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Location in Kyrgyzstan
Coordinates: 40°31′48″N72°48′0″E / 40.53000°N 72.80000°E / 40.53000; 72.80000
Country Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg Kyrgyzstan
Region Osh Region
  Mayor Aitmamat Kadyrbaev
  Total182.5 km2 (70.5 sq mi)
963 m (3,159 ft)
 (1 November 2020)
  Total320,400 [2]
Time zone UTC+6 (KGT)
Website http://oshcity.kg

Osh (Kyrgyz : Ош; Uzbek : O‘sh) is the second-largest city in Kyrgyzstan, located in the Fergana Valley in the south of the country and often referred to as the "capital of the south". [3] It is the oldest city in the country (estimated to be more than 3000 years old), and has served as the administrative center of Osh Region since 1939. The city has an ethnically mixed population of about 281,900 in 2017, [4] comprising Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, Russians, Tajiks, and other smaller ethnic groups. It is about 5 km from the Uzbekistan border.



Osh has an important outdoor bazaar which has been taking place on the same spot for the past 2000 years, and was a major market along the Silk Road. The city's industrial base, established during the Soviet period, largely collapsed after the break-up of the Soviet Union and has recently only started to revive.

The proximity of the Uzbekistan border, which cuts through historically linked territories and settlements, deprives Osh of much of its former hinterland and presents a serious obstacle to trade and economic development. Daily flights from Osh Airport link Osh—and hence the southern part of Kyrgyzstan—to Bishkek and some international destinations, mainly in Russia. Osh has two railway stations and a railway connection to Andijan in neighbouring Uzbekistan, but no passenger traffic and only sporadic freight traffic. Most transport is by road. The recent upgrading of the long and arduous road through the mountains to Bishkek has greatly improved communications.

The city has several monuments, including one to the southern Kyrgyz "queen" Kurmanjan Datka and one of the few remaining statues of Lenin. A Russian Orthodox church, reopened after the demise of the Soviet Union, the second-largest mosque in the country (situated beside the bazaar) and the 16th-century Rabat Abdul Khan Mosque can be found here. The only World Heritage Site in Kyrgyzstan, the Sulayman Mountain, offers a splendid view of Osh and its environs. [5]

This mountain is thought by some researchers and historians to be the famous landmark of antiquity known as the “Stone Tower", which Claudius Ptolemy wrote about in his famous work Geography. It marked the midpoint on the ancient Silk Road, the overland trade route taken by caravans between Europe and Asia. [6] The National Historical and Archaeological Museum Complex Sulayman is carved in the mountain, containing a collection of archaeological, geological and historical finds and information about local flora and fauna.

Its first western-style supermarket Narodnyj opened in March 2007. [7]

Osh is home to Osh State University, one of the largest universities in Kyrgyzstan. [8] [ circular reference ]


Osh city (Ош шаар - Osh shaar) covers 182.5 square kilometres (70.5 square miles) [1] and like the capital city Bishkek, is administered separately and not part of any region, although it is the seat of Osh Region. Besides the city proper, 11 villages are administered by the city: Almalyk, Arek, Gulbaar-Toloykon, Japalak, Kengesh, Kerme-Too, Orke, Pyatiletka, Teeke and parts of Ozgur and Tölöykön. [1]


Osh is the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan after the capital city of Bishkek. At the census of 2009 the city population amounted to 258,111, of which 25,925 reside in the 11 villages that are administered by the City of Osh. Of the total population, 57.9% were Uzbeks, 34.2% Kyrgyz, 2.5% Russians, 2.2% Turks, 1.1% Tatars and 2.1% other nationalities. [1] The population of the city with its suburbs in the surrounding Kara-Suu District is estimated at about 500,000 inhabitants (for 2012).


Early history

The inhabitants of Osh repulse the occupiers of their city and assist Babur. He inhabitants of Osh (Ush) drive the enemy out with sticks and clubs and hold the town for Babur.jpg
The inhabitants of Osh repulse the occupiers of their city and assist Babur.

The city is among the oldest settlements in Central Asia. Osh was known as early as the 8th century as a center for silk production along the Silk Road. The famous trading route crossed Alay Mountains to reach Kashgar to the east. [9]

Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire and descendant of Tamerlane, was born in nearby Andijan, in the Fergana Valley, pondered his future on Sulayman Mountain and even constructed a mosque atop of the mountain. Babur somehow concludes that the confines of the Fergana would cramp his aspirations as a descendant of famous conquering warrior princes. He wrote of the city:

"There are many sayings about the excellence of Osh. On the southeastern side of the Osh fortress is a well-proportioned mountain called Bara-Koh, where, on its summit, Sultan Mahmud Khan built a pavilion. Farther down, on a spur of the same mountain, I had a porticoed pavilion built in 902 (1496-7)" [10]

Imperial Russian and Soviet rule

The city was occupied and annexed by the Russian Empire in 1876 when Russia overwhelmed the Central Asian khanates during the so-called "Great Game", the contest between Britain and Russia for dominance in Central Asia. This conquest was achieved and the inclusion to the Russian Empire made by the mid-1880s, with main credit to General von Kaufman and General Mikhail Skobelev.[ citation needed ]

In the 1960s Osh and other towns in the south of the Kyrgyz SSR began to be industrialized. The population of Osh and other towns in the Fergana Valley that falls within Kyrgyzstan has traditionally consisted of a significant number of ethnic Uzbeks. [11] When Osh started to industrialize the ethnic "Kyrgyz were encouraged to move from the Kyrgyz populated countryside to the cities to work in industrial jobs and public administration." [11] This contributed to the rise of social tension between the two groups.

1990 riots

In 1990, shortly before the end of Soviet power in Central Asia, Osh and its environs experienced bloody ethnic clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. There were about 1,200 casualties, including over 300 dead and 462 seriously injured. [11] The riots broke out over the division of land resources in and around the city. [12]

2010 ethnic violence

In 2010, after riots in Bishkek and other major Kyrgyz cities, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev took refuge in the city to hide from protesters denouncing his government and its response to the nation's struggling economy. On May 13, 2010, Bakiyev supporters took over government buildings in Osh, and also seized the airport, preventing interim government officials from landing. [13] The protesters demanded Bakiev's return, and forced the regional governor to flee. The former Osh regional governor Mamasadyk Bakirov was reinstated.

On June 10, 2010, riots erupted in Osh, killing at least 81 and injuring hundreds of others. [14] "An explosion of violence, destruction and looting in southern Kyrgyzstan on 11–14 June 2010 killed many dozens of people, Kyrgyz and Uzbeks got killed and destroyed over 2000 buildings, mostly homes, and deepened the gulf between the country’s ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks." [15]

Local media reported that gangs of young men armed with sticks and stones smashed shop windows and set cars aflame in the city center. Several buildings and homes across the city were also set on fire. The city's police force proved incapable of restoring order resulting in a state of emergency being declared and the army being mobilised. [16]

The Kyrgyz intelligence agency claimed that the 2010 violence was initiated by the just-deposed president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who is said to have made a deal with foreign narco-jihadist gangs to take over southern Kyrgyzstan and initiate a shariah state in exchange for the Bakiyev family's being returned to controlling Bishkek. [17] However, to the day no serious proof has been presented to the public and media. According to various sources, up to 100,000 ethnic Uzbeks refugees fled to Uzbekistan. Many refugee camps have been organized in the Andijan, Fergana and Namangan regions of Uzbekistan for Uzbek citizens of Kyrgyzstan who cross the border seeking safety.



Under the Köppen climate classification, Osh features a continental climate (Dsa), with hot, dry summers and cold winters. Osh receives on average roughly 400 millimeters of precipitation annually, the bulk of which typically falls on the city outside the summer months. Summers are hot in Osh, with average high temperatures routinely exceeding 30 °C. Winters are cold with average temperatures below freezing during a good portion of the season. Spring and autumn are transitional seasons, with temperatures rising during the course of the spring season and falling during the course of the autumn.

Climate data for Osh
Average high °C (°F)0.8
Daily mean °C (°F)−3.8
Average low °C (°F)−8.3
Average precipitation mm (inches)35
Source: Climate-data.org [18]


Osh cityscape.jpg
Downtown Osh, seen from Sulayman Too on 7 August 2006.

Notable people

Twin towns - sister cities

Osh is twinned with:

See also

Related Research Articles

Bishkek Capital and largest city of Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, formerly Pishpek and Frunze, is the capital and largest city of Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek is also the administrative centre of the Chuy Region. The province surrounds the city, although the city itself is not part of the province, but rather a province-level unit of Kyrgyzstan. It is also near the Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border.

Kyrgyzstan Country in Central Asia

Kyrgyzstan, officially the Kyrgyz Republic, is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the south, and China to the east. Its capital and largest city is Bishkek. Ethnic Kyrgyz make up the majority of the country's six million people, followed by significant minorities of Uzbeks and Russians. The Kyrgyz language is closely related to other Turkic languages, although Russian remains spoken and is a co-official language, a legacy of a century of Russification. Ninety percent of Kyrgyzstan's population are Muslim, with the majority of its population following Sunni Islam. In addition to its Turkic origins, Kyrgyz culture bears elements of Iranic, Mongolian and Russian influence.

Fergana Valley valley in Central Asia spread across eastern Uzbekistan, southern Kyrgyzstan and northern Tajikistan

The Fergana Valley in Central Asia spreads across eastern Uzbekistan, southern Kyrgyzstan and northern Tajikistan.

Andijan City in Andijan Region, Uzbekistan

Andijan is a city in Uzbekistan. It is the administrative, economic, and cultural center of Andijan Region. Andijan is located in the south-eastern edge of the Fergana Valley near Uzbekistan's border with Kyrgyzstan.

The Tulip Revolution or First Kyrgyz Revolution led to President of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akayev's fall from power. The revolution began after parliamentary elections on February 27 and March 13, 2005. The revolutionaries alleged corruption and authoritarianism by Akayev, his family and supporters. Akayev fled to Kazakhstan and then to Russia. On April 4, 2005, at the Kyrgyz embassy in Moscow, Akayev signed his resignation statement in the presence of a Kyrgyz parliamentary delegation. The resignation was ratified by the Kyrgyz interim parliament on April 11, 2005.

Roza Otunbayeva

Roza Isakovna Otunbayeva is a Kyrgyz diplomat and politician who served as the President of Kyrgyzstan from 7 April 2010 until 1 December 2011, becoming the first female Central Asian Head of State. She was sworn in on July 3, 2010, after acting as interim leader following the 2010 April revolution which led to the ousting of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. She previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as head of the parliamentary caucus for the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev President of Kyrgyzstan from 2005 to 2010

Kurmanbek Saliyevich Bakiyev is a politician who served as the second President of Kyrgyzstan, from 2005 to 2010. Large opposition protests in April 2010 led to the takeover of government offices, forcing Bakiyev to flee the country.

Osh Region Region of Kyrgyzstan

Osh Region is a region (oblast) of Kyrgyzstan. Its capital is Osh. It is bounded by (clockwise) Jalal-Abad Region, Naryn Region, Xinjiang, China, Tajikistan, Batken Region, and Uzbekistan.

Kara-Suu Place in Osh Region, Kyrgyzstan

Kara-Suu is a town in Osh Region, Kyrgyzstan, in the Fergana Valley. The town is 23 km northeast of Osh and is the capital of Kara-Suu District. It is a major industrial and trade center, on the border with Uzbekistan. On the other side of the border is the town Qorasuv. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Uzbek authorities destroyed the main bridge across the river, but cross-border trade continued via improvised ropeways that ferried goods and people across.

Alikbek Jeshenkulov is the former Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan (2005–2007) and now the leader of the oppositional party "Za spravedlivost".

Sulayman Mountain

The Sulayman Mountain is the only World Heritage Site located entirely in the country of Kyrgyzstan. It is located in the city of Osh and was once a major place of Muslim and pre-Muslim pilgrimage. The rock rises abruptly from the surrounding plains of the Fergana Valley and is a popular place among locals and visitors, with a splendid view.

Nookat Place in Osh Region, Kyrgyzstan

Nookat, also Eski-Nookat, Iski-Naukat or Naukat, is a city in Osh Region of Kyrgyzstan. It is the seat of Nookat District. According to 2009 Census the population of Nookat was 14,371.

Kyrgyzstan–Russia relations Bilateral relations

Kyrgyzstan–Russia relations is the relationship between the two countries, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Russia has an embassy in Bishkek and a consulate in Osh, and Kyrgyzstan has an embassy in Moscow, a consulate in Ekaterinburg, and a vice-consulate in Novosibirsk.

Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan relations Bilateral diplomatic relations

Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan relations refers to the bilateral diplomatic relations between the Republic of Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic. Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan relations have been tense in recent years. Refugees and antigovernment fighters in Tajikistan have crossed into Kyrgyzstan several times, even taking hostages.

The Osh riots were an ethnic conflict between Kirghiz (Kyrgyz) and Uzbeks that took place in June 1990 in the cities of Osh and Uzgen, part of the Kirghiz SSR. The immediate cause of the riots was a dispute between an Uzbek nationalist group Adolat and a Kyrgyz nationalist group Osh Aymaghi over the land of a former collective farm. While official estimates of the death toll range from over 300 to more than 600, unofficial figures range up to more than 1,000. The riots have been seen as a forerunner to the 2010 ethnic clashes in the same region.

2010 Kyrgyz constitutional referendum

A constitutional referendum was held in Kyrgyzstan on 27 June 2010 to reduce presidential powers and strengthen democracy in the wake of the riots earlier in the year. Parliamentary elections followed on 10 October 2010.

Kyrgyz Revolution of 2010

The Kyrgyz Revolution of 2010, also known as the Second Kyrgyz Revolution, the Melon Revolution, the April Events or officially as the People's April Revolution, began in April 2010 with the ousting of Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev in the capital Bishkek. It was followed by increased ethnic tension involving Kyrgyz people and Uzbeks in the south of the country, which escalated in June 2010. The violence ultimately led to the consolidation of a new parliamentary system in Kyrgyzstan.

The 2010 South Kyrgyzstan riots were clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan, primarily in the cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad, in the aftermath of the ouster of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev on 7 April. It is part of the larger Kyrgyz Revolution of 2010. Violence that started between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks on 19 May in Jalal-Abad escalated on 10 June in Osh.

The following lists events that happened during 2010 in Kyrgyzstan.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "2009 population census of the Kyrgyz Republic: Osh City" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  2. http://stat.kg/ru/publications/doklad-socialno-ekonomicheskoe-polozhenie-kyrgyzskoj-respubliki/
  3. "Osh & The Fergana Valley". GeoHistory. 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  4. 2017-жылдагы Кыргыз Республикасынын облустарынын, райондорунун, шаарларынын, шаар тибиндеги кыштактарынын калкынын саны, Численность населения Кыргызской Республики на 1 января 2017 года
  5. "Osh Travel Guide | Caravanistan". Caravanistan. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  6. Dean, Riaz (2015). "The Location of Ptolemy's Stone Tower: The Case for Sulaiman-Too in Osh" (PDF). The Silk Road.
  7. In Osh opened a supermarket "Narodnyj" Archived 2012-03-27 at the Wayback Machine .
  8. Osh State University
  9. Rowan., Stewart (2008). Kyrgyz Republic : Kyrgyzstan : heart of Central Asia. Weldon, Susie., Harris, Paul, 1958 September 28-, Fairclough, Ceri. (3rd ed.). Hong Kong: Odyssey Books & Guides. ISBN   9789622177918. OCLC   154707602.
  10. The Babur-nama Ed. & trans. Wheeler M. Thackston (New York) 2002 pp4-5
  11. 1 2 3 "Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry into the Events in Southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010" (PDF). The Independent International Commission of Inquiry (KIC). Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  12. "Osh". Redmond, WA: Microsoft® Student 2009 [DVD]. 2008.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. "Former Kyrgyz President's Supporters Take Over Government Buildings In South". Radio Free Europe . 13 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  14. google.com 12 June 2010
  15. "The Pogroms in Kyrgyzstan". International Crisis Group . Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  16. "Twelve killed in new wave of unrest in Kyrgyzstan". Associated Press. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  17. "Бишкек обвинил Бакиева в финансировании попытки госпереворота". wsinform.com.
  18. "Climate: Osh" . Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  19. "Osh and Yozgat city of Turkey became twin cities". Kabar National News Agency. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2013.

Coordinates: 40°32′N72°48′E / 40.53°N 72.8°E / 40.53; 72.8