Sneha Girap (Editor)

Mangystau Region

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Country  Kazakhstan
Area  165,642 km2
Capital  Aktau
Population  596,706
Colleges and Universities  Caspian State University of Technology and Engineering

Mangystau Region (Kazakh: ) is a region of Kazakhstan. Its capital is Aktau (a seaport), which has a population of 154,500 (2004 census); the entire Mangystau Region has a population of 373,400.


Map of Mangystau Region


Mangystau Region Beautiful Landscapes of Mangystau Region

The region is located in the southwest of the country, and includes Mangyshlak Peninsula. It has much of Kazakhstans Caspian Shore. It also borders neighboring countries Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Mangystau also borders two other Kazakh regions (counter-clockwise), Aktobe Region and Atyrau Region. The area of the region is 165,600 square kilometers. Engineers discovered petroleum in the area in the days of the Soviet Union, drilling commenced, and much of the area was built up around the industry.

Mangystau Region Beautiful Landscapes of Mangystau Region

The territory of Mangystau includes lots of different landscapes and desert lands: Caspian lowland, plateaus (Usturt, Mangyshlak, Kendirli-Kayasan), mountains (Aktau, Karatau), cavities, desert, mountains and mountain ridges. That kind of landscape forms an original multigraded labyrinth, painted with green, yellow, pink and red sediment of loam. The highest point is Otpan mountain at 556 metres (1,824 ft). The lowest point is the bottom of Karagie cavity, 132 metres (433 ft) below sea level.


Mangystau Region in the past, History of Mangystau Region

The first written sources on Mangystau Region date back to the 9th century AD. According to Arabic geographers, it was uninhabited until the tenth century when groups opposing the Turkmen Oghuz settled and found sources of water and grassland. The mountain called Binkishlah (unidentified) would have marked the border between Khwarezm and the Khanate of the Khazars . These Turkmen were vassals of the Khazars, at the beginning of the thirteenth century when Yaqut al-Hamawi and Ibn al-Athir mention the name of Mankashlagh. Ibn al-Athir tells of a Turkish principality with a medina with the same name as the territory that existed from the late eleventh century. In 1097 a struggle between Kutb al-Din Muhammad, Khwarezm governor of Seljuks and Tugrul Tehghin occurred. In 1127, Atsiz occupied the whole peninsula. During Khwarezmshah rule, it was part of firstly Gorgan province, later Mazandaran Province.

Mangystau Region in the past, History of Mangystau Region

In 1221, the Mongols occupied it. It was later passed to successively Golden Horde, Nogai Horde, Uzbek Khanate and Kazakh Khanate, but its population was decreased after gradual drying of the steppe and Kalmyk raids began in 1620. Some Salur and Ersari Turkmens left the region and migrated to Russia.

In 1670, Anusha Khan who was khan of Khiva asked the Russian government to build a fortress to protect the peninsula for securing trade between Russia and Khwarezm. Puntsuk Monchak and Ayuka (1670-1724) deported most of Cawdor and Igdir groups of Turkmen to the Volga basin. For protecting trade, Anusha Khan annexed it to his territories in 1676 and build a fort at the port of Karagan in 1687.

The Russians under Peter the Great sent an expedition led by the unfortunate Bekovich-Cherkassky, who established three forts on the coast of the Caspian Sea, but they were abandoned after one year. Then there were several Russian scientific expeditions. In 1834 they founded on the south coast of the Bay of Mertviy Kultuk a permanent garrison at Novo-Petrovskoye. This caused a conflict with the Khan of Khiva and an abortive military campaign between 1839 and 1840. During this period, the Bayuli tribe of Kazakhs settled and remaining Turkmens left it 1840 except a group of families of the Cawdor tribe.

The peninsula was subject to conflict between Khiva and Russia, each party wanted to have the Kazakhs. In 1846, the Russians built a fort in Karagan named Novo-Petrovskoye that in 1859 was renamed Fort Alexandrovskiy. Russian domination of it began with the occupation of Krasnovodsk, located in the southern part of it in 1869. At the same time, Russians established Mangyshlak district which was subordinated to the Viceroyality of Caucasus. Khanate of Khiva renounced possession of this peninsula in favor of the Russians in 1873. It was attached to Russia as an uyezd of Transcaspian Oblast in 1881.

The fate of the government following the 1917 revolution was in the hands of the Mensheviks. After the October Revolution the Bolsheviks prevailed but were eliminated by British intervention in June 1918. In July 12, 1918 an Interim Executive Committee, which sought to restore Alexander Kerensky, was established in Ashgabat. Bolsheviks took the region in February 1920. On August 26, 1920 the peninsula was included in the Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian Soviet Socialist Federative Republic. On June 15, 1925 it was renamed the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, all within the Russian RFSS. On December 5, 1936 it was elevated to Kazakh SSR. But a narrow strip of the southern coastal bay fronting Kara Boghaz was ceded to Turkmen SSR at the same time.

In 1937, this peninsula separated from West Kazakhstan Region with Kazakh part of Ustyurt Plateau, and Mangyshlak Oblast was formed with its capital Aktau. Its capital was renamed as Shevchenko in 1964. After the independence of Kazakhstan, the region and its capital were renamed.


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