Thursday, October 27, 2016

The origin of the Oghuz Turks

The Oghuz (a linguistic term designating the Western Turkic or Oghuz languages from the Oghur sub-division of Turkic language family). Also spelled Oğuz, or Ghuzz confederation of Turkic peoples whose homeland, until at least the 11th century AD, was the steppes of central Asia known as Turkistan or Turan, which has been the domain of Turkic peoples since antiquity.

According to many historians, the usage of the word "Oguz" is dated back to the advent of the Huns (220 BC). The title of "Oguz Khan" was given to Mete, the founder of the Hun empire, which is often considered the first Turkic political entity in Central Asia. Also in the 2nd century BC, a Turkic tribe called "O-kut" who were described as Huns (referred to as Hsiung-Nu or "colored-eyed people" in Chinese sources) were mentioned in the area of Tarbogatain, in present-day southern Kazakhstan. It must be noted that the Greek sources used the name Oufi (or Ouvvi) to describe the Oguz Turks, a name they had also used to describe the Huns centuries earlier.      

 A number of tribal groupings bearing the name Oguz, often with a numeral representing the number of united tribes in the union are noted. Prior to the Gokturk state, there are references to the "Sekiz-Oguz" ("eight-Oguz") and the "Dokuz-Oguz" ("nine-Oguz") state formations ruled different areas in the vicinity of the Altay mountains.

The Oguz community gradually grew larger, uniting more Turkic tribes prior and during the Gokturk establishment. During this period Oguz tribes lived in northeastern areas of the Altay mountains along the Tula River. They were also present as a community near the Barlik river in present-day northern Mongolia. The "six Oguz tribal union" in the Turkic Orhun inscriptions (6th century) pertains to the unification of the six Turkic tribes which became known as the Oğuz. Found in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia, near Ögii Lake. Before the Orkhon Inscriptions were deciphered by the Danish linguist Vilhelm Thomsen, very little was known about Turkic script. These scripts are the oldest form of a Turkic language to be preserved.    

Their main domain in the ensuing centuries was the area of Transoxiana, in western Turkistan. This land became known as the "Oguz steppe" between the Caspian and Aral Seas. Oguz Turks are said to have come there in the period of the caliph Al-Mehdi in the years between 775 and 785 from the Zhetysu now the South-Eastern part of modern Kazakhstan after conflict with the Karluk branch of Uighurs.

By 780, the eastern parts of the Syr Darya were ruled by the Karluk Turks and the western region (Oguz steppe) was ruled by the Oguz Turks.

Mass migrations of the Oghuz into Western Eurasia occurred from the early part of the 9th Century CE onwards, during the period of the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun (813–833). They established trading, religious and cultural contacts with the Abbasid Arab caliphate who ruled to the south. This influence led most of them to converted to Islam and renounced their Tengriism belief system.

From the 9th century, the Oguzes drove the Bechens from the Emba and Ural River region toward the west. By the 10th century, they inhabited the steppe of the rivers Sari-su, Turgai, and Emba to the north of Lake Balkhash of modern-day Kazakhstan.

It was in this area that one branch of the Oğuz later founded the Seljuk Empire, and it was from here that they spread west into western Asia and eastern Europe during Turkic migrations from the 9th -12th centuries. By the end of the 11th century they controlled an empire stretching from the Amu Darya to the Persian Gulf and from the Indus to the Mediterranean Sea by the end of the 11th century.
Similarly in the 11th century, a Tengriist Oghuz clan—referred to as Uzes or Torks in the Russian chronicles — overthrew Pecheneg supremacy in the Russian steppe. Harried by another Turkic horde, the Kipchaks, these Oghuz penetrated as far as the lower Danube, crossed it and invaded the Balkans, where most they were either crushed or struck down by an outbreak of plague, causing the survivors either to flee or to join the Byzantine imperial forces as mercenaries (1065). Oghuz warriors served in almost all Islamic armies of the Middle East from the 1000s onwards from Byzantium to Spain and Morocco."

"The term 'Oghuz' was gradually supplanted among the Turks themselves by Türkmen, 'Turcoman', from the mid 900's on, a process which was completed by the beginning of the 1200s." The Ottoman dynasty, who gradually took over Anatolia after the fall of the Seljuks, toward the end of the 13th century, led an army that was also predominantly Oghuz.

Linguistically, the Oghuz are listed together with the old Kimaks of the middle Yenisei of the Ob, the old Kipchaks who later emigrated to southern Russia, and the modern Kirghiz in one particular Turkic group, distinguished from the rest by the mutation of the initial y sound to j (dj). Today this language is spoken by the Azerbaijanis of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the South Azerbaijan region of Iran, Turks of Turkey and Cyprus, Turkmens of Turkmenistan and northeastern Iran, Qashqay and Khurasani Turks of Iran, Balkan Turks of Greece, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia as well as Gauguz (Gokoguz) Turks of Moldova.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

New Cement plant in the Karauzyak region of Karakalpakstan

Uzbek - Chinese joint venture, Titan Cement new 'state of the art' Cement plant in the Karauzyak region of Karakalpakstan has been completed and has started operation. The plant has a production capacity of 0.2Mt of high-quality cement per annum.

The total cost of the project exceeded US$25m and has resulted in the creation of more than 200 jobs.
Through the installation of modern equipment, the new plant is able to produce high-quality cement in compliance with international standards. It is looking to sell its product to the domestic market, whilst also exporting cement to neighbouring countries including Kazakhstan  and Turkmenistan.

Eight cement plants now operate in Uzbekistan, with a total production capacity of more than 8.6Mta. By year end 2020, Uzbekistan plans to double this capacity to approximately 16.7Mta.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Uzbekistan Airlines has restarted flights from Moscow to Nukus

Uzbekistan Havo Yollari (Uzbekistan Airways) has restarted passenger flights to Moscow from Nukus. The flights on A320 airliner once a week on Mondays.

Nukus airport operates more than twenty passenger flights to the cities of Uzbekistan and CIS daily

Schedule: 29 March 2016 - 31 October 2016

Nukus (NCU) - Moscow Domodedovo (DME)
Operational daysDeparting NukusArriving MoscowDurationAircraftFlight
Monday10:4512:253:40320HY 625

Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to Nukus (NCU)
Operational daysDeparting MoscowArriving NukusDurationAircraftFlight
Monday13:5519:203:25320HY 626

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Green Teahouse by Alexander Volkov

The Karakalpak Museum of the Arts, the Savitsky Collection Nukus - The Green Teahouse by Alexander Volkov
From the extraordinary Karakalpak Museum of the Arts in Nukus known as the Savitsky Collection, one of the largest collections of Russian and Uzbek Avant Garde art in the world. The museum also houses a vast folk art collection of pile rugs, flat weaves, embroidery, appliqué work, jewelry and hand-made textiles from Karakalpakstan.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Major gas chemical complex commissioned in Uzbekistan

The Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex, the largest in Central Asia has recently been commissioned in Karakalpakstan. The Prime Ministers of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and South Korea Hwang Kyo-ahn both officiating at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on site on May 21, 2016. The project is located approximately 1,300 kilometers (km) from Tashkent on the Ustyurt plateau in the Kungrad region.

The project involved both the upstream development and operations at the Surgil Field involving drilling new production wells and constructing upstream infrastructure including expanding the complex gas treatment unit to supply up to 3 billion cubic meters per annum (BCMA) of gas and 115 thousand tons per annum (KTPA) of condensate; and the downstream development and operations at the gas treatment site is located approx. 115km southwest of the Surgil Field.

The integrated gas to chemical complex production (gas-to-chemical) comprises five plants a gas separation plant, an ethylene, a high-density polyethylene plant, a polypropylene plant, and supporting facilities; product transportation, water supply infrastructure; the project also includes three 35-megawatt gas turbine generator sets so its power supply independent of the national grid.

The project is sourcing gas from its own Surgil Field and will also purchase gas, through a gas supply agreement with UNG, from the Severniy-Berdakh and Vostochniy Berdakh Uchsay fields. Each is currently on-stream and the incremental production of the three gas fields available to the project provides the required gas volume. Condensate supply required for the polymer process is being provided under long-term supply contracts.

The upstream and downstream components of the project  are connected by two parallel 115-km pipelines constructed to supply gas and condensate from the Surgil Field to the gas separation plant. The complex at full production is expected to annually process 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas, produce up to 4 billion cubic meters of marketable gas, 387,000 tons of polyethylene, 83,000 tons polypropylene.

A consortium of Korean companies joined Uzbekneftegaz having established the Uz-Kor Gas Chemical joint venture in May, 2008. Ustyurt GCC project was implemented on a parity basis. The Korean consortium included Lotte Chemical 24.5%, Korea Gas Corporation 22.5% and GS E& R 3%. The consortium established a joint venture, the UZ-Kor Gas Chemical LLC, with the Uzbekistan state-run company Uzbekneftegaz 50%. The consortium financed 50 percent of the project, and the Uzbekistan financed the other half to develop the gas chemical complex. The main customers  base likely CIS, Eastern Europe and Turkey and later western regions of China.

General contractors of the project were the Korean Samsung Engineering, GS Engineering and Hyundai Engineering. The construction of the complex began in 2011. The total cost of the project amounting to nearly US $ 4 billion. Participants of the project allocated approximately $1.4 billion and attracted about $2.5 billion from financial institutions in order to implement the project.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Saiga Conservation Website - Highly Recommended

Saiga Conservation Alliance Website (highly recommended) go to
Saigas are one of the most threatened species on earth. Their numbers have declined by 95% in just 15 years. The Saiga Conservation Alliance (SCA) is committed to saving the critically endangered saiga antelope from imminent extinction and I highly recommend their website - it is well worth following.

Photo . Victor Tyakht