritage due to its storied history and strategic location. Its official language is Uzbek , a Turkic language written in the Latin alphabet and spoken natively by approximately 85% of the population. Russian has widespread use; it is the most widely taught second language. Uzbeks
Uzbeks
constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians (5.4%), Tajiks (4.0%), Kazakhs (3.0%), and others (6.5%). A majority of Uzbeks
Uzbeks
are non-denominational Muslims
Muslims
. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is a member of the CIS , OSCE , UN , and the SCO . While officially a democratic republic, by 2008 non-governmental human rights organizations defined Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
as "an authoritarian state with limited civil rights". Following the death of Islam Karimov in 2016, the next president — Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Shavkat Mirziyoyev
— abolished cotton slavery, exit visas , as well as amnestied many political prisoners during his first year of presidency.

Uzbekistan's economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton , gold , uranium , and natural gas . Despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy , its government continues to maintain economic controls which deter foreign investment and imports in favour of domestic "import substitution".

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography * 2 Environment * 3 History * 4 Politics * 5 Human rights * 6 Recent developments * 7 Administrative divisions * 8 Economy

* 9 Demographics

* 9.1 Largest cities

* 9.2 Religion

* 9.2.1 Jewish community

* 9.3 Languages

* 10 Communications * 11 Transportation * 12 Military * 13 Foreign relations

* 14 Culture

* 14.1 Music * 14.2 Education * 14.3 Holidays * 14.4 Cuisine * 14.5 Sport

* 15 See also

* 16 References

* 16.1 Online sources

* 17 External links

GEOGRAPHY

Main article: Geography of Uzbekistan
Geography of Uzbekistan
See also: List of cities in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Map of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has an area of 447,400 square kilometres (172,700 sq mi). It is the 56th largest country in the world by area and the 42nd by population. Among the CIS countries, it is the 4th largest by area and the 2nd largest by population.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
lies between latitudes 37° and 46° N , and longitudes 56° and 74° E . It stretches 1,425 kilometres (885 mi) from west to east and 930 kilometres (580 mi) from north to south. Bordering Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
and the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
to the north and northwest, Turkmenistan to the southwest, Tajikistan to the southeast, and Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
to the northeast, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is one of the largest Central Asian states and the only Central Asian state to border all the other four. Uzbekistan also shares a short border (less than 150 km or 93 mi) with Afghanistan
Afghanistan
to the south.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is a dry, landlocked country. It is one of two doubly landlocked countries in the world (that is, a country completely surrounded by landlocked countries), the other being Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
. In addition, due to its location within a series of endorheic basins, none of its rivers lead to the sea. Less than 10% of its territory is intensively cultivated irrigated land in river valleys and oases. The rest is vast desert ( Kyzyl Kum
Kyzyl Kum
) and mountains. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
map of Köppen climate classification

The highest point in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is the Khazret Sultan , at 4,643 metres (15,233 ft) above sea level, in the southern part of the Gissar Range in Surkhandarya Province , on the border with Tajikistan, just northwest of Dushanbe
Dushanbe
(formerly called Peak of the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party).

The climate in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is continental, with little precipitation expected annually (100–200 millimetres, or 3.9–7.9 inches). The average summer high temperature tends to be 40 °C (104 °F), while the average winter low temperature is around −23 °C (−9 °F).

ENVIRONMENT

Comparison of the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
between 1989 and 2014

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has a rich and diverse natural environment. However, decades of questionable Soviet policies in pursuit of greater cotton production have resulted in a catastrophic scenario with the agricultural industry being the main contributor to the pollution and devastation of both air and water in the country.

The Aral Sea
Aral Sea
used to be the fourth-largest inland sea on Earth, acting as an influencing factor in the air moisture and arid land use. Since the 1960s, the decade when the overuse of the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
water began, it has shrunk to less than 50% of its former area and decreased in volume threefold. Reliable, or even approximate data, have not been collected, stored or provided by any organization or official agency. Much of the water was and continues to be used for the irrigation of cotton fields, a crop requiring a large amount of water to grow.

Due to the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
problem, high salinity and contamination of the soil with heavy elements are especially widespread in Karakalpakstan
Karakalpakstan
, the region of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
adjacent to the Aral Sea. The bulk of the nation's water resources is used for farming, which accounts for nearly 84% of the water usage and contributes to high soil salinity . Heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers for cotton growing further aggravates soil pollution .

According to the UNDP ( United Nations
United Nations
Development Program), climate risk management in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
needs to consider its ecological safety.

HISTORY

This section NEEDS ADDITIONAL CITATIONS FOR VERIFICATION . Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources . Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message )

Main article: History of Uzbekistan
History of Uzbekistan
Female statuette wearing the kaunakes . Chlorite and limestone, Bactria
Bactria
, beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus
Battle of Issus

The first people known to have inhabited Central Asia
Central Asia
were Iranian nomads who came from the northern grasslands of what is now Uzbekistan, sometime in the first millennium BC; when these nomads settled in the region they built an extensive irrigation system along the rivers. At this time, cities such as Bukhoro ( Bukhara
Bukhara
) and Samarqand
Samarqand
( Samarkand
Samarkand
) emerged as centres of government and high culture. By the fifth century BC, the Bactrian , Soghdian , and Tokharian states dominated the region.

As China
China
began to develop its silk trade with the West, Iranian cities took advantage of this commerce by becoming centres of trade. Using an extensive network of cities and rural settlements in the province of Mouwaurannahr (a name given the region after the Arab conquest) in Uzbekistan, and further east in what is today China's Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Uygur Autonomous Region, the Soghdian intermediaries became the wealthiest of these Iranian merchants. As a result of this trade on what became known as the Silk Route
Silk Route
, Bukhara
Bukhara
and Samarkand eventually became extremely wealthy cities, and at times Transoxiana (Mawarannahr) was one of the most influential and powerful Persian provinces of antiquity. Triumphant crowd at Registan
Registan
, Sher-Dor Madrasah. Picture by Vasily Vereshchagin
Vasily Vereshchagin
(1872) Russian troops taking Samarkand
Samarkand
in 1868

In 327 BC Greek ruler Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire provinces of Sogdiana
Sogdiana
and Bactria, which contained the territories of modern Uzbekistan. A conquest was supposedly of little help to Alexander as popular resistance was fierce, causing Alexander's army to be bogged down in the region that became the northern part of the Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
. The kingdom was replaced with the Yuezhi
Yuezhi
dominated Kushan Empire in the 1st century BC. For many centuries the region of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
was ruled by the Persian empires, including the Parthian and Sassanid
Sassanid
Empires, as well as by other empires, for example those formed by the Turko-Persian Hephthalite
Hephthalite
and Turkic Gokturk
Gokturk
peoples.

In the 8th century, Transoxiana, the territory between the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers, was conquered by the Arabs (Ali ibn Sattor) who enriched the region with the Early Renaissance. Many notable scientists lived there and contributed to its development during the Islamic Golden Age. Among the achievements of the scholars during this period were the development of trigonometry into its modern form (simplifying its practical application to calculate the phases of the moon), advances in optics , in astronomy , as well as in poetry, philosophy, art, calligraphy and many others, which set the foundation for the Muslim Renaissance.

In the 9th and 10th centuries, Transoxiana
Transoxiana
was included into the Samanid
Samanid
State. Later, Transoxiana
Transoxiana
saw the incursion of the Turkic-ruled Karakhanids , as well as the Seljuks (Sultan Sanjar) and Kara-Khitans
Kara-Khitans
.

The Mongol conquest under Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
during the 13th century would bring about a change to the region. The Mongol invasion of Central Asia led to the displacement of some of the Iranian-speaking people of the region, their culture and heritage being superseded by that of the Mongolian - Turkic peoples who came thereafter. The invasions of Bukhara, Samarkand, Urgench
Urgench
and others resulted in mass murders and unprecedented destruction, such as portions of Khwarezmia being completely razed.

Following the death of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
in 1227, his empire was divided among his four sons and his family members. Despite the potential for serious fragmentation, the Mongol law of the Mongol Empire maintained orderly succession for several more generations, and control of most of Transoxiana
Transoxiana
stayed in the hands of the direct descendants of Chagatai Khan , the second son of Genghis Khan. Orderly succession, prosperity, and internal peace prevailed in the Chaghatai lands, and the Mongol Empire as a whole remained a strong and united kingdom (Ulus Batiy, Sattarkhan). Two Sart
Sart
men and two Sart
Sart
boys in Samarkand
Samarkand
, c. 1910

During this period, most of present Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
was part of Chagatai Khanate except Khwarezm
Khwarezm
was part of Golden Horde
Golden Horde
. After decline of Golden Horde, Khwarezm
Khwarezm
was briefly ruled by Sufi Dynasty till Timur's conquest of it in 1388. Sufids rules Khwarezm
Khwarezm
as vassals of alternatively Timurids , Golden Horde
Golden Horde
and Uzbek Khanate till Persian occupation in 1510.

In the early 14th century, however, as the empire began to break up into its constituent parts. The Chaghatai territory was disrupted as the princes of various tribal groups competed for influence. One tribal chieftain, Timur
Timur
(Tamerlane), emerged from these struggles in the 1380s as the dominant force in Transoxiana. Although he was not a descendant of Genghis Khan, Timur
Timur
became the de facto ruler of Transoxiana
Transoxiana
and proceeded to conquer all of western Central Asia, Iran , the Caucasus
Caucasus
, Mesopotamia , Asia Minor
Asia Minor
, and the southern steppe region north of the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
. He also invaded Russia
Russia
before dying during an invasion of China
China
in 1405.

Timur
Timur
was known for his extreme brutality and his conquests were accompanied by genocidal massacres in the cities he occupied.

Timur
Timur
initiated the last flowering of Transoxiana
Transoxiana
by gathering together numerous artisans and scholars from the vast lands he had conquered into his capital, Samarqand. By supporting such people, he imbued his empire with a rich Perso-Islamic culture. During his reign and the reigns of his immediate descendants, a wide range of religious and palatial construction masterpieces were undertaken in Samarqand and other population centres. Amir Timur
Timur
initiated an exchange of medical discoveries and patronized physicians, scientists and artists from the neighbouring countries such as India; His grandson Ulugh Beg was one of the world's first great astronomers. It was during the Timurid dynasty that Turkic, in the form of the Chaghatai dialect, became a literary language in its own right in Transoxiana, although the Timurids were Persianate in nature. The greatest Chaghataid writer, Ali-Shir Nava\'i , was active in the city of Herat (now in northwestern Afghanistan) in the second half of the 15th century. Statue of Tamerlane , Turkic conqueror, with on the background the ruins of his summer palace in Shahrisabz
Shahrisabz

The Timurid state quickly split in half after the death of Timur. The chronic internal fighting of the Timurids attracted the attention of the Uzbek nomadic tribes living to the north of the Aral Sea. In 1501 the Uzbek forces began a wholesale invasion of Transoxiana. The slave trade in the Khanate of Bukhara
Bukhara
became prominent and was firmly established. Before the arrival of the Russians, present Uzbekistan was divided between Emirate of Bukhara and khanates of Khiva and Kokand
Kokand
.

In the 19th century, the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
began to expand and spread into Central Asia
Central Asia
. There were 210,306 Russians living in Uzbekistan in 1912. The " Great Game
Great Game
" period is generally regarded as running from approximately 1813 to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 . A second, less intensive phase followed the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. At the start of the 19th century, there were some 3,200 kilometres (2,000 mi) separating British India and the outlying regions of Tsarist Russia
Russia
. Much of the land between was unmapped.

By the beginning of 1920, Central Asia
Central Asia
was firmly in the hands of Russia
Russia
and, despite some early resistance to the Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
and the rest of the Central Asia
Central Asia
became a part of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
. On 27 October 1924 the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was created. From 1941 to 1945, during World War II
World War II
, 1,433,230 people from Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
fought in the Red Army against Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
. A number also fought on the German side . As many as 263,005 Uzbek soldiers died in the battlefields of the Eastern Front , and 32,670 went missing in action.

On 20 June 1990, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
declared its state sovereignty. On 31 August 1991, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
declared independence after the failed coup attempt in Moscow. 1 September was proclaimed the National Independence Day. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
was dissolved on 26 December of that year.

Islam
Islam
Karimov, ruler of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
since independence, died on 2 September 2016.

POLITICS

Main article: Politics of Uzbekistan
Politics of Uzbekistan
The Legislative Chamber of the Supreme Assembly (Lower House). Islam Karimov
Islam Karimov
, the first President of Uzbekistan, during a visit to the Pentagon in 2002 Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Shavkat Mirziyoyev
, the second President of Uzbekistan, who succeeded Islam Karimov
Islam Karimov
after his death in 2016

After Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
declared independence from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in 1991, an election was held, and Islam Karimov
Islam Karimov
was elected as the first President of Uzbekistan.

The elections of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament or Supreme Assembly ) were held under a resolution adopted by the 16th Supreme Soviet in 1994. In that year, the Supreme Soviet was replaced by the Oliy Majlis.

The third elections for the bicameral 150-member Oliy Majlis, the Legislative Chamber, and the 100-member Senate for five-year terms, were held on 27 December 2009. The second elections were held in December 2004/January 2005. The Oliy Majlis was unicameral up to 2004. Its size increased from 69 deputies (members) in 1994 to 120 in 2004–05, and currently stands at 150.

The referendum passed, and Islam
Islam
Karimov's term was extended by an act of parliament to December 2007. Most international observers refused to participate in the process and did not recognize the results, dismissing them as not meeting basic standards. The 2002 referendum also included a plan for a bicameral parliament consisting of a lower house (the Oliy Majlis) and an upper house (Senate). Members of the lower house are to be "full-time" legislators. Elections for the new bicameral parliament took place on 26 December.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Main article: Human rights in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
See also: 2005 Andijan Unrest

The Constitution of the Republic
Republic
of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
asserts that "democracy in the Republic
Republic
of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
shall be based upon common human principles, according to which the highest value shall be the human being, his life, freedom, honour, dignity and other inalienable rights."

The official position is summarised in a memorandum "The measures taken by the government of the Republic
Republic
of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
in the field of providing and encouraging human rights" and amounts to the following: the government does everything that is in its power to protect and to guarantee the human rights of Uzbekistan's citizens. Uzbekistan continuously improves its laws and institutions in order to create a more humane society. Over 300 laws regulating the rights and basic freedoms of the people have been passed by the parliament. For instance, an office of Ombudsman
Ombudsman
was established in 1996. On 2 August 2005, President Islam Karimov
Islam Karimov
signed a decree that abolished capital punishment in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
on 1 January 2008. Old Uzbek man from central Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan

However, non-governmental human rights watchdogs, such as IHF , Human Rights Watch , Amnesty
Amnesty
International , as well as United States Department of State and Council of the European Union
Council of the European Union
, define Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
as "an authoritarian state with limited civil rights" and express profound concern about "wide-scale violation of virtually all basic human rights". According to the reports, the most widespread violations are torture , arbitrary arrests , and various restrictions of freedoms: of religion, of speech and press, of free association and assembly. It has also been reported that forced sterilization of rural Uzbek women has been sanctioned by the government. The reports maintain that the violations are most often committed against members of religious organizations, independent journalists, human rights activists and political activists, including members of the banned opposition parties. Recent reports on violations on human rights in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
indicate that violations are still going on without any improvement.

The 2005 civil unrest in Uzbekistan , which resulted in several hundred people being killed, is viewed by many as a landmark event in the history of human rights abuse in Uzbekistan. A concern has been expressed and a request for an independent investigation of the events has been made by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations , the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

The government of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is accused of unlawful termination of human life and of denying its citizens freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. The government vehemently rebuffs the accusations, maintaining that it merely conducted an anti-terrorist operation, exercising only necessary force. In addition, some officials claim that "an information war on Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has been declared" and the human rights violations in Andijan are invented by the enemies of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
as a convenient pretext for intervention in the country's internal affairs.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
also maintains the world's second-highest rate of modern slavery, 3.97% of the country's population working as modern slaves. In real terms, this means that there are currently 1.2 million modern slaves in Uzbekistan. Most work in the cotton industry. The government allegedly forces state employees to pick cotton in the fall months. World Bank loans have been connected to projects that use child labor and forced labor practices in the cotton industry.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Islam Karimov
Islam Karimov
died in 2016 and his successor Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Shavkat Mirziyoyev
is pursuing a less autocratic path, which seeks to reform and liberalise the country, for example by increasing cooperation with human rights NGOs, as well as giving recognition to Islamic religion and culture.

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS

Main articles: Regions of Uzbekistan
Regions of Uzbekistan
and Districts of Uzbekistan
Districts of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is divided into twelve provinces (viloyatlar, singular viloyat , compound noun viloyati e.g., Toshkent viloyati, Samarqand viloyati, etc.), one autonomous republic (respublika, compound noun respublikasi e.g. Qoraqalpogʻiston Muxtor Respublikasi, Karakalpakstan
Karakalpakstan
Autonomous Republic, etc.), and one independent city (shahar, compound noun shahri, e.g., Toshkent shahri). Names are given below in the Uzbek language , although numerous variations of the transliterations of each name exist. Political Map of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan

DIVISION CAPITAL CITY Area (km²) POPULATION (2008) KEY

ANDIJAN REGION Andijon Viloyati Andijan Andijon 4,200 2,477,900 2

BUKHARA REGION Buxoro Viloyati Bukhara
Bukhara
Buxoro 39,400 1,576,800 3

FERGANA REGION Fargʻona Viloyati Fergana
Fergana
Fargʻona 6,800 2,997,400 4

JIZZAKH REGION Jizzax Viloyati Jizzakh
Jizzakh
Jizzax 20,500 1,090,900 5

KARAKALPAKSTAN REPUBLIC Karakalpak : Qaraqalpaqstan Respublikasiʻ Uzbek : Qoraqalpogʻiston Respublikasi Nukus
Nukus
No‘kis Nukus
Nukus
160,000 1,612,300 14

KASHKADARYA REGION Qashqadaryo Viloyati Karshi Qarshi
Qarshi
28,400 2,537,600 8

KHOREZM REGION Xorazm Viloyati Urgench
Urgench
Urganch 6,300  1,517,600 13

NAMANGAN REGION Namangan
Namangan
Viloyati Namangan
Namangan
Namangan
Namangan
7,900 2,196,200 6

NAVOIY REGION Navoiy
Navoiy
Viloyati Navoiy
Navoiy
Navoiy
Navoiy
110,800 834,100 7

SAMARKAND REGION Samarqand
Samarqand
Viloyati Samarkand
Samarkand
Samarqand
Samarqand
16,400  3,032,000 9

SURKHANDARYA REGION Surxondaryo Viloyati Termez Termiz 20,800 2,012,600 11

SYRDARYA REGION Sirdaryo Viloyati Gulistan Guliston 5,100 698,100 10

TASHKENT CITY Toshkent Shahri Tashkent
Tashkent
Toshkent 335 2,352,900 1

TASHKENT REGION Toshkent Viloyati Tashkent
Tashkent
Toshkent 15,300  2,537,500 12

The provinces are further divided into districts (tuman).

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of Uzbekistan
Economy of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has the fourth-largest gold deposits in the world. The country mines 80 tons of gold annually, seventh in the world. Uzbekistan's copper deposits rank tenth in the world and its uranium deposits twelfth. The country's uranium production ranks seventh globally. The Uzbek national gas company, Uzbekneftegas
Uzbekneftegas
, ranks 11th in the world in natural gas production with an annual output of 60 to 70 billion cubic metres (2.1–2.5 trillion cubic feet). The country has significant untapped reserves of oil and gas: there are 194 deposits of hydrocarbons in Uzbekistan, including 98 condensate and natural gas deposits and 96 gas condensate deposits.

The largest corporations involved in Uzbekistan's energy sector are the China National Petroleum Corporation
China National Petroleum Corporation
(CNPC), Petronas
Petronas
, the Korea National Oil Corporation , Gazprom
Gazprom
, Lukoil
Lukoil
, and Uzbekneftegas
Uzbekneftegas
.

Along with many Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
or CIS economies, Uzbekistan's economy declined during the first years of transition and then recovered after 1995, as the cumulative effect of policy reforms began to be felt. It has shown robust growth, rising by 4% per year between 1998 and 2003 and accelerating thereafter to 7%–8% per year. According to IMF estimates, the GDP in 2008 will be almost double its value in 1995 (in constant prices). Since 2003 annual inflation rates averaged less than 10%.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has GNI per capita (US$1,900 in current dollars in 2013, giving a PPP equivalent of US$3,800). Economic production is concentrated in commodities. In 2011, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
was the world's seventh-largest producer and fifth-largest exporter of cotton as well as the seventh-largest world producer of gold. It is also a regionally significant producer of natural gas, coal, copper, oil, silver and uranium.

Agriculture
Agriculture
employs 27% of Uzbekistan's labour force and contributes 17.4% of its GDP (2012 data).. Cultivable land is 4.4 million hectares, or about 10% of Uzbekistan's total area. While official unemployment is very low, underemployment – especially in rural areas – is estimated to be at least 20%. At cotton-harvest time, all students and teachers are still mobilized as unpaid labour to help in the fields. Uzbek cotton is even used to make banknotes in South Korea. The use of child labour in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has led several companies, including Tesco, C&A, Marks & Spencer, Gap, and H"> Thanks in part to the recovery of world market prices of gold and cotton (the country's key export commodities), expanded natural gas and some manufacturing exports, and increasing labour migrant transfers, the current account turned into a large surplus (between 9% and 11% of GDP from 2003 to 2005) and foreign exchange reserves, including gold, more than doubled to around US$3 billion.

Foreign exchange reserves amounted in 2010 to 13 billion US$.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is predicted to be one of the fastest-growing economies in the world (top 26) in future decades, according to a survey by global bank HSBC.

DEMOGRAPHICS

Main article: Demographics of Uzbekistan
Demographics of Uzbekistan
Newlywed couples visit Tamerlane 's statues to receive wedding blessings. Uzbek children

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is Central Asia's most populous country. Its 32,121,000 citizens comprise nearly half the region's total population. The population of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is very young: 34.1% of its people are younger than 14 (2008 estimate). According to official sources, Uzbeks
Uzbeks
comprise a majority (80%) of the total population. Other ethnic groups include Russians 2%, Tajiks 5%, Kazakhs 3%, Karakalpaks
Karakalpaks
2.5% and Tatars
Tatars
1.5% (1996 estimates).

There is some controversy about the percentage of the Tajik population. While official state numbers from Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
put the number at 5%, the number is said to be an understatement and some Western scholars put the number up to 20%–30%. The Uzbeks intermixed with Sarts , a Turko-Persian population of Central Asia. Today, the majority of Uzbeks
Uzbeks
are admixed and represent varying degrees of diversity.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has an ethnic Korean population that was forcibly relocated to the region by Stalin from the Soviet Far East in 1937–1938. There are also small groups of Armenians in Uzbekistan
Armenians in Uzbekistan
, mostly in Tashkent
Tashkent
and Samarkand. The nation is 88% Muslim (mostly Sunni , with a 5% Shi\'a minority), 9% Eastern Orthodox and 3% other faiths. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report 2004 reports that 0.2% of the population are Buddhist
Buddhist
(these being ethnic Koreans). The Bukharan Jews have lived in Central Asia, mostly in Uzbekistan, for thousands of years. There were 94,900 Jews in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
in 1989 (about 0.5% of the population according to the 1989 census ), but now, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
, most Central Asian Jews
Jews
left the region for the United States, Germany, or Israel
Israel
. Fewer than 5,000 Jews
Jews
remained in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
in 2007.

Russians in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
represent 5.5% of the total population. During the Soviet period, Russians and Ukrainians
Ukrainians
constituted more than half the population of Tashkent
Tashkent
. The country counted nearly 1.5 million Russians, 12.5% of the population, in the 1970 census. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, significant emigration of ethnic Russians has taken place, mostly for economic reasons.

In the 1940s, the Crimean Tatars, along with the Volga Germans , Chechens, Pontic Greeks, Kumaks and many other nationalities were deported to Central Asia. Approximately 100,000 Crimean Tatars continue to live in Uzbekistan. The number of Greeks in Tashkent
Tashkent
has decreased from 35,000 in 1974 to about 12,000 in 2004. The majority of Meskhetian Turks left the country after the pogroms in the Fergana valley in June 1989.

At least 10% of Uzbekistan's labour force works abroad (mostly in Russia
Russia
and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
) and other countries.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has a 99.3% literacy rate among adults older than 15 (2003 estimate), which is attributable to the free and universal education system of the Soviet Union.

Life expectancy in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is 66 years among men and 72 years among women.

LARGEST CITIES

* v * t * e

Largest cities or towns in Uzbekistan http://www.geonames.org/UZ/largest-cities-in-uzbekistan.html

RANK NAME PROVINCE POP.

Tashkent
Tashkent

Namangan
Namangan
1 Tashkent
Tashkent
Tashkent
Tashkent
1,978,028

Samarkand
Samarkand

Andijan

2 Namangan
Namangan
Namangan
Namangan
Province
Province
432,456

3 Samarkand
Samarkand
Samarkand
Samarkand
Province
Province
319,366

4 Andijan Andijan Province
Province
318,419

5 Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara
Province
Province
247,644

6 Nukus
Nukus
Karakalpakstan
Karakalpakstan
230,006

7 Qarshi
Qarshi
Qashqadaryo Province
Province
222,898

8 Kokand
Kokand
Fergana
Fergana
Province
Province
187,477

9 Chirchiq
Chirchiq
Tashkent
Tashkent
Province
Province
167,842

10 Fergana
Fergana
Fergana
Fergana
Province
Province
164,322

RELIGION

Main article: Religion in Uzbekistan Shakh-i Zindeh mosque, Samarkand
Samarkand
Mosque of Bukhara
Bukhara

Islam
Islam
is by far the dominant religion in Uzbekistan, as Muslims constitute 79% of the population while 5% of the population follow Russian Orthodox Christianity , and 16% of the population follow other religions and non-religious. A 2009 Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
report stated that Uzbekistan's population is 96.3% Muslim. An estimated 93,000 Jews
Jews
were once present in the country.

Despite its predominance, the practice of Islam
Islam
is far from monolithic. Many versions of the faith have been practised in Uzbekistan. The conflict of Islamic tradition with various agendas of reform or secularization throughout the 20th century has left a wide variety of Islamic practices in Central Asia
Central Asia
. 54% of Muslims
Muslims
are non-denominational Muslims
Muslims
, 18% are Sunnis
Sunnis
and 1% are Shias .

The end of Soviet power in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
did not bring an immediate upsurge of fundamentalism , as many had predicted, but rather a gradual re-acquaintance with the precepts of the faith. However, in the latter half of the 2010s there has been a slight increase in Islamist activity, with organisations such as the Islamic Movement of Uzkebistan committing allegiance to ISIL
ISIL
and contributing fighters for terror attacks overseas, although the terror threat in Uzbekistan itself remains low. (See Terrorism in Uzbekistan ).

Jewish Community

Main articles: Uzbek Jews
Jews
and Bukharan Jews

According to local traditions Jews
Jews
began to settle in the area 2,000 years ago after the exile from the kingdom of Israel
Israel
by the Babylonians. Other traditions focus on Jewish merchants settling in the area of the silk road .

The Jewish community flourished for centuries with occasional hardships during the reign of certain rulers. During the rule of Tamerlane in the 14th century Jews
Jews
contributed greatly to his efforts to rebuild Samarkand
Samarkand
and a great Jewish centre was established there. Bukharan Jews, c. 1899

After the area came under Russian rule in 1868, Jews
Jews
were granted equal rights with the local population. In that period some 50,000 Jews
Jews
lived in Samarkand
Samarkand
and 20,000 in Bukhara
Bukhara
. After the Russian revolution in 1917, and the establishment of the Soviet regime, Jewish religious life was restricted. By 1935 only one synagogue out of 30 was left in Samarkand; nevertheless, underground community life continued during the Soviet era.

During World War II
World War II
tens of thousands of Jews
Jews
from the European parts of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
arrived in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
as refugees or were exiled by Stalin. By 1970 there were 103,000 Jews
Jews
registered in the republic.

At the late 1980s with the rise of nationalistic riots as a result of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, damaging, among others, the Jewish quarter in Andijan , most of the Jews
Jews
of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
emigrated to Israel
Israel
and to the US. A small community of several thousand remains today in the country: some 7,000 live in Tashkent, 3,000 in Bukhara and 700 in Samarkand.

LANGUAGES

Main article: Uzbek language A page in Uzbek language written in Nastaʿlīq
Nastaʿlīq
script printed in Tashkent
Tashkent
1911

The Uzbek language is one of the Turkic languages close to Uyghur language and both of them belong to the Karluk languages
Karluk languages
branch of the Turkic language family. Uzbek language is the only official state language, and since 1992 is officially written in the Latin alphabet . The Tajik language is widespread in the cities of Bukhara
Bukhara
and Samarkand
Samarkand
because of their relatively large population of ethnic Tajiks . It is also found in large pockets in Kasan, Chust and Rishton in Fergana
Fergana
valley, as well as in Ahangaran, Baghistan in the middle Syr Darya
Syr Darya
district, and finally in, Shahrisabz
Shahrisabz
, Kitab and the river valleys of Kafiringan and Chaganian, forming altogether, approximately 10–15% of the population of Uzbekistan.

Karakalpak , is also a Turkic language closer to Kazakh , is spoken in the Republic
Republic
of Karakalpakstan
Karakalpakstan
and has an official status there.

Russian is an important language for interethnic communication, especially in the cities, including much day-to-day technical, scientific, governmental and business use. Russian is the main language of over 14% of the population and is spoken as a second language by many more. The use of Russian in remote rural areas has always been limited, and today most school children have no proficiency in Russian even in urban centres. However, it was reported in 2003 that over half of the population could speak and understand Russian, and a renewed close political relationship between Russia
Russia
and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has meant that official discouragement of Russian has dropped off sharply.

Before the 1920s, the written language of Uzbeks
Uzbeks
was called Turki (known to Western scholars as Chagatay) and used the Nastaʿlīq script. In 1926 the Latin alphabet was introduced and went through several revisions throughout the 1930s. Finally, in 1940, the Cyrillic alphabet was introduced by Soviet authorities and was used until the fall of Soviet Union. In 1993 Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
shifted back to the Latin script, which was modified in 1996 and is being taught in schools since 2005.

There are no language requirements for the citizenship of Uzbekistan.

COMMUNICATIONS

Main article: Communications in Uzbekistan

According to the official source report, as of 10 March 2008, the number of cellular phone users in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
reached 7 million, up from 3.7 million on 1 July 2007. The largest mobile operator in terms of number of subscribers is MTS- Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
(former Uzdunrobita and part of Russian Mobile TeleSystems) and it is followed by Beeline (part of Russia's Beeline) and UCell (ex Coscom) (originally part of the U.S. MCT Corp., now a subsidiary of the Nordic/Baltic telecommunication company TeliaSonera AB).

As of 1 July 2007, the estimated number of internet users was 1.8 million, according to UzACI.

Internet Censorship
Internet Censorship
exists in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
and in October 2012 the government toughened internet censorship by blocking access to proxy servers. Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
has named Uzbekistan's government an "Enemy of the Internet" and government control over the internet has increased dramatically since the start of the Arab Spring .

The press in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
practices self-censorship and foreign journalists have been gradually expelled from the country since the Andijan massacre of 2005 when government troops fired into crowds of protesters killing 187 according to official reports and estimates of several hundred by unofficial and witness accounts.

TRANSPORTATION

Main article: Transport in Uzbekistan Central Station of Tashkent
Tashkent
Afrosiyob high-speed train built by Spanish company Talgo

Tashkent
Tashkent
, the nation's capital and largest city, has a three-line rapid transit system built in 1977, and expanded in 2001 after ten years' independence from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
and Kazakhstan are currently the only two countries in Central Asia
Central Asia
with a subway system. It is promoted as one of the cleanest systems in the former Soviet Union. The stations are exceedingly ornate. For example, the station Metro Kosmonavtov built in 1984 is decorated using a space travel theme to recognise the achievements of mankind in space exploration and to commemorate the role of Vladimir Dzhanibekov
Vladimir Dzhanibekov
, the Soviet cosmonaut of Uzbek origin. A statue of Vladimir Dzhanibekov stands near a station entrance.

There are government-operated trams and buses running across the city. There are also many taxis, registered and unregistered. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has plants that produce modern cars. The car production is supported by the government and the Korean auto company Daewoo
Daewoo
. The Uzbek government acquired a 50% stake in Daewoo
Daewoo
in 2005 for an undisclosed sum. In May 2007 UzDaewooAuto , the car maker, signed a strategic agreement with General Motors- Daewoo
Daewoo
Auto and Technology (GMDAT , see GM Uzbekistan
GM Uzbekistan
also). The government bought a stake in Turkey's Koc in SamKochAvto
SamKochAvto
, a producer of small buses and lorries. Afterward, it signed an agreement with Isuzu
Isuzu
Motors of Japan to produce Isuzu
Isuzu
buses and lorries.

Train links connect many towns in Uzbekistan, as well as neighboring former republics of the Soviet Union. Moreover, after independence two fast-running train systems were established. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has launched the first high-speed railway in Central Asia
Central Asia
in September 2011 between Tashkent
Tashkent
and Samarqand
Samarqand
. The new high-speed electric train Talgo 250 , called Afrosiyob, was manufactured by Patentes Talgo S.L. (Spain) and took its first trip from Tashkent
Tashkent
to Samarkand
Samarkand
on 26 August 2011.

There is a large airplane plant that was built during the Soviet era – Tashkent
Tashkent
Chkalov Aviation Manufacturing Plant or ТАПОиЧ in Russian. The plant originated during World War II, when production facilities were evacuated south and east to avoid capture by advancing Nazi forces. Until the late 1980s, the plant was one of the leading airplane production centers in the USSR. With dissolution of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
its manufacturing equipment became outdated; most of the workers were laid off. Now it produces only a few planes a year, but with interest from Russian companies growing, there are rumours of production-enhancement plans.

MILITARY

Main article: Armed Forces of the Republic
Republic
of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbek troops during a cooperative operation exercise

With close to 65,000 servicemen, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
possesses the largest armed forces in Central Asia. The military structure is largely inherited from the Turkestan Military District
Turkestan Military District
of the Soviet Army , although it is going through a reform to be based mainly on motorized infantry with some light and special forces. The Uzbek Armed Forces' equipment is not modern, and training, while improving, is neither uniform nor adequate for its new mission of territorial security.

The government has accepted the arms control obligations of the former Soviet Union, acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (as a non-nuclear state), and supported an active program by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
(DTRA) in western Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
(Nukus and Vozrozhdeniye Island ). The Government of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
spends about 3.7% of GDP on the military but has received a growing infusion of Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and other security assistance funds since 1998.

Following 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., Uzbekistan approved the U.S. Central Command
U.S. Central Command
's request for access to an air base, the Karshi-Khanabad
Karshi-Khanabad
airfield, in southern Uzbekistan. However, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
demanded that the U.S. withdraw from the airbases after the Andijan massacre and the U.S. reaction to this massacre. The last US troops left Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
in November 2005.

On 23 June 2006, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
became a full participant in the Collective Security Treaty Organization
Collective Security Treaty Organization
(CSTO), but informed the CSTO to suspend its membership in June 2012.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Main articles: Foreign relations of Uzbekistan
Foreign relations of Uzbekistan
and International organization membership of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Embassy of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
joined the Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
in December 1991. However, it is opposed to reintegration and withdrew from the CIS collective security arrangement in 1999. Since that time, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has participated in the CIS peacekeeping force in Tajikistan and in UN-organized groups to help resolve the Tajikistan and Afghanistan
Afghanistan
conflicts, both of which it sees as posing threats to its own stability.

Previously close to Washington (which gave Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
half a billion dollars in aid in 2004, about a quarter of its military budget), the government of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has recently restricted American military use of the airbase at Karshi-Khanabad
Karshi-Khanabad
for air operations in neighboring Afghanistan. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
was an active supporter of U.S. efforts against worldwide terrorism and joined the coalitions that have dealt with both Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Iraq.

The relationship between Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
and the United States began to deteriorate after the so-called "colour revolutions " in Georgia and Ukraine
Ukraine
(and to a lesser extent Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
). When the U.S. joined in a call for an independent international investigation of the bloody events at Andijan , the relationship further declined, and President Islam Karimov
Islam Karimov
changed the political alignment of the country to bring it closer to Russia
Russia
and China.

In late July 2005, the government of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
ordered the United States to vacate an air base in Karshi-Kanabad (near Uzbekistan's border with Afghanistan) within 180 days. Karimov had offered use of the base to the U.S. shortly after 9/11
9/11
. It is also believed by some Uzbeks
Uzbeks
that the protests in Andijan were brought about by the U.K. and U.S. influences in the area of Andijan. This is another reason for the hostility between Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
and the West.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is a member of the United Nations
United Nations
(UN) (since 2 March 1992), the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), Partnership for Peace (PfP), and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It belongs to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) (comprising the five Central Asian countries, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
, Iran
Iran
, Turkey
Turkey
, Afghanistan , and Pakistan
Pakistan
). In 1999, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
joined the GUAM
GUAM
alliance (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
and Moldova
Moldova
), which was formed in 1997 (making it GUUAM), but pulled out of the organization in 2005. Leaders present at the SCO summit in Ufa
Ufa
, Russia
Russia
in 2015

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is also a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and hosts the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
joined the new Central Asian Cooperation Organisation (CACO) in 2002. The CACO consists of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan , Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
and Kyrgyzstan. It is a founding member of, and remains involved in, the Central Asian Union , formed with Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
and Kyrgyzstan, and joined in March 1998 by Tajikistan.

In September 2006, UNESCO
UNESCO
presented Islam Karimov
Islam Karimov
an award for Uzbekistan's preservation of its rich culture and traditions. Despite criticism, this seems to be a sign of improving relationships between Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
and the West.

The month of October 2006 also saw a decrease in the isolation of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
from the West. The EU announced that it was planning to send a delegation to Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
to talk about human rights and liberties, after a long period of hostile relations between the two. Although it is equivocal about whether the official or unofficial version of the Andijan Massacre is true, the EU is evidently willing to ease its economic sanctions against Uzbekistan. Nevertheless, it is generally assumed among Uzbekistan's population that the government will stand firm in maintaining its close ties with the Russian Federation and in its theory that the 2004–2005 protests in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
were promoted by the USA and UK.

In January 2008, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva was appointed to her current role as Uzbekistan’s ambassador to UNESCO
UNESCO
. Karimova-Tillyaeva and her team have been instrumental in promoting inter-cultural dialogue by increasing European society’s awareness of Uzbekistan’s cultural and historical heritage.

CULTURE

Main article: Culture of Uzbekistan See also: Kurash
Kurash
, Islam
Islam
in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
, and Scout Association of Uzbekistan
Scout Association of Uzbekistan
Traditional Uzbek pottery Embroidery from Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Navoi Opera Theater in Tashkent
Tashkent

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has a wide mix of ethnic groups and cultures, with the Uzbek being the majority group. In 1995 about 71% of Uzbekistan's population was Uzbek. The chief minority groups were Russians (8%), Tajiks (5–30%), Kazakhs (4%), Tatars
Tatars
(2.5%) and Karakalpaks (2%). It is said, however, that the number of non- Uzbek people
Uzbek people
living in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is decreasing as Russians and other minority groups slowly leave and Uzbeks
Uzbeks
return from other parts of the former Soviet Union .

When Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
gained independence in 1991, there was concern that Muslim fundamentalism would spread across the region. The expectation was that a country long denied freedom of religious practice would undergo a very rapid increase in the expression of its dominant faith. As of 1994, over half of Uzbekistan's population was said to be Muslim, though in an official survey few of that number had any real knowledge of the religion or knew how to practice it. However, Islamic observance is increasing in the region.

MUSIC

Main article: Music of Uzbekistan

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Silk and Spice Festival in Bukhara
Bukhara

Central Asian classical music is called Shashmaqam , which arose in Bukhara
Bukhara
in the late 16th century when that city was a regional capital. Shashmaqam is closely related to Azerbaijani Mugam
Mugam
and Uyghur muqam . The name, which translates as six maqams refers to the structure of the music, which contains six sections in six different Musical modes , similar to classical Persian traditional music
Persian traditional music
. Interludes of spoken Sufi poetry interrupt the music, typically beginning at a lower register and gradually ascending to a climax before calming back down to the beginning tone.

Endurance of listening and continual audiences that attend events, such as bazms or weddings, is what makes the folk-pop style of music so popular. The classical music in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is very different to pop music. Mostly men listen to solo or duo shows during a morning or evening meeting amongst men. Shash maqam is the main component of the classical genre of music. The large support of the musicians from high class families, which meant the patronage was to be paid to the Shash maqam above all things. Poetry is where some of the music is drawn from. In some instances of the music, the two languages are even mixed in the same song. In the 1950s, folk music became less popular, and the genre was barred from the radio stations. They did not completely dispel the music altogether, although the name changed to feudal music. Although banned, the folk musical groups continued to play their music in their own ways and spread it individually as well. Many say that it was the most liberated musical experience in their lives.

EDUCATION

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has a high literacy rate , with about 99.3% of adults above the age of 15 being able to read and write. However, with only 76% of the under-15 population currently enrolled in education (and only 20% of the 3–6 year olds attending pre-school), this figure may drop in the future. Students attend school Monday through Saturday during the school year, and education officially concludes at the end of the 9th grade. After secondary school, students routinely attend trade or technical colleges. There are two international schools operating in Uzbekistan, both in Tashkent: The British School catering for elementary students only, and Tashkent
Tashkent
International School, a K-12 international curriculum school.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has encountered severe budget shortfalls in its education program. The education law of 1992 began the process of theoretical reform, but the physical base has deteriorated and curriculum revision has been slow. A large contributor to this decline is the low level of wages received by teachers and the lack of spending on infrastructure, buildings and resources on behalf of the government. Corruption within the education system is also rampant, with students from wealthier families routinely bribing teachers and school executives to achieve high grades without attending school, or undertaking official examinations.

Uzbekistan's universities create almost 600,000 graduates annually, though the general standard of university graduates, and the overall level of education within the tertiary system, is low. Westminster University and Inha University Tashkent
Tashkent
maintains a campus in Tashkent offering English language courses across several disciplines.

HOLIDAYS

See also: Public holidays in Uzbekistan

* 1 January: New Year, "Yangi Yil Bayrami" * 14 January: Day of Defenders of the Motherland, "Vatan Himoyachilari kuni" * 8 March: International Women's Day, "Xalqaro Xotin-Qizlar kuni" * 21 March: Nowruz, "Navroʻz Bayrami" * 9 May: Remembrance Day, "Xotira va Qadirlash kuni" * 1 September: Independence Day, "Mustaqillik kuni" * 1 October: Teacher's Day, "Oʻqituvchi va Murabbiylar" * 8 December: Constitution Day, "Konstitutsiya kuni"

Variable date

* End of Ramazon Ramazon Hayit Eid al-Fitr * 70 days later Qurbon Hayit Eid al-Adha

CUISINE

Palov
Palov
Uzbek manti Main article: Uzbek cuisine See also: List of Uzbek dishes
List of Uzbek dishes
and Soviet cuisine
Soviet cuisine

Uzbek cuisine is influenced by local agriculture , as in most nations. There is a great deal of grain farming in Uzbekistan, so breads and noodles are of importance and Uzbek cuisine has been characterized as "noodle-rich". Mutton
Mutton
is a popular variety of meat due to the abundance of sheep in the country and it is part of various Uzbek dishes.

Uzbekistan's signature dish is palov (plov or osh), a main course typically made with rice , pieces of meat , and grated carrots and onions . Oshi nahor, or morning plov, is served in the early morning (between 6 am and 9 am) to large gatherings of guests, typically as part of an ongoing wedding celebration. Other notable national dishes include shurpa (shurva or shorva), a soup made of large pieces of fatty meat (usually mutton ), and fresh vegetables; norin and langman , noodle-based dishes that may be served as a soup or a main course; manti , chuchvara , and somsa , stuffed pockets of dough served as an appetizer or a main course; dimlama , a meat and vegetable stew; and various kebabs , usually served as a main course.

Green tea
Green tea
is the national hot beverage taken throughout the day; teahouses (chaikhanas) are of cultural importance. Black tea
Black tea
is preferred in Tashkent
Tashkent
, but both green and black teas are taken daily, without milk or sugar. Tea always accompanies a meal, but it is also a drink of hospitality that is automatically offered: green or black to every guest. Ayran , a chilled yogurt drink, is popular in summer, but does not replace hot tea.

The use of alcohol is less widespread than in the West, but wine is comparatively popular for a Muslim nation as Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is largely secular. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has 14 wineries, the oldest and most famous being the Khovrenko Winery in Samarkand
Samarkand
(established in 1927). The Samarkand Winery produces a range of dessert wines from local grape varieties: Gulyakandoz, Shirin, Aleatiko, and Kabernet likernoe (literally Cabernet dessert wine in Russian). Uzbek wines have received international awards and are exported to Russia
Russia
and other countries.

SPORT

Main article: Sport in Uzbekistan See also: Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
at the Olympics , Football in Uzbekistan
Football in Uzbekistan
, and Rugby union in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is home to former racing cyclist Djamolidine Abdoujaparov . Abdoujaparov has won the green jersey points contest in the Tour de France three times. Abdoujaparov was a specialist at winning stages in tours or one-day races when the bunch or peloton would finish together. He would often 'sprint' in the final kilometre and had a reputation as being dangerous in these bunch sprints as he would weave from side to side. This reputation earned him the nickname 'The Terror of Tashkent'.

Artur Taymazov won Uzbekistan's first wrestling medal at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games , as well as three gold medals at the 2004 , 2008 Summer Olympic Games and 2012 Summer Olympic Games
2012 Summer Olympic Games
in Men's 120 kg.

Ruslan Chagaev is a former professional boxer representing Uzbekistan in the WBA. He won the WBA champion title in 2007 after defeating Nikolai Valuev. Chagaev defended his title twice before losing it to Vladimir Klitschko in 2009. Another young talented boxer Hasanboy Dusmatov , light flyweight champion at the 2016 Summer Olympics , won the Val Barker Trophy
Val Barker Trophy
for the outstanding male boxer of Rio 2016 on 21 August 2016. On 21 December 2016 Dusmatov was honoured with the AIBA Boxer of the Year award at a 70-year anniversary event of AIBA .

Michael Kolganov , a sprint canoer, was world champion and won an Olympic bronze in the K-1 500-meter. Gymnast Alexander Shatilov won a world bronze as an artistic gymnast in floor exercise, and gymnast Oksana Chusovitina
Oksana Chusovitina
has amassed over 70 medals for the country.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
is the home of the International Kurash
Kurash
Association. Kurash
Kurash
is an internationalized and modernized form of traditional Uzbek wrestling.

Football is the most popular sport in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan's premier football league is the Uzbek League
Uzbek League
, which has consisted of 16 teams since 2015. The current champions (2016) are Lokomotiv Tashkent
Tashkent
. Pakhtakor holds the record for the most Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
champion titles, having won the league 10 times. The current Player of the Year (2015) is Odil Akhmedov
Odil Akhmedov
. Uzbekistan's football clubs regularly participate in the AFC Champions League
AFC Champions League
and the AFC Cup . Nasaf won AFC Cup in 2011 , the first international club cup for Uzbek football.

Before Uzbekistan's independence in 1991, the country used to be part of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
football , rugby union , basketball , ice hockey , and handball national teams. After independence, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
created its own football , rugby union , basketball and futsal national teams.

Tennis
Tennis
is also a very popular sport in Uzbekistan, especially after Uzbekistan's independence in 1991. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
has its own Tennis Federation called the "UTF" ( Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Tennis
Tennis
Federation), created in 2002. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
also hosts an International WTA tennis tournament, the " Tashkent
Tashkent
Open", held in Uzbekistan's capital city. This tournament has been held since 1999, and is played on outdoor hard courts. The most notable active players from Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
are Denis Istomin and Akgul Amanmuradova
Akgul Amanmuradova
.

Chess
Chess
is quite popular in Uzbekistan. Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
was the FIDE World Chess
Chess
Champion in 2004.

Other popular sports in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
include basketball , judo , team handball , baseball , taekwondo , and futsal .

*

Djamolidine Abdoujaparov
Djamolidine Abdoujaparov
is the most famous cyclist in Uzbekistan, winning three Tour de France
Tour de France
point contests. *

Ruslan Chagaev *

Denis Istomin
Denis Istomin
at the 2009 US Open *

Odil Ahmedov
Odil Ahmedov
*

Ravshan Irmatov
Ravshan Irmatov

SEE ALSO

* Book: Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan

* Outline of Uzbekistan
Outline of Uzbekistan
* Index of Uzbekistan-related articles
Index of Uzbekistan-related articles
* Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge * Agriculture in Uzbekistan * Central Asian Union * Cuisine of Uzbekistan
Cuisine of Uzbekistan
* Economy of Uzbekistan
Economy of Uzbekistan
* Human rights in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
* List of Uzbeks
Uzbeks
* Politics of Uzbekistan
Politics of Uzbekistan
* President of Uzbekistan
President of Uzbekistan
* Prime Minister of Uzbekistan
Prime Minister of Uzbekistan
* Public holidays in Uzbekistan * Senate of Uzbekistan
Senate of Uzbekistan
* Supreme Court of Uzbekistan * Tourism in Uzbekistan * Transport in Uzbekistan * Trans-Caspian railway * Uzbekistan and the World Bank * Women in Uzbekistan
Women in Uzbekistan

* Geography portal * Asia portal * Central Asia
Central Asia
portal * Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
portal

REFERENCES

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ONLINE SOURCES

* Environmental Justice Foundation , February 2010, Slave Nation – A report exposing the continued use of state-sponsored forced child labour in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan, * Anora Mahmudova, AlterNet , 27 May 2005, Uzbekistan’s Growing Police State (checked 2005-11-08) * Manfred Nowak , Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe
, 2005-06-23, UN Charges Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
With Post-Andijon Torture, * Gulnoza Saidazimova, Radio Free Europe, 2005-06-22, Uzbekistan: Tashkent
Tashkent
reveals findings on Andijon uprising as victims mourned * BBC News
BBC News
, \'Harassed\' BBC shuts Uzbek office, 2005-10-26 (checked 2005-11-15) * UNDP/CER/CCI\'s Public-Private Partnership in Uzbekistan: Problems, Opportunities and Ways of Introduction * UNDP & Chamber of Commerce and Industry "Export Guide for Uzbekistan" * IMF, 2005-09-24 Republic
Republic
of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
and the IMF

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikimedia Commons has media related to UZBEKISTAN .

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for UZBEKISTAN .

* NATIONAL INFORMATION AGENCY OF UZBEKISTAN * Tashkent
Tashkent
directory * Lower House of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
parliament * Chief of State and Cabinet Members

GENERAL INFORMATION

* "Uzbekistan". The World Factbook
The World Factbook
. Central Intelligence Agency . * Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Corruption Profile from the Business Anti-Corruption Portal
Portal
* Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
from the U.S. Library of Congress includes Background Notes, Country Study and major reports * Uzbek Publishing and National Bibliography from the University of Illinois Slavic and East European Library * Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
at UCB Libraries GovPubs * List of