The stans

Central (Middle) Asia incorporates the “stans”, wherein the name of each of six peoples added to the suffix “–stan” denotes each nation.



Map of Central Asia here includes Afghanistan [Wikimedia Commons]

The 5 “stans” (all former Soviet republics) of Central Asia

Together, the “stans” make up a population of 280 million people in an area the size of Australia. They are ethno-religiously dominated by Sunni Islam, and would boast an active military of close to one million personnel.

  • Astana (capital city)
  • Aktobe — major city at the Ilek River
  • Almaty — largest city (and former capital)
  • Aktau — main Caspian Sea port
  • Atyrau
  • Dushanbe (capital city)
  • Khujand — was a major ancient trading town at the Silk Road
  • Ashgabat (capital city)
  • Daşoguz
  • Mary
  • Türkmenabat
  • Türkmenbashi
  • Tashkent (capital city)
  • Bukhara — famous Silk Road city
  • Kokand — in Fergana Valley
  • Nukus — capital of the autonomous Karakalpakstan Republic
  • Qarshi — capital of Qashqadaryo Region
  • Samarkand — ancient trading town on the Silk Road
  • Urgench — capital of the Khorezm Region, at the Shavat canal, near the Amu Darya River

See also Speaking Turkic


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