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Lesson 8 Countries—Nationalities Languages Countries—Nationalities Languages

Until the Soviet era, one part of what is now Tajikistan (the central and southern part) was within the emirate of Bukhara; the other part (the northern part and mountains in the east) was part of the Russian province of Turkestan. In 1924, national boundaries were drawn up, dividing Central Asia into the separate countries of Turkmenistan, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, and Kirghizstan. At that time, Tajikistan was an autonomous region of Uzbekistan. In 1929 Tajikistan was transformed into a separate nation, the northern part being added to it at that time. Following the collapse of the former Soviet Union,

Tajikistan announced its independence on 9th September 1991. Tajikistan has four

regions: the “central dependent districts” (formerly, with its centre in ), (centred on ) and the

autonomous region of (centred on ). [For a map of the country and its regions, see the appendices.]

Tajikistan measures 143,100 km2, of which 93% is mountainous. It has a population of over six million. Tajiks represent the majority (about 60%), other people groups including Uzbeks, Russians, Kirghiz, and Turkmen. It borders Kirghizstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the north and west, Afghanistan to the south and China to the east.