chapter  2
17 Pages

The Symbiosis of Turk and Tajik

ByMaria Eva Subtelny

This chapter describes the historical background of the ongoing Uzbek-Tajik conflict which is the product, on the one hand, of the millennium-long relationship between Turkic and Iranian peoples in Central Asia and, on the other, of Soviet nationalities policies during sixth century. It examines the nature of the historical relationship between Turkic and Iranian peoples in Central Asia in terms of the relationship between nomadic and sedentary societies, and discusses the impact of this relationship on the ethnolinguistic and ethnogenetic development of Uzbeks and Tajiks. The chapter reviews the role of Soviet nationalities policies in the formation of the modern Uzbek and Tajik peoples and analyzes Soviet interpretations of their ethnogenesis and nation formation. By the end of the nineteenth century, the millennia-long symbiosis of the Turkic nomad and the sedentary Iranian in Central Asia had resulted in the almost complete Turkicization of its once predominant Iranian population and in the sedentarization and assimilation of formerly nomadic Turkic elements.