Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Armin Vambrey Orientalist

Vambéry, Armin (Hermann) (1832-1913)  born in the Austro- Hungarian empire in what is now Slovakia (albeit he was a native Hungarian speaker). A famed orientalist and linguist  after a year in Constantinople, he published a German-Turkish dictionary in 1858. Later, he also published various other linguistic works. He said to have spoken some twenty Turkic languages and dialects.

In the early 1860ies Armin travelled through Armenia, Persia and Turkestan and with his Turkic language skills was able to gain a deeper insight into the local customs than previous European travelers. Setting out from Budapest in June 1861 via Constantinople to onto Trebizond by crossing the Black sea and then overland via Kurdistan to Tehran . Here he joined a band of pilgrims returning from Mecca and spent several months with them traveling across Iran before crossing the desert to Khiva.

In these times travelling in central Asia was considered very dangerous for outsiders particularly to those like Vambery who were also it is said to be collecting information. (At various times Vambery worked for the Ottomans, the British as well as Austro-Hungarian authorities). For his trip to Khiva he was disguised as a travelling dervish who went by the name "Reshit Efendi,". Upon his arrival in Khiva he managed to keep up appearances during interviews with the Khiva Khan. Then onto Bokhara and Samarkand. Initially, he aroused the suspicions of the Bukharin Khan but managed to maintain his pretence, and left the audience laden with gifts. Upon leaving Samarkand, he then made his way back to Constantinople in Mach 1864, traveling by way of Heart. This was the first successful journey of its kind undertaken by a European to the heart of central Asia since medieval times.

On his return to Budapest he published his recollections from his travels in  Central Asian Journey. . This book was a great success and made him an internationally renowned writer and celebrity, with the Austrian Emperor rewarding him by granting him professorship in the Royal University of Pest in 1865.

References :
Ármin Vámbéry, Travels in Central Asia, being the account of a journey from Teheran across the Turkoman Desert on the Eastern shore of the Caspian to Khiva, Bokhara, and Samarcand, performed in the year 1863. (London, 1864.) 2354.d.1. (The book is divided into two parts: the first a description of his travels, the second devoted to notices concerning the geography, statistics, politics, and social relations of Central Asia). Other books in English Arminius Vámbéry, His Life and Adventures(ib. 1883) and Struggles of My Life (ib. 1904).

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Yellow Carrots

The wild carrot, Daucus Carota, is native to Central Asia. Within the subspecies Daucus Carota sativus, two varieties are recognised: The Western carrot (variety sativus) and the Eastern carrot (variety atrorubens).

The Yellow carrot is an Eastern cultivar, domesticated in Central Asia as early as the 9th century.
It yields a sweeter flavor at maturity than other cultivars while also retaining healthy texture; ie: its tap-root is not woody or fiberous. They have a firm and crunchy texture and an earthy sweet flavor with notes of celery and parsley. They belong to the Umbelliferae family along with parsnips, fennel caraway, cumin and dill. Whilst classified as a root vegetable its midribs and greens are also edible and nutritious.

Yellow carrots are also one of the key ingredients in  the national dish of Uzbekistan Plov (dozens of variations of this dish but usually consists of chunks of mutton, shredded yellow carrot and rice fried in a cast iron or aluminium pot. Staple food for both every day and celebrations). and also popular in soups, stews, salads and are used as an ingredient in stocks. Uzbekistan at 1.6 million tonnes per year is the second largest producer of carrots in the world after China.

They are rich in pro-healthy antioxidants both of lipophylic (carotenoids) and hydrophilic (phenolic compounds) characters. Yellow carrots accumulate xanthophylls, pigments similar to beta-carotene that support good eye health. In addition they contain lutein, a pigment similar to beta-carotene that is absorbed as Vitamin A in the body.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Kipchak Cuman Confederation

The Kipchak (also spelled Qipchaq,Kypchak, Kupchak, Kıpçak, or Qıpçaq) were a Turkic nomadic people. Originating in the Kimek Khanate, they conquered large parts of the Eurasian steppe during the Turkic expansion of the 11th and 12th centuries together with the Cumans, and were in turn conquered by the Mongol invasions of the early 13th century.

The Kipchak Cuman confederation probably originated near the Chinese borders in time settling on the River Irtysh alongside the Kimäks. In the course of the Turkic expansion in the 9th century they migrated further into Siberia and then westwards into the trans-Volga region. In the 11th century they continued spreading west occupying a vast territory in the Eurasian steppe, stretching from north of the Aral Sea westward to the region north of the Black Sea (now in Ukraine and southwestern Russia) establishing a state known as Desht-i Qipchaq. The western grouping of this confederation was known as the Polovtsy, or Kuman/Cumans who expanded into Europe reaching Moldavia, Wallachia, and part of Transylvania.

In the 12th centuries this nomadic confederacy of the Cumans and (Eastern) Kipchaks became involved in various conflicts with the Byzantines, Kievan Rus', and with the Hungarians and Pechenegs (Cuman involvement only), allying themselves with one or the other side at different times. In 1089, they were defeated by Ladislaus I of Hungary, and again by Knyaz Vladimir Monomakh of the Rus in the 12th century. They sacked Kiev in 1203.

The Kipchak remained masters of the steppe north of the Black Sea until the Mongol invasions. During the first Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus (1221–23), the Kipchak sided at different times with the invaders and with the local Slavic princes. In 1237 the Mongols penetrated for the second time into Kipchak territory and killed Bachman, the Khan of the eastern Kipchak tribes. The Kipchak confederation was destroyed, and most of its lands and people were incorporated into the Golden Horde, the westernmost division of the Mongol empire.

The Cuman tribes, fled to Hungary, and some of their warriors became mercenaries for the Latin crusaders and the Byzantines. The defeated Kipchaks also became a major source of slaves for parts of the Islāmic world. Kipchak slaves—called Mamlūks—serving in the Ayyūbid dynasty’s armies came to play important roles in the history of Egypt and Syria, where they formed the Mamlūk state, the remnants of which survived until the 19th century.

The Kipchaks and Cumans spoke a Turkic language whose most important surviving record is the Codex Cumanicus, a late 13th-century dictionary of words in Kipchak, Cuman, and Latin. The presence in Egypt of Turkic-speaking Mamluks also stimulated the compilation of Kipchak/Cuman-Arabic dictionaries and grammars that are important in the study of several old Turkic languages.

Kipchak Language

Kipchak - The Kipchak language is the precursor language of a number of modern Turkic languages that are spoken in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia today. Kazakhs are remnants of Eastern Cuman-Kipchak tribes who lived in Northern Kazakhstan in the 10th century. So, their language originates from a more isolated form of earlier Kipchak. Bolgar-speaking Volga Bulgarians (later Kazan Tatars), Astrakhan Tatars, Balkars, Karachays, Kumyks, Cumans (later Crimean Tatars), Bashkirs and Mongolian aristocracy adopted the Kipchak language in the days of the Golden Horde.

The modern Northwestern branch of the Turkic language is often referred to as the Kipchak branch. The languages in this branch are mostly considered to be descendants of the Kipchak language, and the people who speak them may likewise be referred to as Kipchak peoples.

Karakalpak - Karakalpak is also a member of the Eastern Kipchak branch of Turkic languages, which includes Tatar, Kumyk, Nogai, and Kazakh. Due to its proximity to Uzbek, much of Karakalpak's vocabulary and grammar has been influenced by Uzbek. Like Turkish, Karakalpak has vowel harmony, is agglutinative and has no grammatical gender. Word order is usually subject–object–verb.


The origin of the Oghuz Turks

The Oghuz is a linguistic term designating the Western Turkic or Oghuz languages from the Oghur sub-division of Turkic language family. Oghus also spelled Oğuz, or Ghuzz also refers to a 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 all Turkic peoples since antiquity.

According to many historians, the usage of the word "Oguz" dates back to the advent of the Huns (220 BC). Legend has it that the title "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. Greek sources also used the name Oufi (or Ouvvi) to describe the Huns. Prior to the Gokturk state, there are references to the "Sekiz-Oguz" ("eight-Oguz") and the "Dokuz-Oguz" ("nine-Oguz") state formations ruling
different areas in the vicinity of the Altay mountains.

Orkhon Museum, Kharkhorin, Mongolia

In the 6th century the "six Oguz tribal union" in the Turkic Orhun inscriptions  found in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia, near Ögii Lake. Before the 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.   
The main domain of the Oguz 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 are said to have first 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. Mass migrations of the Oghuz into Western Eurasia occurred from the early part of the 9th Century 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 to most of them to converted to Islam and renounced their Tengriism belief system.

Mass migrations of the Oghuz into Western Eurasia occurred from the early part of the 9th Century 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 to most of them to converted to Islam and renounced their Tengriism belief system.
In the mid 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 the mass 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.

Also 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 the term Türkmen or 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.

Source: Source:

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