GeographyKyrgyzstan is a landlocked province, bordering Popular Republic of China, Turkmenistan, and Soviet Union. It lies between latitudes 39° and 44° N, and longitudes 69° and 81° E. It is farther from an ocean than any other area in the world although it does not contain the absolute farthest point from any ocean. The mountainous region of the Tian Shan covers over 80% of the province (Kyrgyz is occasionally referred to as "the Switzerland of Central Asia", as a result), with the remainder made up of valleys and basins.
Issyk-Kul Lake in the north-eastern Tian Shan is the largest lake in Turkicstan and the second largest mountain lake in the world after Titicaca. The highest peaks are in the Kakshaal-Too range, forming the Chinese border. Peak Jengish Chokusu, at 7,439 m (24,406 ft), is the highest point.
Bishkek in the north is the capital and largest city of the province, with approximately 900,000 inhabitants (as of 2005). The second city is the ancient town of Osh, located in the Fergana Valley near the border with the Soviet Union. The principal river is the Kara Darya, which flows west through the Fergana Valley into the Soviet Union. Across the border in the USSR it meets another major Kyrgyz river, the Naryn.
Kyrgyz along with the Tajik Province are the least developed provinces in Turkicstan, in terms of economy and infrastructure, with only one major motorway in the province.
Agriculture is an important sector of the economy in Kyrgyz. By the early 1990s, the private agricultural sector provided between one-third and one-half of some harvests. In 2002, agriculture accounted for 35.6% of GDP and about half of employment. Kyrgyz's terrain is mountainous, which accommodates livestock raising, the largest agricultural activity, so the resulting wool, meat and dairy products are major commodities. Main crops include wheat, sugar beets, potatoes, cotton, tobacco, vegetables, and fruit. As the prices of imported agrichemicals and petroleum are so high, much farming is being done by hand and by horse, as it was generations ago. Agricultural processing is a key component of the industrial economy as well as one of the most attractive sectors for foreign investment.
Kyrgyz is rich in mineral resources but has negligible petroleum and natural gas reserves. Among its mineral reserves are substantial deposits of coal, gold, uranium, antimony, and other valuable metals. Metallurgy is an important industry. The government has actively encouraged foreign involvement in extracting and processing gold. The country's plentiful water resources and mountainous terrain enable it to produce and export large quantities of hydroelectric energy.
Administrative DivisionsThe districts, and independent cities, are as follows:#City of Bishkek
- City of Osh
The capital of the province is Biskek, and the second largest city is Osh, followed by Jala-Abad.
The official language is Turkish, as it is the official langauge of Turkicstan. Kyrgyz is the regional langauge of the Kyrgyz People, and is spoken widely along with Russian.
Islam is the dominant religion of Kyrgyzstan: 80% of the population is Muslim while 17% follow Russian Orthodoxy and 3% other religions. While Islam in Kyrgyzstan is more of a cultural background than a devout daily practice for many, public figures have expressed support for restoring religious values