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Ferghana Valley,region, 8,494 sq mi (22,000 sq km), Central Asia, divided among Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The Fergana Range (part of the Tian ShanTian Shan
or Tien Shan
[Chin.,=celestial mountains], mountain system of central Asia, extending c.1,500 mi (2,410 km) from the Pamir Mts., Tajikistan, NE through the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, NW China, to the China-Mongolia border; Pobeda Peak (24,406 ft/7,439
..... Click the link for more information. system) rises in the northeast and the PamirPamir
mountainous region of central Asia, located mainly in Tajikistan and extending into NE Afghanistan and SW Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China; called the "roof of the world.
..... Click the link for more information. in the south. The narrow Khudjand Pass in the west has historically served as an invasion route into the valley. Broadly speaking, the west end of the valley lies in Tajikistan, the main portion of the valley floor in Uzbekistan, and the highlands in the north, east, and south in Kyrgyzstan. The Xinjiang region of China borders the valley in the southeast.
The Fergana Valley, consisting partly of the very fertile Karakalpak steppe and partly of desert land, is drained by the Syr Darya River and by numerous mountain streams, which are fed by snowfields and glaciers in the mountains. A dense irrigation network is linked by the Great Fergana and South Fergana canals. The population of the valley is largely Uzbek; major cities in the valley include FerganaFergana
, city (1989 pop. 200,373), capital of Fergana region, E Uzbekistan, in the Fergana Valley. The marketing center of a large oasis area, it has silk, cotton, and artificial fiber industries. Oil, coal, and uranium ore lie in the area.
..... Click the link for more information. , KokandKokand
, city (1991 pop. 182,000), E Uzbekistan, in the Fergana Valley. It is a center for the manufacture of fertilizers, chemicals, machinery, and cotton and food products. Important since the 10th cent.
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, city (1991 pop. 298,000), capital of Andijan region, Uzbekistan, in the Fergana Valley, on the Andijan-Say River. It is an industrial center in an irrigated area that produces fruits, cotton, and silk.
..... Click the link for more information. , and NamanganNamangan
, city (1989 pop. 305,585), capital of Namangan region, W Uzbekistan, in the Fergana Basin. A center for the production of cotton and silk, it also has food-processing plants. Russian forces captured Namangan in 1875.
..... Click the link for more information. , in Uzbekistan; KhudjandKhudjand,
, city (1991 pop. 164,500), capital of Leninobod region, in Tajikistan, on the Syr Darya River at its exit from the Fergana Valley.
..... Click the link for more information. , in Tajikistan; and OshOsh
, city (1993 pop. 233,300), capital of Osh region, S Kyrgyzstan, in the Fergana Valley. Terminus of the Osh-Khorugh highway and Kyrgyzstan's second largest city, Osh has silk, cotton, textile, and food-processing industries; it also is a center of the illegal opium trade.
..... Click the link for more information. , in Kyrgyzstan. Many of the region's cities are connected by a circular rail line, which also has spurs serving the mining settlements on the valley's periphery.
The Fergana Valley is one of Central Asia's most densely populated agricultural and industrial areas. Wheat and cotton fields, orchards, vineyards, walnut groves, and mulberry tree plantations (for silk) cover the region, which is one of the world's oldest cultivated areas. Along the fringes of the valley are deposits of oil, natural gas, and iron ore. The region's natural resources contributed to the industrialization of all Soviet Central Asia. Cotton and silk milling and the manufacture of chemicals and cement are among the valley's important industries.
According to ancient Chinese sources, the Fergana Valley was a major center of Central Asia as early as the 4th cent. B.C. The introduction of silk raising from China, the development of cotton cultivation, and its favorable location astride the silk route between China and the Mediterranean stimulated the valley's growth. The Arabs, following the path of earlier invaders, occupied the valley in the 8th cent. and introduced Islam. The region was held in the 9th and 10th cent. by the Persian SamanidSamanid
, Muslim Persian dynasty that ruled (819–1005) in Khorasan and Transoxiana as vassals of the Abbasids; founded by Saman-Khuda, of old Persian aristocracy. The Samanids were one of the first purely indigenous dynasties to rule in Persia following the Muslim Arab
..... Click the link for more information. dynasty, in the 12th cent. by the Seljuk Turks of KhwarazmKhwarazm
, ancient and medieval state of central Asia, situated in and around the basin of the lower Amu Darya River; now a region, NW Uzbekistan. Khwarazm is one of the oldest centers of civilization in central Asia.
..... Click the link for more information. , and in the 14th cent. by the Mongols under Jenghiz KhanJenghiz Khan
or Genghis Khan
, Mongolian Chinggis Khaan, 1167?–1227, Mongol conqueror, originally named Temujin. He succeeded his father, Yekusai, as chieftain of a Mongol tribe and then fought to become ruler of a Mongol confederacy.
..... Click the link for more information. . The valley later belonged to the empire of TimurTimur
, c.1336–1405, Mongol conqueror, b. Kesh, near Samarkand. He is also called Timur Leng [Timur the lame]. He was the son of a tribal leader, and he claimed (apparently for the first time in 1370) to be a descendant of Jenghiz Khan.
..... Click the link for more information. and his successors, the TimuridsTimurids
, dynasty founded by Timur (or Tamerlane). After the death of Timur (1405) there was a struggle for power over his empire, which then extended from the Euphrates River to the Jaxartes (Syr Darya) and Indus rivers.
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Early in the 16th cent., it was overrun by the Uzbeks, who established the khanate of Kokand. The opening of the sea route to East Asia around that time led to the decline of the prosperous caravan trade through the valley. Russian conquest of the Fergana Valley was completed in 1876; the region was then made part of a much larger unit called Fergana, which was a province of Russian Turkistan. During the Russian civil war, the valley was the center of the anti-Bolshevik Autonomous Turkistan Government, with Kokand as its capital. The crowded conditions in the valley contributed to ethnic violence in 1989–90, and Fergana has been one of the hot spots of post-USSR Central Asia. An number of enclaves established under Soviet rule, especially those of Uzbekistan that are surrounded by Kyrgyzstan, have at times led to border conflicts.