TURKESTAN. The people of Central Asia who inhabit the countries which extend north wards to the Russian frontiers, westwards to the Caspian Sea, and southwards to Afghanistan, for the greater part arc descendants of Turks, and it would be more correct to give to all these coun tries tile general name of Turkestan, dividing it ia the following manner :— 1st. Northern or Russian Turkestan, compre hending, in it the three tracts of the Kirghiz nation, with Bokhara, Khokand, and part of Khiva.
2d. Southern Turkestan, inhabited by the Khivan, Turkoman, and Karakalpak, and includ ing also Tashkeud.
3d. Eastern Turkestan, comprising Little Bucharia, which is subject to China.
Turkestan races are the Uzbek, Karakalpak, Kara-Kirghiz, Kirghiz-Kazak, Turkoman, Tajak, Sart, Galcha, and Rus.sians. The arable tracts, especially in Kliiva, Bokhara, and Khokand (Fargana), from prehistoric times have been the joint home of races of Turki and Iranian blood.
Turkestan lowlands southwards are limited by the western continua.tion of the Hindu Kush as far as the Ilari-Rud valley, and beyond that point by the Khorasan highlands as far as the Caspian.
Russian Turkestan is bordered on the west by the Caspian, the Aral river and mountains ; on the east by the Pamir plateau, the Tian Shan and Altai ranges separating it froin the Chinese empire ; northwards by the low ridge crossing the Kirghiz steppes about the 51st parallel, and forming the water-parting between the Aralo Caspian and Ob basins. For administrative pur poses, part of 1Vestern Siberia, 40,000 square miles in extent, is attached to Russian Turkestan. Including this tract, Russian Turkestan has an extreme length from the Caspian to Lake Issuk kul of 1400 miles west and east, with a breadth of nearly 1000 miles north and south, a total area of about 1,600,000 square miles, and a population of 6,500,000.
1Vestern TurA-estan is conspicuous for the high relief of the land. Nowhere on the surface of the globe are stronger contrasts to be seen than in the Aralo - Caspian depression and the Aralo Caspian bamin. In tile latter region, the whole area of drainage consista of about even !antis highlands and lowlands. While tho lowlands
fall in the Caspian as much as 85 feet below sea-level. the highlands in the culminating points of the Tian Shan and Great I'amir rise to 25,()00 feet above it. The nucleus of the whole Central Asian highland system is formed by the Pamir, to which converge the Hindu Kush and Himalayas from the south-west and south-east, the Konen I.un from the east, the Tian Shan from the north-east ; whilst to the west the plateau itself merges in the snowy highland.s and ice-fields about the sources of the Zar-afshan, between the Oxus and Jaxartes valleys. I3etween the eastern extension of the Tian Shan and the Balkash-kul stretches the broad Turkestan plain, bounded to the south-east by Kulja, the frontier province and long debateable land between the Russian and Chinese enapires. By nature the richest land beyond the limits of China proper, this unhappy province bears witness, in its ruined cities and wasted plains, to the suc cessive risings of Zungarians and Dunyaus, the victims of which during more than a century are to be reckoned by millions.
Bokhara is an isolated kingdom in Turkestau of sinall extent, surrounded by a desert. It lies between lat. 36° and 45° N., and long. 61° and 67° E. It is an open champaign country of unequal fertility, and intersected by the Oxus on its southern border. Its rivers are the Amu or Oxus, the Syr or Jaxartes, the Kohik or Zar afshan, and the rivers of Kurshi and Balkh. It is ruled over by an amir, now under Russia, whose sway is comprised between the parallels of latitude and the degrees of longitude above indicated. The Uzbak are undoubtedly the preponderating rae,e in Bokhara, not so much from their number, as by the tics which bind them together. They are divided into stems and sections, like the Kirghiz, and have their elders or beys, who enjoy a certain consideration.among them. The Uzbek branches, with some of their subdivisions, are enumerated in the work called Named Mameti Uzbakia.