T U R K I S T A N
Turkistan, officially the Confederation of Turkic States, is a transcontinental sovereign state mainly located in Central Asia with a small portion west of the Ural River in Europe. It is bordered to the north and west by Russia, to the east by the Caspian Sea, to the east by China, to the southeast by Kyrgzstan and Tajikistan, and to the south by Turkmenistan and Khyberistan. Its capital and largest city is Tashkent.
Turkistan has three official languages: Uzbek, Turkish, and Kazakh. Turkish is used as the lingua franca of the country and in official legislation, with Uzbek being spoken in day-to-day life by the majority of the population. Karakalpak is a recognised regional language in Karakalpakstan, where it has official status. Turkistan is a multiethnic country. Uzbeks constitute the majority at 63.7% of the population, followed by Kazakhs at 22.4% and other ethnic groups at 13.9% of the population. Muslims constitute the majority with 80.1% of the population professing belief in Islam, while Christianity is the second-largest religion, constituting 14.7% of the population. Other religions and the religiously unaffiliated make up 5.2% of the population. Most Muslim Turkistanis are non-denominational Muslims, with a minority of Sunnis and a smaller minority of Shiites.
Ever since its establishment, Turkistan has been considered authoritarian, but following the election of the pro-liberal and anti-corruption party New Turkistan to the presidency in 2020 Turkistan has begun to grow more democratic. It is a semi-presidential, secular, and constitutional republic. It is a member of the Union of Islamic Cooperation, TURKSOY, Middle Eastern Union, CIS, WTO, and United Nations. It shares a currency with Turkey and has very close levels of cooperation with Turkey.
Of Persian origin, the term "Turkestan" (Persian: ترکستان) has never referred to a single nation state. Iranian geographers first used the word to describe the place of Turkic peoples. "Turkestan" is used to describe any place where Turkic peoples lived.
On their way southward during the conquest of Central Asia in the 19th century, the Russians under Nikolai Aleksandrovich Veryovkin took the city of Turkistan (in present-day Turkistan) in 1864. Mistaking its name for the entire region, they adopted the name of "Turkestan" (Russian: Туркестан) for their new territory.
After the formation of the Confederation of Turkic States, public figures such as Islam Karimov and Nursultan Nazarbiyev began using the name of "Turkistan" to refer to the country, which gradually found its was into English. In 2005, the term "Turkistan" was first used to refer to the whole country in legislation.
Politics and government