Talk:Central Asia

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Central Asia:
  • Biology (flora and fauna)
  • Geology
  • Natural history
  • Add a map with the central Asian countries shown, in the style of the Asia map.


There is a noticable absence of the persian empire in this article. Through out the ages, the persians controlled parts of central asia at any given time. Only about 200 years ago is the time when there sphere of influence started to die, as the Qajar kings started to sell parts of central asia to the russians. Especially in parts like uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, aswell as tajikistan were these areas were in complete persian control till 200 years ago.

Turkmenistan was under Iranian control, Uzbekistan and tajikistan have Iranian civilization but were not part of the state called Iran since Islamic era. But I agree with you. there is a large and strong anti-Iranian lobby operating from the USA universities such as Columbia, Indiana and Harvard which pollutes central Asian history and propagates anti-Iranian views or tries to minimize the ties between Iran and Central Asia/Caucasus.--Babakexorramdin (talk) 20:10, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is seriously trying to deny the major influence of Iranian/Persian culture and power throughout all of Central Asia (Indiana even has classes in its Central Eurasian Studies department which require reading ability in Persian, such as this one). Sadly, both this article and History of Central Asia are severely lacking in many aspects of coverage, and need to be heavily improved. With your background and ability to read Persian, you could add a lot of good material inaccessible to others. Otebig (talk) 22:31, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your nice words. I am aware of those classes even in Indiana. Nevertheless a lot of efforts is done even in those courses to adapt the course material to political interests. My other experiences are that Iranians and Iranianists (those who study Iranian studeis) are ignored by the funds for Central Eurasian studies. Also it is very hard to get published, because a lot of reviewers and editors in chief also follow, wittingly or not, this agenda. Not surprizingly the literature prior to 1979 Iranian revolution, speaks extensively about the Iranian/Persian influence in the region. Times change and the political agenda changes. Who knows what brings tomorrow. I myself am doing as much as I can to contribute objectively to the study of this region, and I hope more people will do the same.--Babakexorramdin (talk) 10:56, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Not true before it was persia which it wasnt it was under the afghan empire. Persia did not sell anything24.5.197.224 00:53, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Old disputes[edit] a site with map of Central Asia

see MediaWiki Talk:Central Asia. --Lowellian 03:40, May 5, 2004 (UTC)

Cantus, can you explain to me what you think is wrong with the 22:44, May 4, 2004 version instead of just reverting it? It includes all the regions you seem to want included; the major difference is that it makes a mention of Central Asian Republics, which is an official term used during the Soviet period and since retained for their usefulness in grouping those five countries. --Lowellian 04:29, May 5, 2004 (UTC)

It's not as easy to understand if the countries are not listed at the beginning and each bulleted. --Cantus 05:12, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

This is a particularly futile edit war, there are clearly at least two accepted usages of the word, both of which need to be described. I agree that the May 4th edit is as good as any. Mark Richards 22:12, 12 May 2004 (UTC)

See also User talk:Wik#Central_Asia

Copied from Mark Richards' Talk:

Do you have a specific, substantive, original criticism of the version that I have restored? If so, I will answer it. But you're just complicating things if you're merely acting as a mediator in an edit war between Cantus and Wik. 172 20:35, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

You probably won't hear anything different from me. This is not a 'geographical' issue. The issue is encyclopedic organizational principles, particularly (heirarchy, precision). The term 'Central Asia' typically refers to the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. That's why other encyclopedias place the five former Soviet republics of Central Asia under this category, but not Mongolia. 172 20:49, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, opinion is clearly divided on this, even from other mainstream sources. There is no 'precision', since this is essentially a political, not a geographic issue. We simply have to document the fact that the term has several different meanings, and live with that - there is no 'right answer'. Mark Richards 20:56, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
For crying out loud. No, this just means that Wikipedia should stay consistent. Let's stick with the mostly widely used use of the term in reference to the former Soviet republics, alright. 172 21:05, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, it seems like reflecting varied usuage would be more appropriate. Mark Richards 21:15, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

This Article needs to mention Tuva in the second paragraph. sunja 11:06, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Tell me more! Be bold and add it, except of course you can't because the page is protected to do a stupid edit war!

Please leave more information here, and someone will add it to the page. Also, can we move forward on getting this unprotected? Thanks, Mark Richards 16:14, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Dear friends of Central Asia,

Thank you for the short article.


1. history: "part of the Communist-led Soviet Union." Sorry, but that is not encyclopaedic writing. To much cold war rhethoric, serious! I don't know, where do you come from, but it is not the inter-subjective level I expect from such a source. "ranging from democratic to highly authoritarian" Sorry again, but could you tell me which of the five CA gouvernments is based on democratic values and regulations. Honestly, none, even so beloved Kyrgyzstan is moving strictly to a highly authoritarian system. Of course, in compare with Turkmenistan, they are "democratic". But again, not on an objective (inter-subjective) level. "Most Central Asian nations are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization." And how about CIS, EEC, OSCE, UN, Intergouvernmental Commission TRACECA etc... Did you get my point. Why do you explicitly determine one particular organisation without explaining it. Or you leave it out or you mention the others as well.

2. geography: "A majority of the people earn a living by herding livestock." Any figures? Sounds pretty much...

3. Demographics "More than 80 million people live in Central Asia," In the five CA states? Hardly. Following some profound sources (e.g. World Bank) you have a population of around 55 million. If you ment more than the 5 states, please say so. Otherwise it is confusing, especially with regard to the discussion forum.

Thank you, Gerald Huebner (Berlin)

Reverting without comments[edit]

Hi there - I'm a little piqued that as soon as the protection was removed, this was reverted, without comment. That is the kind of behaviour that prompted the protection in the first place, and evidence that it is still needed. Could you either undo the revert, or justify it on the talk page? Thanks, Mark Richards 21:12, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I did not see any justification for this, so I put it back. A revert to an entirely different version is not a minor edit, btw ;) Mark Richards 20:16, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Map of Central Asia courtesy of World Book 2002:


Mark Richards, could you please explain here why are you reverting to another version? I read your messages above and they do not explain your revertions. Thanks.

--Cantus 22:28, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Thanks - it seems clear that there are many competing definitions of the term - this version does not express that - can you explain why this one definition should be the only one presented? Mark Richards 22:50, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

We need to show the mulitiple definitions, perhaps a couple of different maps would help? Intrigue 22:59, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Integrated the other def from old version and structured. Intrigue 23:57, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)


This article currently lists Tibet twice as sometimes included in Central Asia. As far as I know, Tibet has never been lumped in with Central Asia, and had always been associated with the Subcontinent's states (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan).

As far as I can tell, in common usage, Central Asia refers to the five former Soviet republics (Central Asian Republics), and can sometimes include Afghanistan, Xinjiang, and even more rarely parts of Pakistan, Qinghai, and bits of southern Russia like Tyva.

Also, I've never seen Mongolia or the Caucasus included in any definition of Central Asia. I can understand lumping the Caucasus in on an ethnic basis simply because of the Turkik peoples there, but Mongolia seems entirely separate, both ethnically and geographically. —thames 16:21, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • Well both the Tibet and Mongolia articles explicitly place them in Central Asia, and the Caucasus article places it there by some definitions. I can speak best of Mongolia, which I think is firmly part of Central Asia culturally, speaking one of the Altaic languages and historically sharing, even exemplifying, the traditional steppe nomadic way of life. In fact most of Genghis Khan's armies were actually Turkic, and, according to a recent genetic study, an astonishing 8% of Central Asian men are direct male line descendants of the Great Khan. The modern borders are of course not drawn by ethnicity, especially not historical ethnicity. The Mongol ethnic group borders Kazhaks to the west and Uighurs to the south in Sinkiang, roughly. And Tibet is to the south of Sinkiang, and historically Tibetan-style Lamaism was spread from there all the way north to Mongolia. Linguistically, Tibet is closest to East Asia. Of course, all of these definitions are rather arbitrary anyway, but I suggest the article could work best with an inclusive approach.--Pharos 21:51, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Fair enough. Perhaps we should make a distinction between "solidly" Central Asian areas (the former soviet central asian states, afghanistan, xinjiang), and the peripherally central asian states (the caucasus, mongolia, tibet, qinghai, pakistan, tyva). That way we can be inclusive but not misleading. —thames 23:46, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • If Tibet is included, adjacent parts of Nepal are still mainly populated by ethnic Tibetans at least as far south as the high Himalaya. Nevertheless, Tibet is culturally problematic because religion, and writing draw heavily from Indian sources, and the language is neither Turkic nor or Indo-European. LADave (talk) 00:57, 4 August 2008 (UTC)


I found a website with a wealth of historical maps of Central Asia. This will be an invaluable resource in writing up the history section. —thames 18:18, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I am concerned that the map I made of Central Asia may not be entirely accurate, especially concerning:

  • What parts of pakistan are actually considered part of Central Asia. My map divides Pakistan along the Indus river, but since we assert that Central Asia is landlocked, that division is contradictory.
  • The actual borders of Central Asia within China. Does Inner Mongolia count? And should we draw the boundaries (like I did) to roughyl conform to Chinese adminstrative units, or should we draw them to conform with geographical features (whatever they may be), or should they conform to historical boundaries (Greater Tibet, both inner & Outer Mongolia, East Turkestan)
  • The parts of Russia that I labeled part of central asia are simply the border republics, but the definition really ought to be ethnically/geographically represented, rather than simply based on Russian administrative divisions. Same more or less goes for the North, South, and Iranian Caucausus.

Meanwhile, there are no good maps of central asia in google image searches, which is disappointing. Most simply focus on the former SSRs, rather than a geographic or ethnic delineation.

thames 18:27, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I found three maps of ethnic divisions in Central Asia which may be helpful: pakistan, central asia 1, central asia 2. —thames 18:35, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

If the map is going to be updated it should also be noted that the UNESCO history of Central Asia includes the Punjab and other parts of Northern India in the region. - SimonP 18:44, Mar 3, 2005 (UTC)
They also include Iran. I'm not sure how far we can stretch Central Asia in this article. If it were up to me, we wouldn't be including Mongolia, Tibet, the Caucasus, Iran, or Pakistan. The five former SSRs, Afghanistan, Xinjiang and bits of southern Russia seem to create the best cohesive area. I think for the purposes of history that Iran, the Subcontinent, and perhaps Tibet could easily be excluded, and probably ought to be. —thames 20:32, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Here are a few (inadequate) physical maps of Central Asia: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]. They are important, however, in showing the geographic division of Mongolia/Xinjiang/Tibet from the Former SSRs. Also, the a mountain ranges of Afghanistan and Pakistan are quite visibly separating them from the rest of central asia. —thames 18:42, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Best map of central asian oil & gas pipelinesthames 20:22, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I found this (totally sweet) map of the world's climates. We could reproduce the Central Asia section on our own and put the map in the Geography#Climate section. Moreover it very accurately depicts the (sort of) geographic lines that define Central Asia:

  • The mountain ranges that constitute Greater Tibet, run through Afghanistan, up around Iran, into Northern Iran (Iranian Azerbaijan), and become the Caucasus mountains.
  • The steppe that runs from the North Caucasus, over the Caspian, through Kazakhstan, into Mongolia.

This is hands-down the best map (i've found so far) for illustrating what Central Asia actually is. I will try to redo the political map (for the top of the article) to better match this climate map.

  • I must give kudos on the fine new political map that half-miraculously manages to illustrate Central Asia as something of a coherent region.--Pharos 07:58, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Thanks. It's tough trying to correctly illustrate it. The way I see it, there are five subdivisions of Central Asia: the Caucasus, former SSRs (including Afghanistan), Xinjiang, Greater Tibet, and Inner+Outer Mongolia. The new map outlines the whole, but doesn't really distinguish any of the subregions. Nor do we have anything illustrating the sub-subregions, like Transoxania or the Ferghana Valley or others that I mention below. The new map is a good overall map though. Better than my previous one, which was just terrible.

Subregions of Central Asia[edit]

I'm not sure where we can insert this information, but it might be useful to divide Central Asia into subregions. We already have articles dealing with:


Separate articles?[edit]

It seems fitting to condense and link the history and geopolitics sections into History of Central Asia and Geopolitics of Central Asia. Circéus199.202.104.10i0

I agree, and will probably end up doing just that for the Geostrategy section, perhaps today, perhaps Sunday night after I get back from a trip. —thames 16:09, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Its a good sign that we've reached a stage where this has become necessary, but one can say, for instance, that the history section is still very far from anything like complete. Still, it's getting rather long. :)--Pharos 18:35, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

We also very much need a History of Central Asia article. We already have History of the Middle East, History of East Asia, History of South Asia, and History of Southeast Asia so Central Asia should complete the set. - SimonP 18:47, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)

Some other 'regions', from Uzbekistan that may possibly be added include the Koresm, Sogdiana, Fergana Valley, perhaps the Tocharian sub-regions? I'm not exactly sure what the current significance of these names are currently. anyone?


Does anyone have a good source that places the Caucasus in Central Asia? I've encoutered a wide array of definitions for Central Asia, but none that include the Caucasus. - SimonP 02:10, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

If you mean the mtn. range, they are typically considered as the southeastern limit of Europe. In that case, unless we're doing South Central (or Eurasia), that might not work for you. Sorry.
Ref. the Brit (uh oh screaming Wik's... ;')
Bwefler 06:45 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think the place of Caucasia in this article is debateable. Politically, ethnically and geographically, it is a different place. I for one, feel that the addition of Caucasian languages and Armenian language into the section on languages would unballance the article and make it loose cohesion. Gareth Hughes 12:47, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, "South Central" in error(?), since it's north of southwest Asia... (not really the center...) :Bwefler 17:35, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, I think the map should be changed to exclude the Caucasus from Central Asia. Nowhere in the article do we discuss Caucasia. - SimonP 17:42, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

Geographically, Caucasus is part of Southeastern Europe and in some cases scholars have assigned it to Western Asia (though that is disputable too), but NEVER to Central Asia. Based on these grounds, I'm removing all references to Caucasus in this article that imply that Caucasus might be or ever was part of Central Asia, whether culturally or linguistically, let alone ethnically and geographically. Not to would be contrary to logic and a violation of the standards set up by the Wikipedia policy regarding objectiveness of claims. Subjective claims such as found in this article should belong only to the minds of those who believe them, NOT to an article in an encyclopedia. References to Caucasus in contexts other than the aforementioned four will be left untouched.-- 18:15, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Pakistan & Instability[edit]

Describing Pakistan as unstable is currently quite an apt and understated way of putting it. You could say, in place of unstable, that it is a country faced with a decades old violent border dispute (kashmir), ethnic separatism (balochistan), transnational terrorist presence (south waziristan), a leader who assumed power in a military coup and who refuses to relinquish his military post, and who enjoys so little public support that he is forced to travel with U.S. army guards to protect against the multiple and recurring assassination attempts, an unenforceable northern border with Afghanistan that allows for the smuggling of people, drugs, and weapons through the country, and a security force that is only partly in allegiance with the government and responsible for setting up and supporting one of the most brutal and oppressive regimes in Afghansitan. That certainly qualifies as unstable, and is not an NPOV assertion. thames 14:34, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That is your POV. Pakistan has semi-autonomus region along the Afghanistan border. Pakistan cannot infringe upon local autonomy and self-rule of Pashtun tribes. Pakistan has done more than enough to control the Afghan border. While the Afghanistan regions are still controlled by warlords. The opium and other drugs are harvested in Afghanistan then smuggled to Pakistan. Musharraf's popularity in Pakistan is similar to Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan's economy is growing over 7% per year and that have increased stability and support of Musharraf. I do not support the military government but it has performed better than previous democratic governments.
Siddiqui 21:55, 19 April 2006 (UTC)


Under demographics, would it be possible to list the largest cities by population? Kevlar67 19:37, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

This Article is as disorderly as Central Asian politics themselves[edit]

Whoever keeps including the region of Caucasus into Central Asia has some pathetic agenda and needs to stop. There is no single work that implies that Caucasus ever was and/or is part of Central Asia. The traditional border between Asia and Europe was and still is overwhelmingly considered the Caspian Sea and the Ural Mountains.-- 22:01, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Political map[edit]

I think that the article should have a political map showing all the nation states of the region. This should be the first map of the article. __meco (talk) 06:57, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Climate map[edit]

I removed a nonsensical link to joe from the climate map legend. Just want to make sure that it wasn't a mangled form of a valid reference.

Khajidha (talk) 00:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

2nd paragraph list[edit]

Central Asia borders4.png

My edits to make the 2nd paragraph list were to make it better match the UNESCO definition provided, yet my edits were reverted. My edits are factual, look at the UNESCO map provided on the page

Thegreyanomaly (talk) 22:37, 29 January 2009 (UTC) (fixed on 22:41, 29 January 2009 (UTC))

This paragraph makes sense to me. It's better to have "northern" or "northwestern" (for Pakistan and India, respectively) not wikified, since the UNESCO definition includes more than one province in both countries. And thanks for adding southern Siberia - I'm surprised we all missed putting in there before. Also, I think the "Major cultural and economic centres" section is worthwhile, since it can let people unfamiliar with the region know what the important cities are. It would be better, though, if there was a short description to go along with each picture (and maybe not have it in a gallery format). Otebig (talk) 23:24, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Caucasus again[edit]

Don't know how strongly to weight this, but Diversity Amid Globalization (third edition; a world regional geographic text by Rowntree, Lewis, Price and Wyckoff; published by Pearson/Prentice Hall; ISBN-13: 978-0-13-133046-7) includes Azerbaijan in its definition of Central Asia based on linguistic, religious, and economic ties. Khajidha (talk) 19:48, 12 October 2009 (UTC)


"The region itself never held a dominant stationary population, nor was able to make use of natural resources." - As far as I'm aware, geographical regions generally don't make use of natural resources.

"Central Asia has been divided, redivided, conquered out of existence, and fragmented time and time again." - Really, it was conquered out of existence? Can anyone provide a map of this world sans Central Asia?

Honestly, that section is just horribly written. (talk) 11:18, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Proposal of addition of India to WP Central_Asia[edit]

Hello, there is currently a debate underway to see whether India should be included in WikiProject Central Asia. Not many people have contributed so far, and as Kashmir/Ladakh are supposedly one of the areas with Central Asian influence in question, I would like to ask all editors with a background knowledge of this region to participate in the debate here. Mar4d (talk) 18:10, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Proposed addition of Ladakh to Central Asia[edit]

I propose the addition of Ladakh to the Central Asia article. Below are some of the sources for this:

--RaviC (talk) 20:10, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm rather unimpressed by this collection of sources. In order:
  • The two images are not reliable sources (and the second includes Georgia, which certainly is not part of Central Asia).
  • The Suburban Energy Management Project and IHCN rely on the UNESCO's definition which indeed includes northern India (without mentioning Ladakh). These are the best we have.
  • Routledge Contemporary South Asia mentions trade routes from India to Central Asia passing through Ladakh; that does not imply Ladakh is a part of Central Asia.
  • The Himalayan Battleground book is similarly ambiguous, while the Ladakh Profile added to the article itself seems to count Ladakh as outside Central Asia.
  • produces a 404 error. Another page at the same site again refers to the UNESCO definition (but it also mentions other definitions as more common that exclude Ladakh).
In summary, the UNESCO definition is Ladakh's sole claim to "Central Asia-ness". IMO that does justify listing India among the "Nations with territories sometimes included", but we should remove the bad sources and leave those pointing to the UNESCO definition - say, IHCN. I have changed the article to this effect. Huon (talk) 12:03, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Begging the question: How did what is obviously western Asia come to be known as central?[edit]

This article needs a paragraph on how this name was arrived at, since it won't make sense to a lot readers after they see a map, especially Image:Location-Asia-UNsubregions.png, from which "West Asia" or "Western Asia" is conspicuously absent. There's nothing central about "Central Asia" at all, a term that would more accurately describe the western half of China. I certainly have no dispute with the fact that this term is used, but it's downright weird, given the geographic facts. People are certainly going to wonder, just as they do with the American Midwest, which is actually rather northeastern given the US's present extent. That article adequately explains the terminology's history, this one doesn't. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 22:07, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

"West(ern) Asia" is better known as "Europe". --Khajidha (talk) 20:36, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

File:Haram 4.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Southern boundary[edit] changed the geographic description and substituted "India in the south" for "Afghanistan in the south". While the UNESCO definition does include parts of northwestern India, most others do not, and the "smaller" definitions don't even include countries bordering India. Nepal, which is north of much of India, isn't included in any definition I'm aware of. On the other hand, all definitions include either Afghanistan itself or Afghanistan's immediate northern neighbours. Given these varying definitions, Afghanistan seems a much better southern boundary than India, and I have reverted 74.61's edits. Huon (talk) 00:09, 3 April 2012 (UTC)


The defintion of Central Asia is wrong, the Central Asia includes not 5 but 6 republics.Before Soviet collapse Mongolia was only one Central Asian country.Central Asians are nomadic and Eastern Asians are sedentary people.We Mongolians consider ourselves a Central Asians, people's opinion must be more important than politicians.The Mongolia doesn't belong to the Eastern Asia both geographically and hictorically, it's just fake political propaganda. Ancient (talk) 04:02, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

I suggest you tell the UN so they change their geoscheme. We already note that Mongolia is sometimes included in definitions of Central Asia. Huon (talk) 09:51, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Xiongnu, Xianbei,Göktürk, Uyghur and Khitan were all Central Asian states but these states weren't "sometimes included in Central Asia"...This geoscheme is wrong. Ancient (talk) 12:20, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not the right place to argue the UN got it wrong; we just report its classification. See WP:V. Huon (talk) 23:34, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Central Asia and "Middle Asia"[edit]

In Russian language, there are two different notions: "Middle Asia" (Средняя Азия) and "Central Asia" (Центральная Азия). "Middle Asia" is the part of Central Asia that was within the borders of USSR. Other languages lack this distinction, so it often causes misunderstandings and mistranslations. Be careful when you talk about "the most limited definition". — Monedula 18:58, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Central Asia = Middle East = Middle Asia. The Information should also put as a fact that Central Asia is also considered to be Middle East since its in the Middle/Central of the East/Asia.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:24, 2010 August 7 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The article Middle Asia was recently redirected to this article by User:Quigley. The reason given was "Somebody obviously copied the article Central Asia at an earlier stage, and just replaced some instances with 'Middle Asia', even when it doesn't make sense and misrepresents sources." I have undo the wp:redirect and started a merger proposal between the two articles. The article Soviet Central Asia may also have significant overlap, as discussed in the thread above. Please discuss the proposal here. - Stillwaterising (talk) 18:47, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

It's not really controversial. In English, the terms are most often used interchangeably, although some academics will argue for the observation of distinctions that only really still exist in the source languages of Russian or German. We have space to explain the terminology and etymology issues in the article. Also, as I mentioned in the edit summary, we have two articles that are almost 100% word-for-word duplicates of each other, so keeping them separate doesn't make sense, especially with redirect technology. (In fact, I am merely restoring a redirect that was turned into a fork some time ago, rather than decimating an original article). Shrigley (talk) 19:16, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Central Asia is a separate region and it is different from Middle Asia. "Central Asia is a region comprising the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan" (Microsoft Encarta 2009). We must have a separate article on Central Asia. Nataev (talk) 10:12, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
What exactly is there to merge? The Middle Asia article seems to be either directly based on this one, or it's unsourced. I haven't looked through all of it, but while it emphasizes that one shouldn't confuse Middle Asia and Central Asia (in bold!), I couldn't find where it explains the difference. It seems pretty useless to me. We might write a proper article on Middle Asia, but this fork isn't it. A redirect seems more appropriate for now. Huon (talk) 15:54, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Nataev, how is that distinct from Middle Asia? English doesn't make this division between Central Asia and Middle Asia that you are arguing for. I know that the two are used differently in some other languages (particularly Russian), but that is already covered on this page. Redirect the Middle Asia article to here. --Khajidha (talk) 19:18, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Okay, it has been a month and it looks like there is a consensus to "merge", so I've boldly recreated the redirect. Shrigley (talk) 16:54, 4 November 2012 (UTC)


‎ minimized any mention of India in this article, removing Ladakh and Leh and significantly shortening the Indian part of the "geostrategy" section. Ladakh and Leh are clearly within the UNESCO definition of Central Asia; as we should, we list them among the territories sometimes included. I have reverted that part of his edits. On the other hand, I agree that our coverage of Indian empires extending influence into Central Asia was both unsourced and dubious. When, precisely, did a Hindu empire find its power-projection capabilities diminished by Islam in Central Asia? The Sultanate of Delhi and the Mughal Empire were Muslim empires themselves, and before the era of the Sultanate, Central Asia wasn't that Islamic either. I have thus kept a few unsourced sentences out of that section while reverting the rest of 99.235.'s edits. Huon (talk) 00:54, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Is the so-called UNESCO definition (is there any evidence that UNESCO uses this definition as a matter of policy, or continues to use it after 1992) widely used by other sources? One of your restorations lists Leh as one of the "Major cultural and economic centres" of Central Asia (along with other dubious candidates like Yinchuan and Hohhot) But this looks like a synthesis based on the fact that Leh is central to Ladakh, and Ladakh is possibly included under Central Asia. Where are the sources that say explicitly that Leh is a "cultural and economic center" of Central Asia? Shrigley (talk) 16:54, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
How about this: Historically Leh was an important centre for trade in Central Asia, along the Indus Valley between Tibet to the east, Kashmir to the west, and India and China. The famous Silk Route used to pass through here. That's an UNESCO-affiliated website with a 2007-2009 copyright - in fact it's our source for the inclusion of Ladakh; we could also use it for Leh itself, but currently no cities at all cite sources. Anyway, apparently the UNESCO still believes Leh is in Central Asia, and that it was a trade center in that region. Huon (talk) 17:59, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Even if it is assumed that there is some sort of Central Asian influence in Leh, I really don't understand why India is included in the table of countries "sometimes" included in Central Asia. Leh, after all, is a very remote and small part of India. India is always viewed as a South Asian country - you will rarely see American or any international foreign policy sources quote India when discussing geostrategic or political affairs involving Central Asia. In my opinion, the current inclusion of India in the table is highly questionable and is merited more due to the nationalist interests of some people here (unfortunately) than for any factual reason. I don't have any major issue with the mention of Leh in the "Major cultural and economic centres" section though. Mar4d (talk) 04:31, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
India is listed among the "countries with territories sometimes included", just like Russia and China. Unlike those other examples, for India we give not just figures for the entire country but also for the part that's actually sometimes included in Central Asia, so our readers can tell that most of India isn't considered part of Central Asia. To me it seems one of the better entries in the "territories sometimes included" list.
I tend to agree that there seems to be some nationalism going on, but I have no idea why. Is it that desirable to be listed as part of Central Asia? Anyway, if we want to disregard the UNESCO definition we'd have to come up with alternative sources for all the countries on the "territories sometimes included" list or remove that list outright. Huon (talk) 05:56, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Turkification of Central Asia till the 6th century and 13th century[edit]

In their westward migration, the Turkic tribes of Inner Asia entered Central Asia, icluding Kazakhstan and Turkified the Kazakh land over the next few hundred years, ending by the 6th century(Menges 1989, 84; Abolhassan Shirazi, 1991, 90). By that time, the steppe (nomadic) part of Central Asia (what is now Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and parts of Turkmenistan was completely Turkified.(Bregel 1991, 54) The Mongols' conquest of Central Asia in the 13th century completed the Turkification of its settled part- that is, the rest of Central Asia, excluding today's Tajik-dominated areas, since most of the nomads brought to the region by the Mongols were Turkic peoples.(ibid., 83)

Source = Conflict and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus, Hooman Peimani, page 122, 2009. OnlineDragonTiger23 (talk) 15:17, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Indeed. At the time of Herodotus the Scythians north of the Black Sea spoke an Iranian language and this language family is thought to have extended far to the east - I don't know on what evidence. We have Turkic migration and Iranian peoples that I can find. As far as I know, no one knows why one language family replaced the other. Benjamin Trovato (talk) 21:33, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Mongolia & Xinjiang in Central Asia[edit]

Just to let everybody know, I decided to put Mongolia & Xinjiang into Central Asia because (a) they're both culturally part of Central Asia]], and (b) in the case of Xinjiang, it's smack at the eastern edge of Central Asia, & Mongolia is a transition between (mostly) Central & East Asian cultures. Although, I got to say Mongolia is not that influenced by China.-- (talk) 08:31, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

East_Asia#History: The history of East Asia is predominantly the history of the Chinese Dynasties that dominated the region in matters of trade as well as militarily, such as the Qin and the Han Dynasties. History_of_East_Asia#Invasions_from_Central_AsiaMain article: Mongol Empire. When did form current (UN) definition of Central Asia? (talk) 04:40, 18 December 2013 (UTC)


To reduce confusion, I now removed all those regions in the introduction who are virtually never associated with Central Asia, and put them in the article. The only nation outside the traditional definition of Central Asia (Afghanistan) is kept in the intro. (as it should be) This should increase overall comprehension capabilities of the article and make it more pleasant to read without constant huh moments.

LouisAragon (talk) 18:41, 6 May 2014 (UTC)