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Oʻzbekiston Respublikasi
Republic of Uzbekistan
Flag of Uzbekistan
Coat of arms of Uzbekistan
flag emblem
Official language Uzbek 1
Capital Tashkent
Form of government republic
Government system Presidential system
Head of state President
Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Head of government Prime Minister
Abdulla Aripov
surface 448,978 km²
population 33,255,539 (January 1, 2019)
Population density 74 inhabitants per km²
Population development   + 0.91% per year
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 50.49 billion ( 87th )
  • $ 276.79 billion ( 62nd )
  • $ 1,550 ( 154. )
  • $ 8,498 ( 123. )
Human Development Index   0.710 ( 105th ) (2017)
currency Soʻm (UZS)
independence September 1, 1991
(from the Soviet Union )
National anthem Serquyosh, hur o'lkam,
elga baxt, najot

Time zone UTC + 5
License Plate UZ
ISO 3166 UZ , UZB, 860
Internet TLD .uz
Telephone code +998
1Also Karakalpak at the local level
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Satellite image of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan ( Uzbek Oʻzbekiston ; officially the Republic of Uzbekistan , Uzbek Oʻzbekiston Respublikasi ) is a secular landlocked country in Central Asia . The majority of the population are Muslims, followed by minorities of Orthodox Christians and Jews . The titular nation and the majority of the population are the Uzbeks .

Neighboring countries are Kazakhstan in the west and north , Kyrgyzstan in the east, Tajikistan and Afghanistan in the south-east, and Turkmenistan in the south . As a result, Uzbekistan only borders on landlocked states and is therefore the only state besides Liechtenstein that is exclusively surrounded by landlocked states. In the west, the state borders the Western Aral Sea and the Sarykamysh Sea . It was established in October 1924 as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic , part of the Soviet Union , and gained independence in 1991. The name Uzbekistan is derived from the Uzbek people , whose name goes back to Uzbek Khan .

Geography and climate

Uzbekistan has an area of ​​447,400 km² and is located in the middle of Central Asia. Besides Liechtenstein , it is the only landlocked country in the world that is itself only surrounded by landlocked countries. So you have to cross at least two state borders to get to an open sea. The extension of Uzbekistan is about 1425 km from west to east and about 930 km from north to south. It stretches between the 37th and the 46th northern latitude and between the 56th and 73rd eastern longitude.

Neighboring states are in the west and north Kazakhstan (2203 km common border), in the east Kyrgyzstan (1099 km), in the southeast Tajikistan (1161 km) and Afghanistan (137 km) and in the south Turkmenistan (1621 km). The total length of the state border of Uzbekistan is 6221 km. The territory of Uzbekistan includes the exclaves Soʻx , Shohimardon , Chong-Kara and Jangail , which are enclosed by Kyrgyzstan , while the Kyrgyz exclave Barak and the Tajik exclave Sarvan are enclosed by Uzbek territory.

Landscape zones

Uzbekistan stretches from the deserts on the Aral Sea in the west for about 1200 km to the fertile Fergana Valley in the east.

The Aral Sea, threatened by complete desiccation, had an area of ​​around 17,000 km² in 2004. Southwest of the lake is the flat, undulating, desert-like Ustyurt plateau , the western half of which belongs to Kazakhstan and which forms a large nature reserve.

Most of the area of ​​Uzbekistan is occupied by deserts . Southeast of the Aral Sea in Turan Depression extends the Kysylkum -Wüste (uzbek. Qizilqum ) comprising two-fifths of the surface state of Uzbekistan and on the adjacent territory of Kazakhstan continues. It is only interrupted by a few residual massifs that reach 920 m in the Gora Aktau . To the south of it lies a large steppe landscape through which the Amu Darya flows.

The Turkestan mountain range and the foothills of the Tianshan as well as parts of the Ferghana Valley , a densely populated depression between the Tianshan and Alai mountains with important agricultural areas, lie in the east of Uzbekistan .

The highest mountain in Uzbekistan at 4643 meters is in the Hissar Mountains ( Surxondaryo province ). He was once named Berg of the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party , after which it was nameless for a time and is now called Hazrat Sulton . The deepest point in the country is twelve meters below sea level in the Kyzylkum desert.


Uzbekistan by the two main tributaries of the Aral Sea and the largest rivers of Central Asia, the Amu Darya (uzbek. Flow Amudaryo ) with 2539 km length and the Syr Darya (uzbek. Sirdaryo ) with 2212 km length. However, both rivers are only part of their course in Uzbekistan.

The headwaters of the Amu Darya, in ancient Oxus called, comes also the classical concept Transoxania , originate outside Uzbekistan in to Tajikistan and Afghanistan belonging to Pamir . In its middle course, the Amu Darya initially forms the Uzbek-Afghan border and then runs parallel to the border between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan , which, however, only partially follows the river directly. Its estuary belongs entirely to Uzbekistan.

The source rivers of the Syr Darja arise in Tianshan, which belongs to Kyrgyzstan . The Syr Darya crosses the Uzbek part of the Ferghana Valley in its middle reaches , then flows over the territory of Tajikistan, southwest of Tashkent, again through Uzbekistan, while its lower reaches belong to Kazakhstan .

Other important rivers are the Surxondaryo ( Surchundarja ), a right tributary of the Amudarja, the Qashqadaryo ( Kashkadarja ), which reaches the oasis of Qarshi ( Qarshi ), and the Zarafshon ( Serafshan ), which the oases of Samarqand ( Samarkand ) and Buxoro ( Bukhara ) and finally ends in the desert southwest of Bukhara without having reached the Amu Darya.

Major irrigation canals include the Great , Northern, and Southern Ferghana Canal .

The largest lakes in the country, which are only partially located in Uzbekistan, are the Western Aral Sea ( Gʻarb orol dengizi ), the Aibugirsee , the Sarykamyschsee ( Sariqamish koʻli ), the Aydarsee and the artificial Talimardschan reservoir .


Climate diagram Tashkent
Climate diagram Cimbaj Uzbekistan.png
Climate diagram Cimbaj

The climate of Uzbekistan belongs to the temperate zone . Depending on the region, there is a humid continental climate , a temperate steppe climate or a temperate desert climate . The summers are usually hot and cloudless, the winters changeable and cold.

The annual precipitation is - depending on the region - only 50-400 mm, but increases in the mountains to over 1000 mm annually. The temperatures fluctuate strongly both year and time of day.

Flora and fauna

Due to its size and the many landscape zones and despite the fact that about 80% of the country's area consists of desert and steppe, Uzbekistan offers a rich flora and fauna. Almost two percent of the country is under nature protection.

A good 4,300 plant species have been identified in Uzbekistan, including a number of endemic species (species that only occur here). The country's vegetation is characterized by the arid, continental climate. Important vegetation units of the country, which is 80 percent flat, are dry, semi-desert-like formations, locally called chul , in the plains and hill country up to about 450 to 500 m altitude, with Saxaul - "forests", Artemisia - and Salsola steppes, as well as grassy steppes -Vegetation, locally called adyr . In the mountains there are also forests (locally dew ), predominantly with juniper species ( Juniperus seravschanica , Juniperus semiglobosa , Juniperus turkestanica ), more rarely with deciduous deciduous trees such as walnut . In the high mountains there are alpine meadows , locally yailau , up to an altitude of 4600 meters. Uzbekistan is a poorly forested country; in 2014 the proportion of forests was estimated at 9,600,000 hectares , or 21.7 percent of the country's area. About ten percent of the country's plant species are endemic (378 species). In the latest edition of the Red Lists , 324 species were listed as threatened with extinction. The genera tragacanth ( Astragalus , 273 species), cousinia (related to burdock , 149 species) and leek ( Allium , 137 species) are particularly species-rich in Uzbekistan .

The more than 40 mammal species include steppe sheep , such as the karakul sheep , red deer , goitered gazelles , saigas , brown bears , wolves , foxes , lynxes , badgers , wild boars and porcupines . Even snow leopards are native to the western foothills of the Tianshan . The Caspian tiger is now extinct, but until a few decades ago it roamed the formerly green estuary of the Amu Darya.

Over 400 bird species are found in Uzbekistan, including, for example, collar busters , field thrushes , partridges , starlings , booted eagles , vultures and falcons .

There are also around 60 species of reptiles and over 70 species of fish .

Environmental issues

The excessive abstraction of water from rivers to irrigate land for cotton cultivation causes severe ecological damage and massive soil salinization . In addition, there is a high input of fertilizer residues, herbicides and pesticides, which permanently contaminate the soil and groundwater.

The Aral Sea is on the verge of drying out because its tributaries have been too heavily used for artificial irrigation since the times of the USSR . Its depth was halved, its area decreased from 66,000 km² to currently around 8,300 km² (as of 2015). The disappearance of the once huge lake will make the climate even drier.

There are considerations as to whether it is possible to increase the current annual precipitation from 12.2 km³ to over 20 km³ by means of artificially induced rain. Attempts in this direction took place in the 1970s and 1980s in the region of the Piskom River near Tashkent, in the Qashqadaryo region and in the Ferghana Valley.


Uzbekistan population pyramid 2016
Women in Bukhara
Uzbek boys in a bazaar

As of January 1, 2019, Uzbekistan had 33.255 million inhabitants. The population density is 74 inhabitants per km², which is almost a third of the population density in Germany. However, the population is distributed unevenly across the country: The population density in the Ferghana Basin is over 570, whereas in the province of Navoiy it is only 8.4 inhabitants per km². Population growth is just under one percent. The migration rate is also very low at 0.3 percent (as of 2009). By 2012 the population rose to 29.6 million and thus the population density to 66.1 inhabitants per km².

Uzbekistan is also a very young country, because around 10.4 million people, which corresponds to almost 40% of the total population, are under 18 years old. Around 17 million people, i.e. around 65% of the population, are under 30 years of age. This results in an average age of only 22.9 years (as of 2007). Life expectancy at birth averages 73.8 years, namely 70.7 years for men and 77.0 years for women (as of 2016).

In 2017, around 1,150,000 people who were born in Uzbekistan lived in Russia.

Population development

year population
1950 06,264,000
1960 08,549,000
1970 12,110,000
1980 15,940,000
1990 20,462,000
2000 24,849,000
2010 28,606,000
2017 31,911,000

Source: UN


The population of Uzbekistan consists of over 100 peoples, of which 71% Uzbeks , 5.1% Russians , 5% Tajiks , 4.1% Karakalpaks , 3.2% Kazakhs , 2.7% Tatars , 2.5 % according to official figures % Koreans (the latter are also known as Korjo-Saram ). The smaller minorities include Turkmen , Uyghurs , Volga Germans , Armenians , Mesheds , Azerbaijanis and Kurds . The German minority in Uzbekistan (including predominantly Volga Germans) is estimated at around 8,000 people (as of 2018, which is ⅓ compared to 2001). Stalin deported around 40,000 Volga Germans to Tashkent in the 1940s.

The Tajik side claims that the number of Tajiks in Uzbekistan is much higher than officially stated. This claim has also recently been made by some international human rights organizations , such as B. Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International , picked up. In fact, however, an impartial determination of the Tajik population in some parts of the country, such as the area around the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, is hardly possible, since the population there is traditionally bilingual (Turkish and Persian-speaking or in today's terminology Uzbek and Tajik-speaking) and is divided into two different peoples was only introduced by modern official terminology.

In official surveys, many citizens of Tajik ethnicity indicate Uzbek ethnicity. During the Uzbekization under Sharaf Raschidow , the incumbent General Secretary of the Communist Party from 1959 to 1982, Tajiks either had to use the indication “Uzbek” to remain in their region, e.g. B. in the city of Samarkand, or decide to relocate to Tajikistan . Nonetheless, more and more reports of discrimination against the Tajiks have been reported recently. In 2000, many Tajiks were forcibly evicted and imprisoned.


The state language is Uzbek , a Turkic language . In the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakistan , the Karakalpak language is also the official language . In the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara which is Tajik language widespread, the Russian language is the lingua franca and as the language of education and the economy continues to be of great importance. 57 to 70 percent of the population speak at least a little Russian. In madrasas (Koran schools), lessons are mostly in Arabic . In the absence of exact population statistics, only inaccurate estimates of the number of Tajik native speakers exist . In academic circles, the proportion of the population is assumed to be up to 30%.

Following a resolution by the Uzbek parliament, the switch from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet has been taking place since the mid-1990s . In fact, both alphabets are now in use in parallel. In 1998 there were also book burnings and suppression of Persian-language (Tajik) newspapers and media. A good 50 percent of the total of around 1.2 million students are learning German as a foreign language , the maximum figure is 750,000.


MadrasaSherdor ” (built 1619–1636) on the Registan in Samarkand

Approx. 89% of the population are Sunni Muslims , around 8% Russian Orthodox (mostly members of the Russian minority). In addition, there are Shiite Muslims (especially in Bukhara and Samarkand) as well as members of other Christian denominations in Uzbekistan (members of the Armenian Apostolic Church , the Catholic Church , the Evangelical Lutheran Church and various Protestant communities) as well as Jews (approx. 93,000 believers , see Uzbek Jews ), Buddhists , followers of Bahaism and followers of the teachings of Krishna .

Although the constitution provides for secularism and religious freedom, individual (particularly Protestant) Christians and Christian communities or groups are severely disadvantaged. The pressure on Uzbek Christians has increased over the years. According to the World Tracking Index, Uzbekistan ranks 18th (as of January 2020). Even Amnesty International lamented the limited religious freedom, especially for the authorities not approved groups like the Christian evangelical churches and Shiite Muslims.

The Ramadan is practiced by probably 40% of Muslims in the cities and 85% in rural areas.

In Central Asian popular Islam there are still influences from two other religions, monotheistic Zoroastrianism , which existed between 1800 BC. BC and 600 BC BC probably originated in Bactria , and Buddhism . Elements of shamanism and popular Islamic forms of piety are also widespread , which is expressed, for example, in pearl necklaces and amulets, which are supposed to protect against the so-called evil eye and are common in parts of the country.

Cities and metropolitan areas

The largest cities in Uzbekistan are Tashkent ( Toshkent ) (approx. 3,140,000 inhabitants), Namangan (approx. 830,000), Andijon (approx. 970,000), Samarkand ( Samarqand ) (approx. 850,000), Nukus (approx. 240,000) and Bukhara ( Buxoro ) (approx. 430,000) (as of January 1, 2009). They are also the most important metropolitan areas in the country. The metropolitan area of ​​Tashkent has over 3.2 million inhabitants. In addition to these metropolitan areas, the Fargʻona region with over 500,000 inhabitants is another important metropolitan area.

Education and Social

The education system has been slightly reformed several times in recent years. The duration of the school education is twelve years. Afterwards there is the possibility of transferring to different colleges and universities. There are also some English-speaking universities in Tashkent. Thanks to the free education in the Soviet era, there are less than one percent illiterate.

The country's health system is still largely based on the Soviet system of state polyclinics . A private health sector also emerged in the 1990s. However, since a parliamentary resolution in September 2009, this is facing the end.


Uzbekistan in its current form did not emerge as a Soviet republic until the 1920s . The state name is derived from the Uzbek people , whose name goes back to Uzbek Khan .

Pre-Islamic period

The course of the Silk Road in Central Asia

In 1938 , numerous stone tools, animal bones and the skeleton of a child were discovered in Teshik-Tosh , located between Termiz and Dushanbe (Tajikistan), dating from 30,000 to 40,000 BC. BC could be dated. This find represented the first Paleolithic discovery in Central Asia.

Under Darius I , all of Central Asia came under Achaemenid rule; this reign finally ended by Alexander the Great with his campaign in the Oxus - Jaxartes area. The area of ​​today's Uzbekistan was then part of the historical Bactria landscape . The Silk Road , which has partly run through what is today Uzbekistan, left a formative influence .

The late antique Central Asia (ca. 300-750) was a politically fragmented space: In the southwest, the border ran to the Sassanid Empire , other areas were of different groups ( Reitervölker controlled) (see also Iranian Huns ).

Time of Muslim dynasties

With the beginning of the 8th century was a result of the Arab conquering troops of Qutayba ibn Muslim of Islam established. Small Sogdian lordships were incorporated and in 751 Transoxania finally belonged to the Islamic world. The following centuries were determined by the Samanids in Bukhara (819 to 1005). The Turkish element prevailed and the Khans of Karluks ruled as " Kara-Chaniden " in Bukhara.

From the middle of the 12th century, the Khorezm Shahs and the warring Kara Kitai who fled China ruled .

The monument of Amir Timur in Tashkent

In 1220 the Mongols invaded Uzbekistan. This time is considered to be very volatile. There were always wars among the nomads. At the end of this time there was the new, today's Uzbek folk hero Timur Lenk (also Tamerlan , in Uzbekistan Amir Timur ), who in 1370 proclaimed himself ruler of all of Transoxania and assumed the title of an emir . He is considered to be the ruler of opposites who sought the restoration of the Mongol Empire and proceeded with extreme brutality. Nevertheless, he is also regarded as an important sponsor of art and literature, who enabled the region to start a cultural and scientific upswing.

In the Timurid dynasty, he was followed by his grandson, Ulugh Beg , a well-known astronomer. The Timurids ruled until the beginning of the 16th century. Only then did the time of the actual Uzbeks, a Turkic people who originally came from (West) Siberia, begin.

The time of the Uzbek khanates , with the caravan trade increasing until 1600, is considered a heyday of culture and science. In the 17th century, the country experienced under the dynasty of Dschaniden exceptional stability (1599-1785). The Janid dynasty is considered to be very Muslim and promoted the construction of a large number of mosques and madrasas .

The early 18th century began a time of internal troubles and turmoil. The Kokand Khanate, founded in 1710, established itself in Bukhara in 1740 and defeated the ruling Khan there. The area of ​​today's Uzbekistan at that time consisted mainly of the two khanates Khiva and Kokand and the emirate of Bukhara .

Russian and Soviet rule

Russian attack on Khiva in 1871
Flag of the Uzbek SSR (1924–1991)

In the 19th century began Great Game (dt. Great game ) between the United Kingdom and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia. Russia eventually gained colonial rule over Uzbekistan. In 1868 the military superiority of Russia over the Emirate of Bukhara and the Khanate of Khiva became apparent. However, these remained as independent states under the Russian protectorate. The Kokand Khanate, however, was completely annexed by the Russian Empire. Under Russian rule, the areas in Central Asia were combined to form the General Government of Turkestan . The capital became Tashkent , today's capital of Uzbekistan.

In 1918, after the Bolsheviks came to power , the former General Government of Turkestan became the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian SFSR . The People's Republics of Khoresmia and Bukhara were proclaimed in 1920 in the Khiva Khanate and the Bukhara Emirate . The ousted Emir Said Alim Khan of Bukhara and his allies were first driven to Afghanistan and finally defeated.

In 1924/1925 the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Turkestan and the two People's Republics of Khorezmia and Bukhara became the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR). This received the membership status of the Soviet Union in 1925 . Tajikistan was spun off as an independent Tajik SSR in 1929 , while the Karakalpak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Karakalpak ASSR) was incorporated into Uzbekistan. The first capital of the Uzbek SSR was Samarkand; only in 1930 this status passed to Tashkent. Active and passive women's suffrage was introduced in 1938.

In 1963 40,000 km² were transferred from the Kazakh SSR to the Uzbek SSR; Uzbekistan, within its current borders, was born.

In the 1930s, a large part of the recruited local party leadership fell victim to the Stalin's purges . A Moscow-oriented Stalinist party and state bureaucracy emerged. The years 1941 to 1945 were marked by the German-Soviet War ; the Stalin era ended in 1953.

From 1959 to 1983 Uzbekistan was a kind of communist khanate under the rule of Communist Party Secretary General Sharaf Rashidov .

On March 24, 1990, Islom Karimov became President of Uzbekistan.


Independence Monument in Tashkent : Uzbekistan's outline appears on the globe; the happy mother, symbol of the motherland, takes care of the future, the child

On June 20, 1991, the country declared its independence from the USSR. In 1991 the USSR disintegrated . President Islom Karimov , who had been the first party secretary in Uzbekistan since 1989 and was elected first president of Uzbekistan in the 1991 presidential election in Uzbekistan . He held his post as President of Uzbekistan until his death in 2016.

In the 1990s there were repeated internal conflicts, especially in the Ferghana Valley in the east of the country. In 1999, 20 people died in a bomb attack in Tashkent.

A series of bomb attacks occurred in 2004. On March 29, 2004, at least 19 people were killed in a suicide attack . On March 30, 2004, a group of presumably 20 extremists engaged in a gun battle with the militia and blew themselves up near the capital Tashkent. In addition, a car bomb detonated in front of a dam. On July 30, 2004, terrorists blew themselves up near the embassies of Israel and the United States in Tashkent, killing eight people. Uzbek officials have accused the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan , which is associated with Islamic fundamentalism.

The Islamic Movement Uzbekistan (IBU) fought mainly against corruption and the authoritarian style of government of Islom Karimov in the 1990s. Connections to the global terrorism movement were largely not registered. But with the start of the Afghan war in 2001, the IBU sided with the Taliban. In 2015 they swore by the Islamic State . The IS repeatedly succeeds in recruiting Islamist attackers from Uzbekistan for terrorist attacks in major western cities.

Uzbekistan, like all former Soviet republics, was one of the countries with restrictive entry conditions. An electronic procedure for applying for a tourist visa for Uzbekistan was only introduced in July 2018 for 48 countries of origin. In 2018 and 2019, the visa exemption was introduced in several steps, including for all citizens of the European Union , citizens of the Schengen area and citizens of other countries, including Switzerland, a total of 64 countries and a further 12 countries in the e-visa procedure.

The May 2005 Riots

In May 2005, 400 to 600 people were shot dead by Uzbek military and police forces during a demonstration in the city of Andijon in the Ferghana Valley . The riots lasting several days, which besides Andijon also affected Qorasuv and other cities near the border with Kyrgyzstan , were attributed to the Islamists of the Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) by the Karimov regime and their fight was seen as a fight against terrorism . Presumably, however, they were triggered by social and political causes such as high unemployment , housing shortages, poverty and political oppression.

The European Union (EU) did not initially comment on the incidents. Later, however, the EU issued a ban on arms exports to Uzbekistan and a ban on entry into the EU for senior Uzbek politicians. The sanctions were relaxed at the end of 2007 and, with the exception of the arms embargo, lifted in October 2008. The arms embargo was also lifted in October 2009.


Former President Islom Karimov

After the independence of Uzbekistan was proclaimed, the legal basis of the new state was created shortly. The Uzbek Constitution is geared towards democracy, the rule of law and a market economy with social guarantees and the protection of fundamental rights. The practical implementation of the constitution by politicians, however, is subject to fierce criticism because of the lack of the rule of law and considerable democratic deficits.

In the country report Freedom in the World 2017 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “unfree”. Uzbekistan received a grade of 7 in the category “political rights” and a grade of 7 for the protection of civil rights (grade 1 was the best and 7 the worst). Uzbekistan is thus one of the world's most repressive and authoritarian political systems.


In the first direct presidential election on December 29, 1991, Islom Karimov emerged victorious with 86 percent of the vote and became the first president of the independent Republic of Uzbekistan. His term of office was extended to 2000 in a referendum on March 26, 1995 . On January 9, 2000, he was confirmed with 91.9 percent for another term. Many states criticized the vote as not being free and not very democratic. The only opposing candidate said he had voted for the president himself. In a referendum on January 27, 2002, Karimov had his term of office extended to December 2007.

Although Article 90 of the Uzbek constitution stipulates that the five-year term of office of the president can only be extended once, Karimov was re-elected in further elections, with some of the opposing candidates even speaking out in favor of the incumbent. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) stated that the 2007 election did not meet many criteria for democratic elections. Islom Karimov was President of Uzbekistan until his death on September 2, 2016. On September 8, 2016, Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev was appointed interim president. Mirziyoyev has been the President of Uzbekistan since December 14, 2016.

houses of Parliament

Building of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament Building) in Tashkent
Composition of the Senate
- Upper Chamber
appointed by the President 016
elected by provincial councils 6 each
elected by the Tashkent City Council 006th
elected by the Council of Karakalpakistan 006th
Results of the 2005 Parliamentary Election
- Lower Chamber
Liberal Democratic Party 0040
Milliy tiklanish (democratic) 0029
People's Democratic Party 0028
Adolat (social democratic) 0010
other or impartial 0013

An important step on the way to democracy was the election of Oliy Majlis on December 25, 1994, the first multi-party parliament in the history of Uzbekistan. Since then there have been two new parliamentary elections, the first of which in December 1999. The current parliament was elected on December 26, 2004, with runoff elections in January 2005. The next new elections took place on December 27, 2009.

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Oliy Majlis is the highest representative state body that performs the legislative function.

Until the 2004 elections, the Oliy Majlis was a unicameral parliament. It was composed of 250 MPs who were elected for a period of five years in the territorial single-seat constituencies . Since December 26, 2004 there is a bicameral parliament in Uzbekistan. It is made up of the lower, legislative chamber with 120 members, elected for five years, and the upper chamber, the Senate with 100 senators. 16 senators are appointed by the president, the others, six per area, are elected by the respective provincial councils, the Tashkent City Council and the Karakalpakistan Council.

The deputies are united in five party factions and two blocks: the fraction of the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan , the Group of National-Democratic Party Fidokorlar , the fraction of the Social Democratic Party Adolat , the faction of the Party Milliy tiklanish , the faction of the Party of the country's progress , the block , which consists of local government representatives elected and the block of voter group initiatives.

The parliament has twelve committees and four commissions for all areas of socio-political and socio-economic life.

The chairman and his three deputies, who are elected from among the members for the entire legislative period , are in charge of Oliy Majlis . One of the deputies of the chairman of Oliy Majlis is a representative of the Republic of Karakalpakistan , who is currently the chairman of the Joqargʻı Kenʻes , the parliament of Karakalpakistan.

In order to organize the work of Oliy Majlis and to exercise other powers according to the legislation, the Kengash (Council) of Oliy Majlis is established. It consists of the chairman of Oliy Majlis, his deputies, the chairmen of the committees and commissions, as well as the chairmen of the party groups and parliamentary groups.

Domestic politics and human rights situation

Reign of Islom Karimov

During the 25-year reign of President Karimov from 1991 to 2016, the country's domestic policy was almost entirely determined by the President, who also had a considerable influence on parliament. Under his rule, Uzbekistan had the reputation of being one of the most repressive states in the world. Public protests by the opposition were suppressed with massive violence. According to estimates by human rights activists and Western observers - there is no independent press in Uzbekistan - the riots in May 2005 killed around 500 people as a result of police violence.

After Islom Karimov took office, numerous members of the opposition went into exile in the early 1990s, some had to go to prison for several years, others have disappeared . De facto, there is no opposition in Uzbekistan, because almost all opposition members live abroad. Domestic opposition activists must expect severe reprisals. Critical foreign websites are blocked in Uzbekistan.

In 2004, around 7,000 politically and religiously persecuted people were in custody, according to Human Rights Watch.

The death penalty was officially abolished in Uzbekistan in 2008. Nevertheless, according to the International Crisis Group in Uzbekistan, people are being tortured to death in prisons. Human Rights Watch sees torture as " ingrained in [Uzbekistan's] criminal justice system." According to Amnesty International, there have been credible reports of routine and pervasive ill-treatment by security guards and security personnel. The perpetrators are not punished.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev's presidency from 2016

Since Karimov's death and the assumption of office of new President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in December 2016, there have been increasing signs of looming political liberalization. Relations with neighboring countries, which were extremely tense under Karimov, improved, many political prisoners were released and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also visited the country for the first time . The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development , which had ceased operations more than a decade ago due to domestic political conditions, resumed operations. The reaction to the murder of the student Jasurbek Ibragimov, who died on June 1, 2017 in Tashkent, was also significant. Here there were spontaneous protests from civil society who demanded the clarification of the case. The state forces did not suppress them, as they did in Karimov's times, but supported their demand for the crime to be dealt with.

It is unclear, however, whether the course of liberalization will be maintained or whether this is just a tactical maneuver by Mirziyoyev as long as Mirziyoyev has not yet consolidated his power base. The new president's cautious opening course also raised hopes for the development of press freedom in Uzbekistan. But the mood turned when Khurschid Mirzakhidov , head of the National Society of Uzbek Radio and Television only since February 2017 , was dismissed by Mirziyoyev at the beginning of August of the same year for a critical broadcast about the late Islom Karimov. The Uzbek press and information agency announced that it would crack down on the private media. The General Director of the Agency Lasis Tangriev said: "We will have no mercy for those who harm our culture."

Foreign policy

Locations of the diplomatic missions of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan has political relations with more than 100 countries and has diplomatic missions in over 40 countries; including two representations in Germany. There are over 50 embassies in Tashkent , including the German embassy in Uzbekistan .

Uzbek embassy in Berlin

Uzbekistan strove to maintain good relations with both Russia and the United States and Great Britain in the 1990s and first half of the 2000s . Currently, however, relations between the US and Uzbekistan have cooled as Karimov cleared the American military base. One reason was that the US condemned the bloody repression in Andijon . Foreign Minister is Vladimir Norov .

The Uzbek state continues to see itself as part of the global anti-terror coalition. The reasons for this are the events of Andijon in May 2005 and the attempted terrorist attacks on President Karimov in previous years. The Islamic fundamentalism is presented by the government as the biggest threat to the country and fought for some time. But this is often used as a justification for imprisoning innocent people, most of whom are simply not loyal to the government.

Support for the global fight against terrorism also resulted in the use of the Termiz air transport base by around 80 German Bundeswehr soldiers who were stationed there to provide logistical support for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan until 2015.

Uzbekistan received support from both the US government, which transferred 202 million euros for its army and security units in 2002, and from the then German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer , who repeatedly expressed himself very benevolently towards the regime.


Uzbekistan left the GUAM (previously GUUAM ) and the Turkish-Central Asian Summit (OATCT) in May 2005.

Uzbekistan recognizes almost all international treaties and agreements and has acceded to many international agreements and conventions. It has not yet joined the World Trade Organization . Uzbekistan is an observer and is actively negotiating. Reasons for not joining the group so far include the inadequate prosecution of copyright infringements. In 2001 she was accepted into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization . It works with the EU on the basis of a cooperation and partnership agreement and with NATO under the Partnership for Peace program .

Economic relations

Foreign trade (2008)
Export countries % Import countries %
Russia 25.3% Russia 27.6%
Turkey 09.7% China 16.3%
Kazakhstan 07.6% South Korea 11.5%
Bangladesh 06.5% Germany 06.1%
China 06.1% Kazakhstan 05.4%
$ 10.4 billion 0$ 7.1 billion

Russia, China, South Korea , Germany and Kazakhstan are the five most important supplier countries to Uzbekistan. The import volume in 2008 was seven billion US dollars and the export volume was around 10.4 billion US dollars. Mainly machines, food and chemicals are imported. The main exports are cotton, gold and natural gas.

Uzbekistan has taken an important step forward on the central issue of currency convertibility. Full convertibility has been in place since October 15, 2003. At the same time, the government is trying to achieve macroeconomic stability through a highly regulated monetary policy. The exceptionally high quota of cash is intended to control the economy and trade, keep the currency stable and contain inflation. This hinders economic life. However, there was a growth of seven percent in 2005; a solid budget and a positive trade balance have been achieved. But macroeconomic stability does not yet bring real trade and private sector growth and prosperity.

Relations with Russia

Parade during the visit of Vladimir Putin in May 2000

In mid- November 2005 , Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Uzbek counterpart Islom Karimov signed a military assistance pact in Moscow . As it says in it, a military attack on one of the two states is rated as "aggression against both sides": "In the event of aggression against one of the contracting parties, the other side will offer all necessary, including military help". The treaty also reportedly gives both countries the right to use their military infrastructure. Karimov explicitly called the treaty a "historic agreement". “Russia was and remains our most loyal ally.” Putin praised Russia's relationship with Uzbekistan in a similar way.

Commentators see the agreement as confirmation that Uzbekistan will in the future primarily be tied to Russia and less strongly oriented towards US interests. Russia is thereby increasing its influence in the Central Asian country. Many observers are convinced that the agreement represents a major setback for the US Silk Road strategy ( see also: The Great Game ).

Karimov's successor Mirziyoyev's course in Russia has not changed significantly. "Relations with Russia were, are and will be accompanied by a strategic partnership in the future" - emphasized the Uzbek President during his first official visit to Russia in Moscow in April 2017.

Relations with Germany

Germany is one of Uzbekistan's most important partners in Western Europe . This is due, among other things, to the fact that Germany is one of the most important buyers of Uzbek natural gas. The former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is considered a political friend of Uzbekistan and advocated an end to all sanctions against Uzbekistan and Uzbek politicians at the European Union level . At the end of February 2008, a German delegation led by the then Minister of Economics, Glos, traveled to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan . The approximately 100-strong delegation was supported by diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives from business. Among others, Deutsche Bank , EADS , MAN , RWE , Siemens , Taklog International Transports GmbH, Thyssen-Krupp and Wintershall were represented . In the bilateral talks, the topic of energy supply with natural gas was given high priority.

There are around 55 German company representations in Uzbekistan (around 15 with Germans posted), including Siemens and three German banks that finance both cotton trading and delivery transactions with Uzbekistan.

Relations with Kazakhstan

Ethnically, culturally and historically, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are closely linked. The foundations of international relations were created with the treaties on "Eternal Friendship" in 1997 and 1998.

In 2006 an Uzbek president visited Kazakhstan for the first time. During his last visit in November 2014, Uzbek President Islom Karimov emphasized the importance of the neighboring country for his country: "Kazakhstan is the closest country to us and has always supported the Uzbek people in difficult times."

Uzbekistan is Kazakhstan's largest trading partner among the Central Asian states. More than two thirds of all Kazakh imports from Central Asia come from Uzbekistan.

Relations with Kyrgyzstan

Relations with Kyrgyzstan have been politically tense for many years. Parallel to the domestic political unrest in Kyrgyzstan in 2010, which resulted in the overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev , the situation escalated in the southern Kyrgyz provinces of Osh and Jalalabat , where there had been ethnic clashes between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbeks. Tens of thousands of Uzbeks then fled to Uzbekistan. According to official figures, 170 people died in the clashes, and the media spoke of 2,000 fatalities. Because of the continuing influx of refugees, the Uzbek side even closed the common border. Border disputes, such as in the case of the Hungarian Too conflict, also put a strain on the relationship between the two states.


Uzbek Su-24M in 2005


Uzbekistan itself has 52,500 soldiers on duty. The armed forces consist of the army, the air force and the military security forces, which are subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior and should not be confused with the militia. In addition, there is a kind of national guard that reports to the national security service and is responsible for the security of important people in the country. Naval forces do not own the country. According to the 1992 Defense Act, the army is a defense army. The current (as of April 2014) Defense Minister of Uzbekistan is Qobul Raimovich Berdiyev.

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the United States, the Uzbek government approved the stationing of the US Air Force at the Karshi-Khanabad Airport in southern Uzbekistan. This base subsequently played an important role in reconnaissance and in attacks on al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. After the US government condemned the attacks in the city of Andijon in May 2005 , in which more than 400 civilians were killed, US forces were ordered to evacuate the air base within 180 days. The last US troops then left Uzbekistan in November 2005.

Since a decree by President Karimov in November 2008, the one-year basic military service is called up only once a year. In addition, a service for convening a mobilization reserve was introduced.

Around 100 Bundeswehr soldiers were stationed in Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2015. The Germans used the Termiz base , 500 kilometers south of Tashkent , to supply the International Protection Force in Afghanistan ( ISAF ).


The Uzbek militia , as the police are called in some states of the former Soviet Union, is notorious for the corruption rampant among its ranks . It therefore does not enjoy a good reputation in large parts of the population. Checkpoints are set up at regular intervals on country roads and access roads to cities. Passers-by have to pass these checkpoints slowly and are sometimes stopped for more precise control. The license plates are often recorded, which enables the population to be checked. In the larger cities there are also militiamen at the roadside, usually about every two to five hundred meters. The militia’s already strong presence was expanded as a result of the unrest in May 2005.

Administrative division

UN card

Uzbekistan is divided into twelve provinces (Uzbek. Viloyat , Pl. Viloyatlar ; in Soviet times Oblast ), an autonomous republic (Uzbek respublika ) and a city (shahar) with provincial rank. The provinces and the autonomous republic are divided into 157 districts (tuman, see structure of former Soviet federation subjects or rajons ) and 26 urban districts, the capital (with provincial rank) in eleven urban districts. A total of 91 cities, 1049 urban settlements or small towns (shacharcha) and 1457 “rural communities” ( qishloq fuqarolar yigʻin , literally “village citizens' assembly ”) are subordinate to the districts. 15 urban settlements and twelve “rural communities” are subordinate to various independent cities, as well as one city ( Yangiobod , to the independent city of Angren ). An urban settlement ( Ulug'bek ) is subordinate to the Mirzo Ulug'bek district of the capital Tashkent (all information as of January 1, 2011).

The Uzbek Constitution guarantees the autonomous republic the right to separate itself from the Republic of Uzbekistan by referendum. It also has its own constitution and laws, as long as they are in accordance with the Uzbek constitution.

Karakalpakstan Provinz Xorazm Provinz Buxoro Toshkent Provinz Toshkent Provinz Samarqand Provinz Surxondaryo Provinz Jizzax Provinz Qashqadaryo Provinz Sirdaryo Provinz Navoiy Provinz Namangan Provinz Andijon Provinz Farg'ona Kasachstan Iran Afghanistan Kirgisistan Tadschikistan China Turkmenistan
Provincial boundaries
Province (official name)
(German name)
(German name)
Population 2017 Automotive ISIN
City of Toshkent (Toshkent shahri) (City of Tashkent) 0000002,424 100 00001-09
Toshkent (Toshkent viloyati) (Tashkent administrative region) Toshkent (Tashkent) 0000002,829,300 00010-19
Sirdaryo (Sirdaryo viloyati) (Syr-Darja administrative region) Guliston 0000000803 100 00020-24
Jizzax (Jizzax viloyati) (Jizak administrative region) Jizzax 0000001 301 000 00025-29
Samarqand (Samarqand viloyati) (Samarkand administrative region) Samarqand (Samarkand) 0000003 651 700 00030-39
Fargʻona (Fargʻona viloyati) (Ferghana administrative region) Fargʻona (Ferghana) 0000003,564,800 00040-49
Namangan (Namangan viloyati) (Namangan Administrative Region) Namangan 0000002,652,400 00050-59
Andijon (Andijon viloyati) (Andizhan administrative region) Andijon 0000002 962 500 00060-69
Qashqadaryo (Qashqadaryo viloyati) (Kaschka-Darja administrative region) Qarshi (Qarshi) 0000003,088,800 00070-74
Surxondaryo (Surxondaryo viloyati) (Surchan-Darja administrative region) Termiz (Termez) 0000002,462,300 00075-79
Buxoro (Buxoro viloyati) (Bukhara administrative region) Buxoro (Bukhara) 0000001 843 500 00080-84
Navoiy (Navoiy viloyati) (Nawoi administrative region) Navoiy 0000000942 800 00085-89
Xorazm (Xorazm viloyati) ( Khorezm administrative region) Urganch (Urgentsch) 0000001,776,700 00090-94
Republic of Karakalpakistan (Qoraqalpogʻiston Respublikasi ;
karak.Qaraqalpaqstan Respublikasi) (Republic of Karakalpakistan)
Nukus (karak. Noʻkis ) 0000001,817,500 00095-99


Uzbekistan was one of the poorer areas in the former Soviet Union . More than 60% of the population lived in sparsely populated rural communities. Today Uzbekistan is the third largest cotton exporter in the world, a major producer of natural gas , gold and copper and a local producer of chemical products and machinery.

In the aftermath of independence in 1991, the government at the time tried to catch up with the planned economy based on the Soviet model with subsidies and strong controls over production and prices. In 1994, due to the high inflation , reforms of the economy began. The investment climate for foreign investors should be improved, the role of the state slowly scaled back, privatization pushed ahead and a stricter monetary policy introduced. However, the state is still a dominant factor in the Uzbek economy and the reforms have failed to the extent that they failed to bring about the much-needed structural changes. In 1996 the IMF postponed a $ 185 million loan because the political situation in Uzbekistan at the time made it impossible to meet the fund's conditions. Due to the Asian and Russian crises, exports and monetary policy were tightened further. One of the main reasons for the current stagnation is economic policies, which alienate foreign investors.

The share of more than 470,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in the gross domestic product increased from 30% in 2000 to 53% in 2010. They now employ 74% of the workforce. Approx. 30% of the companies are active in trade and gastronomy, around 20% in agriculture. However, they struggle with numerous problems, especially with import and export, licensing, compliance with standards and external financing.

The unemployment rate was 4.9% in 2017, and another 20% are underemployed. In 2012, 25.9% of the workforce worked in agriculture, 13.2% in industry and 60.9% in the service sector. The total number of employees is estimated at 18.1 million for 2017; 41.6% of them are women.

Key figures

All information based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund . The GDP values ​​are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).

year 1993 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
(purchasing power parity)
38.21 billion 37.42 billion 49.15 billion 71.64 billion 79.39 billion 89.24 billion 99.18 billion 108.03 billion 118.65 billion 131.15 billion 144.52 billion 158.60 billion 174.36 billion 190.17 billion 207.62 billion 222.56 billion
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
1,748 1,649 2.005 2,764 3,020 3,349 3,672 3,946 4,277 4,655 4,854 5,244 5,669 6,076 6,519 6,929
GDP growth
−2.6% −0.9% 3.8% 7.0% 7.5% 9.5% 9.0% 8.1% 8.5% 8.3% 8.2% 8.0% 8.0% 7.9% 7.8% 5.3%
(in percent)
534.2% 304.6% 25.0% 10.7% 13.1% 11.1% 13.1% 12.3% 12.3% 12.4% 11.9% 11.7% 9.1% 8.5% 8.0% 12.5%
Public debt
(as a percentage of GDP)
... ... 42% 28% 21% 16% 12% 11% 10% 10% 11% 11% 11% 9% 11% 25%


Fruit and vegetable cultivation in the mountain village of Hayat (Nuratau Mountains)

The most important agricultural cultivation areas are the densely populated Ferghana Basin in the east and the regions around the cities of Tashkent , Samarkand and Bukhara . Almost 80% of the agricultural area is used for growing cotton . Large parts of today's cultivated areas have to be artificially irrigated. This leads to massive problems of soil salinization and to the early drying out of the Aral Sea .

Agriculture and horticulture

All sorts of grains, vegetables and fruits are grown in Uzbekistan . Uzbek pumpkins are particularly popular, also far beyond the country's borders . Agriculture and horticulture have increased since the area under cotton was reduced. Most of the agricultural products are offered directly on the local markets and are rarely exported.


Cotton field with pickers in the Fargʻona province

Cotton is ubiquitous in Uzbekistan and the country's most important agricultural product. It is such a central element of Uzbek culture that it can even be found on the country's coat of arms. There are fountains in the shape of a cotton boll and skyscrapers and walls with stylized representations of cotton. In addition to growing cotton for export, it also produces cottonseed oil, which is widely used in the cuisine of Uzbekistan.

The 2008 cotton harvest was around 3.6 million tons of raw cotton. Uzbekistan was the sixth largest cotton producer in the world with 1.1 million tons of high quality cotton. In 2009, the cotton harvest was only around 3.4 million tons of raw cotton, which has mainly to do with the fact that parts of the cultivation area are now used for other agricultural products.

Most of the state-owned Uzbek cotton production is based in part on child labor and compulsorily drafted students. Uzbekistan issued a 2008 ban on using children in the cotton fields. This happened under pressure from international companies in the clothing industry, such as Wal-Mart , Tesco , Gap Inc. , H&M and C&A . According to observers, however, children are repeatedly involved in harvesting in many parts of the country.

Silk manufacture

Traditional silk production in the Yodgorlik Margilan factory

The center of Uzbek silk production is in and around Margilan . Mulberry trees , which are the food source for the silkworm , can be found along streams and canals . The silk threads are processed into fabrics and some of them are exported.


Uzbekistan is rich in mineral resources such as natural gas , gold , copper and uranium . Other important mineral resources are silver , lead , zinc , tungsten , molybdenum and kaolin .

Many of the raw materials have hardly been mined so far.

natural gas

A large number of international companies are involved in the production of natural gas in Uzbekistan. Almost all investments are made in cooperation with the Uzbek holding company Uzbekneftegas, which is state-owned.

The development of natural gas production in the Bukhara - Khiva region has been running in cooperation with Lukoil Overseas since 2004 and is expected to be completed in 2008. The funding has a planned duration of 35 years. The deposits are geologically estimated at around 283 billion m³. Production in the Ustyurt plateau was resumed in 2004 in cooperation with Zarubezhneftegaz, a subsidiary of Gazprom , and the Swiss Gas Project Development Central Asia AG, Gazprom also has a 50% stake here, and is expected to produce the existing approximately eight billion m³ of natural gas by 2017 . Sinopec , a Chinese company, plans to invest in existing development areas by 2010 and also in exploring new development areas in the Andijon and Namangan regions as well as Bukhara, Khiva and Ustyurt . The Swiss Zeromax GmbH is involved in the development and use of the new gas reservoirs in the Bukhara - Khiva region as well as in the explorations in the Tandyrtschi region. The exploration of the deposits in the Aral Sea Basin is carried out by a consortium consisting of Lukoil Overseas (Russian), Petronas Carigali Overseas (Malaysian), CNPC International Ltd. (Chinese) and KNOC Aral Ltd. (Korean) made. A corresponding agreement was negotiated at the end of 2006.

At the end of June 2008, construction of a gas pipeline from the Bukhara region to China began. The partner on the Chinese side is CNPC . The construction costs of the first section with a length of 500 kilometers should amount to around two billion US dollars. The two lines should be completed in late 2009 and in 2011.


Oil production in Uzbekistan is far less important than natural gas production. With a production of around 100,000 barrels per day and a consumption of over 150,000 barrels per day, Uzbekistan has to import oil net despite its proven reserves of 600 million barrels of crude oil.


Metal smelting is located in the mining regions of Angren and Olmaliq . Gold exports currently generate much higher foreign exchange income than natural gas exports.

Uzbekistan is currently the fifth largest producer of the radioactive metal uranium in the world . Since there is no domestic demand for uranium, the entire production is intended for export. The reserves are estimated at 186,000 tons, with a current production rate of 1,500 tons per year. A five-year investment program has been in place since 2007, aiming to increase annual output by around 150% to 3,500 tons per year. For this purpose, old mines were reopened, new deposits opened up and existing ones modernized.


Industrial complex near Chirchiq

In Asaka in the Fergana Valley, Uz-DaewooAvto produces around 190,000 small cars (as of 2009) of the Daewoo Matiz , Daewoo Nexia and Damas types for the Central Asian market. Uz-Daewoo was formerly a joint venture between UzAvtoprom and the South Korean automobile manufacturer GM Daewoo , but has been completely in Uzbek hands since Daewoo's financial crisis in 1998. Since October 2007 General Motors has entered into a joint venture with UzAvtoprom under the name GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Uzbekistan (see: GM Uzbekistan ). Additional agreements were signed in February 2008, with GM holding 25% of the joint venture. The Chevrolet Captiva , Epica and Tacuma models are already being manufactured in the UzAvtoSanoat plant. GM supports UzAvtoSanoat through its dealer network to sell Chevrolet-branded cars produced in Uzbekistan in the CIS countries . With a planned 5,000 employees, 250,000 Chevrolet Captiva, Chevrolet Epica , Chevrolet Lacetti and Tacuma cars are to be manufactured annually .

The military transport aircraft Il-76 and the passenger aircraft IL-114 are produced in Tashkent, but Russia is keen to move production to Ulyanovsk .

Other mechanical engineering is mostly related to agriculture, especially the manufacture of cotton products.


The tourism in Uzbekistan is under construction. The infrastructure does not yet consistently meet the requirements of an internationally oriented tourism. In Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, many hotels now meet international standards. a. with free internet access. ATMs or bank branches are often located in the hotels so that you can easily get cash at any time. Currently, most of the tourism can be found along the Silk Road, which runs through most of the country's length. Popular travel destinations are the ancient cities of Samarkand , Bukhara and Khiva . Optimal travel times are spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October), as the summer is very hot. In the Ugom-Chatqol National Park , winter sports in the form of heli-skiing are also possible. Domestic tourism centers include Chimgon and Beldersoy , which serve as an easily accessible recreational area for the people of Tashkent.

Since February 2019, all citizens of the European Union , citizens of the Schengen area and citizens of other countries, including Switzerland, can enter the country without a visa. This increased the number of states whose citizens do not require a visa to 64. In addition, a number of citizens of other states were given access to the e-visa system. This increased the number of states with access to 76.

State budget

The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 21.23 billion , which was offset by revenues equivalent to US $ 21.09 billion. This results in a budget deficit of 0.1% of GDP .

The national debt was 11.6% of GDP in 2016.

In 2006, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was as follows:

Foreign trade and foreign trade policy

Uzbekistan's integration into world trade is hampered by the country's pronounced import substitution policy . An important reason for this policy is the fact that Uzbekistan has built capital-intensive industries (such as the automotive industry), even though the country is relatively short of capital. Another reason is the outdated technology in other industries. The goods produced in these factories would not be able to withstand free competition with imported goods. Uzbek production is therefore protected by high, sometimes prohibitive import duties.

The influx of foreign capital, especially in the form of direct investment, is lower than in any of the other successor states of the former Soviet Union. On the other hand, emigration of workers, especially skilled workers, is very high. At least 2 million Uzbeks worked in Russia alone. In 2012, the guest workers transferred $ 5.7 billion to Uzbekistan, which was a tenth of Uzbek economic output.



Tashkent Railway Station (2006)
The Talgo 250 Afrosiyob bullet train


Compared to its neighbors, Uzbekistan has a relatively good infrastructure , even if its geographical location and the lack of access to the sea mean restrictions for freight traffic. Besides Liechtenstein, Uzbekistan is the only landlocked country bordered by only landlocked states, which is sometimes referred to as a double landlocked state . Most of the traffic is carried out on the road.

In terms of tonnage, the shares in freight transport are divided between road transport with 90.7%, pipelines (oil and gas) with 4.7% and railways with 4.6%. 98.5% of passenger traffic takes place on the road, 1.2% is accounted for by aviation and 0.3% by rail.


The length of the road network is over 81,600 kilometers, of which 71,237 kilometers are paved with pavement (as of 2007). The route Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara - Urganch - Nukus along the old Silk Road is of outstanding importance ; However, the route is in very poor condition over long distances. The M-39 trunk road ( Almaty , Kazakhstan-Tashkent-Samarkand- Termez ) runs through Kazakh territory in a section between Tashkent and Samarkand and must therefore be bypassed for transit between the two cities. The M-37 connects Samarkand with Bukhara and continues to Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. A non-directional main road (A-380) leads through the desert between Bukhara and Urganch. This route with a following 250 km long, new motorway section between Bukhara-Urganch is part of the European route 40 (the latter between Bukhara and Urganch through Turkmen territory), which also leads northwest out of the country to Kazakhstan between the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea , but there is only available as an "unpaved slope". Other national roads on Uzbek territory are the M-34 from Tashkent via Guliston to Dushanbe in Tajikistan, the M-41 from Termez via Dushanbe to the Kyrgyz region.

Rail transport

Uzbek Railways Network

The railway is operated by the state-owned Oʻzbekiston Temir Yoʻllari (UTY). The rail network was expanded by around 500 kilometers to a length of around 3950 kilometers between 1991 and 2007. The newly built routes were often necessary to avoid transit journeys through neighboring countries. Most of the rail network is single-track and is to be expanded. The lines around Tashkent, i.e. essentially from the capital to the southwest and to neighboring Kazakhstan, have been electrified . The electrification of the routes will continue.

The Registon has been running between Tashkent and Samarkand with a journey time of three hours and 40 minutes since 2003, and the Sharq between Tashkent and Kogon (near Bukhara) with a journey time of seven hours since 2005 . In July 2011 the first 250 km / h Talgo was delivered, which shortens the travel time Tashkent – ​​Samarkand to two hours. This rapid transit line currently leads to Bukhara; Work is underway to upgrade the route to Urganch. - There is also the train 49/50 as a daily border connection Samarkand – Tashkent – ​​Samarkand, which has western standards.

The connection from Tashkent to the Ferghana Valley, opened in 2016, is very important. The connection leads through the mountains with the 19 km long Kamchiq tunnel . Only this tunnel enabled the inner-Uzbek railway connection from the Ferghana Valley with the rest of the country. The railway lines in the valley run through neighboring countries and are currently closed.

Tashkent has had a metro with a 36.2 km network since 1977 . Since 2018 it has been allowed to take pictures of the subway and in the train stations.


1,100 kilometers of the waterways are navigable. However, the heavy water abstraction from the Amu Darya severely restricts shipping traffic. The only notable port is in Termiz .

air traffic

Uzbekistan has a state-owned airline Uzbekistan Airways (Uzbek. Oʻzbekiston havo yoʻllari ), which offers domestic flights as well as international flights, including to Frankfurt am Main. Tashkent has an international airport. The second international airport is Urganch. Uzbekistan Airways offers flights to Frankfurt, Istanbul, Rome and Mumbai, among others. There are also flights to Nukus, Samarkand and Bukhara from Moscow.

power supply

The power supply in Uzbekistan is 220 volts mains voltage and 50 Hz mains frequency. The electricity is produced in coal, gas and hydropower plants. The Chorvoq Dam, for example, supplies part of the electricity for Tashkent and Chirchiq .

In large parts of Tashkent there is a district heating network that ensures the supply of hot water. Many households are also connected to the gas network.

The energy supply is considered reliable in cities, but not in rural areas. There are more power outages there.

Telecommunication and Post

Much of the telecommunications network dates back to Soviet times and is therefore in urgent need of modernization. The state-owned telephone company Uzbektelecom has taken out a loan of USD 110 million from the Japanese government to modernize the network. In addition to the approximately 1.821 million telephone connections (as of 2007), there are 22.8 million mobile phone connections (as of January 2018). There are five mobile phone providers: The Uzbek companies UCell (formerly Coscom), Uzmobile and Perfectum Mobile as well as the Russian companies Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and VimpelCom with the brand name Beeline (formerly Unitel). A nationwide expansion of the GSM network is still pending; UCell signed a contract with Nokia Siemens Networks for this in November 2007 . In 2009, the mobile network operators planned to invest around USD 200 million in building UMTS and WiMAX networks and in modernizing the networks. UMTS is to go into regular operation in Tashkent at the end of 2008.

Uzbekistan is connected to international networks with overland and radio lines via Kazakhstan and Russia. The Trans-Asia-Europe fiber optic network (TAE) is currently being set up, which extends from Frankfurt (Main) to Shanghai along the Silk Road.

So far there are only 38,200 internet connections in Uzbekistan (as of 2008). Internet connections are currently hardly affordable for large parts of the population. An ADSL connection with a data transfer rate of 1 Mbit / s and 2 GB traffic costs around USD 40 per month. Many Uzbeks are therefore dependent on the use of internet cafés and so the number of internet users reaches 2,460,000 people (as of January 2009). The current bottlenecks in international connections are also noticeable in the use of the Internet in Uzbekistan.

The Uzbek post can hardly be compared to the post in Europe. As a rule, delivery to the private mailbox does not take place. However, the post can be sent anywhere in the world without any problems. Sending a letter to Germany usually takes between one and three weeks. The Uzbek postage stamps are usually very lovingly designed with motifs from culture and the animal kingdom.


Antique suzani (silk carpet) in the Art Museum of Tashkent
Entrance to the Ulugh Beg Observatory (museum) in Samarkand

In contrast to the populations in the neighboring countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, which are still rooted in nomadism and were only superficially Islamized for a long time, the region of today's Uzbekistan has been a core area of ​​Islamic culture since the early Middle Ages. The highly developed, Persian -influenced urban culture was essential for this . In particular, the old centers in what is now the center of the country, Bukhara and Samarkand , have an extraordinary cultural history. They produced many great philosophers , scientists and theologians . The most famous are:

The language and culture of Persia is still cultivated by many people in the vicinity of these cities, while the state language Uzbek developed from Eastern Turkish idioms. The country's greatest poet, Mir ʿAli Schir Nawāʾi in the 15th century, came from Herat and wrote in Chagatai and Persian .

The art music of Uzbekistan is based on different forms of the Maqam , a musical theory that is widespread in Arab countries and Central Asia . The complex rhythms and melodic structures are similar to those of Iranian music . The best known is the Shashmaqam ("six maqame") style cultivated in Bukhara, Samarkand and in neighboring Tajikistan . The Alti-yarim Makom ("six and a half Maqāme") is the regional style of the northern parts of the country, while in the Ferghana Valley the reduced Tschahar Maqam ("four Maqame") is played by Uzbeks and Tajiks.

One of the oldest and most important cultural traditions in the country is the traditional Indo-Iranian New Year festival Nouruz ( Uzbek . Navroʻz ), which is celebrated in spring. Navroʻz is a public holiday.


Three nationally distributed daily newspapers appear in Uzbekistan , including the Turkmen-language Khalk suzi and the Russian-language Pravda Wostoka ( Russian Правда Востока ). The television is state-owned, two programs are broadcast.

The state broadcaster UzTV consists of four television channels, three of which are broadcast nationwide. The private television company Kamalak-TV is responsible for the transmission of foreign television channels, but also offers its own channels. Since September 2008, the programs in Tashkent have also been broadcast via DVB-T . A nationwide expansion of DVB-T and DVB-H is planned for the future .

In addition to the state radio stations, a number of private stations were also able to establish themselves in the mid-1990s. Transmission takes place exclusively on the FM band.

In Reporters Without Borders' 2017 press freedom ranking, Uzbekistan ranks 169th out of 180 countries. As Reporters Without Borders reported, journalists from state media must obtain permission to speak to foreign diplomats. 10 journalists are in prison in Uzbekistan.

In 2016, 52% of the population used the internet.



Uzbek cuisine is very varied, with more than a thousand dishes. Typical of the Uzbek cuisine are soups like Sho'rva and Naryn , the Bachor (salad) , the entrees plov or Manti and Lag'mon - which is served either as a main course and dessert - and halva . Green tea (koʻk choy) in particular is drunk all year round in tea houses, known as choyxonas. In summer, however, Ayron , a chilled yogurt, and fruit juices are preferred. Alcoholic beverages are generally not very popular, with the exception of wine , which, for a predominantly Muslim country, is consumed a lot.

The history of Uzbek cuisine and the origin of the various Uzbek dishes can be traced back several centuries. Therefore, the traditional rituals that are still common today when preparing food can be explained. Today, as it was several centuries ago, Uzbek cuisine is closely linked to Oriental cuisine and that of other Turkish-speaking countries due to the country's location, language, culture and religion .


  • Bernhard Chiari , Magnus Pahl (ed.): Guide to history: Uzbekistan. Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn, Munich, Vienna, Zurich 2009, ISBN 978-3-506-76880-3 , ( online ).
  • James Critchlow: Nationalism in Uzbekistan: a Soviet republic's road to sovereignty. Westview Press, Boulder [et al. a.] 1991.
  • Julia M. Eckert: The independent Uzbekistan: on the way from Marx to Timur: political strategies of conflict settlement in a multi-ethnic state. (Berlin Studies on International Politics; 1) Lit, Münster 1996.
  • Thomas Kunze : Central Asia. Portrait of a region. Portrait of a region. Christoph Links Verlag , Berlin 2018. ISBN 978-3-86153-995-7 .
  • Craig Murray : Murder in Samarkand. A British Ambassador's Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror. Mainstream Publishing, London & Edinburgh 2006.
  • Jürgen Nowak: The ethnopolitical situation in Uzbekistan. Federal Institute for Eastern Studies and International Studies, Cologne 1995. (Reports of the Federal Institute for Eastern Studies and International Studies; 1995, 30).
  • Resul Yalcin: The rebirth of Uzbekistan: politics, economy and society in the post-Soviet era. 1st edition, Garnet [u. a.], Reading [u. a.] 2002.
  • Judith Peltz: Discovering Uzbekistan. Along the Silk Road to Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Trescher, Berlin 2005 (4th edition), ISBN 3-89794-077-9 .
  • Britta Wollenweber, Peter Franke: Uzbekistan - Land between Orient and Occident. The travel guide for the background. Wostok Verlag , July 2007 (2nd edition), ISBN 3-932916-34-4 .

Studies and journal articles

  • Sebastian Schiek: Uzbekistan dares to update (PDF; 326 kB). In: SWP-Aktuell 2017 / A 68. Science and Politics Foundation , October 2017.
  • Manfred Sapper , Volker Weichsel, Andrea Huterer (eds.): Power mosaic Central Asia. Traditions, restrictions, aspirations. Eastern Europe 8-9 / 2007 . ISBN 978-3-8305-1217-2
    • Matteo Fumagalli: Uzbek dilemma, state nationalism and Uzbeks abroad. Pp. 237-244
    • Imke Dierßen: Human rights policy towards Uzbekistan without consequence . Pp. 377-388
    • Martha Brill Olcott: Without a line. The West and Uzbekistan to Andizhan. Pp. 389-400
    • Jörn Happel : Shukrullo's memories. An Uzbek Life in the 20th Century pp. 605–616

Web links

Wikimedia Atlas: Uzbekistan  - geographical and historical maps
Wiktionary: Uzbekistan  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Uzbekistan  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
 Wikinews: Uzbekistan  - in the news
Wikivoyage: Uzbekistan  - Travel Guide

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Coordinates: 42 °  N , 64 °  E