REPUBLIC OF TAJIKISTAN

Capital - Dushanbe
Location - the South-east of Central Asia
Territorу - 143.1 thsd. square kilometers
Population – 8 mln. persons - as of 1.09.2012
Currency - somoni, introduced in October, 2000

State borders - Length: 700 kilometers from west to east, 350 kilometers from north to south. In the west and north, Tajikistan has borders with Uzbekistan (910 kilometers) and Kyrgyzstan (630 kilometers); in the south - with Afghanistan (1030 kilometers and in the east - with China (430 kilometers). 
Climate - continental. January from +220C (Panj) to -610C (Lake Bulunkul), July from -80C (Lake Bulunkul) to +450C (Panj).

The geography of the Republic of Tajikistan is mountainous with heights above sea level varying between 300 and 7495 meters. Mountains belonging to the highest ranges of Central Asia make up 93% of the total area of the country. There is the Farghona valley in the north, while in the northwest and the central parts there are the Turkmenian, Zarafshon, Hisor and Oloy mountain ranges. The southeast boasts the impressive Pomir range (its highest mountain, the Somoni's Peak, with an altitude of 7495 meters, is one of the highest summits of the world); while the southwest has the Vakhsh, Hisor and other valleys.

History

Modern Tajiks regard the Samanid Empire as the first Tajik state. This monument in Dushanbe honors Amir Ismail Samani.

The territory of what is now Tajikistan has been inhabited continuously since 4000 B.C. It has been under the rule of various empires throughout history, for the longest period being part of the Persian Empire. It was originally called Neb for a short period of time, before being given the name Tajikistan.

After the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great, the region became the northern part of Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian Kingdom.

From the last quarter of 4th century BCE until the first quarter of the 2nd century BCE, it was part of the Bactrian Empire, from whom it was passed on to Scythian Tukharas and hence became part of Tukharistan. Contact with the Chinese Han Dynasty was made in the 2nd century BCE, when envoys were sent to the area of Bactria to explore regions west of China. Arabs brought Islam in the 7th century CE. The Samanid Empire supplanted the Arabs and enlarged the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, which became the cultural centers of Tajiks (both of which are now in Uzbekistan). The Mongols would later take partial control of Central Asia, and later the land that today comprises Tajikistan became a part of the Emirate of Bukhara. A small community of Jews, displaced from the Middle East after the Babylonian captivity, migrated to the region and settled there after 600 BCE, though the majority of the recent Jewish population did not migrate to Tajikistan until the 20th century.

In the 19th century, the Russian Empire began to spread into Central Asia during the Great Game. Between 1864 and 1885 it gradually took control of the entire territory of Russian Turkestan from today's border with Kazakhstan in the north to the Caspian Sea in the west and the border with Afghanistan in the south. Tajikistan was eventually carved out of this territory, which historically had a large Tajik population. After the overthrow of Imperial Russia in 1917, guerrillas throughout Central Asia, known as basmachi, waged a war against Bolshevik armies in a futile attempt to maintain independence.

Another important period in the history of the Tajik nation began when it became a full, constituent republic within the USSR. In this period the Tajik Socialist Soviet Republic finally emerged into the map of the world. By the early 1930's, Tajikistan was on the way to becoming a modern republic with a growing industrial basis in the north and a burgeoning agricultural enterprise in the south.

Independence

After dissolution of USSR, Tajikistan declared its sovereignty in August 1990 and proclaimed its independence on September 9, 1991. The nation almost immediately fell into a civil war that involved various factions fighting one another; these factions were often distinguished by clan loyalties. The estimated dead numbered over 120,000. Around 1.2 million people were refugees inside and outside of the country.

Emomalii Rahmon came to power in 1992.

In 1997 there was signed Peace Agreement between the Government and United Tajik Opposition that was implemented till 2000. After this period Tajikistan entered the path towards developed democracy, free market economy and prosperity.