VORUKH – THE TERRITORY OF THE TAJIKKYRGYZ DISCORD. ON THE ISSUE OF THE INITIAL DEMARCATION OF THE SOVIET PERIOD IN 1928–1941. Part 2

Niyazi A.

Abstract

Vorukh is a Tajik enclave in Kyrgyzstan and a point of a serious interstate conflict with unpredictable consequences. Apart from Vorukh itself, the conflict affects the nearby territories along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border. The growing tension is partly due to the incomplete demarcation of the borders of the disputed areas. Their history goes back to the Soviet past, on which opponents base their territorial claims. Tajik experts mainly relies on documentary sources of the initial period of national and territorial demarcation in Soviet Central Asia (1924–1928), while their Kyrgyz colleagues – on post-war agreements and maps that fixed the actual border lines, dating mainly from the second half of the 1950s. Based on their sources, Tajik experts conclude that Vorukh was not originally an enclave; moreover, in recent years, they have been trying to prove that it is not an enclave even now. Their Kyrgyz counterparts, on the other hand, unreasonably insist that since modern Vorukh has all the classic attributes of an enclave, it has always been one. The article discusses historical events and documents related to the processes of border formation in the Fergana Valley during the pre-war decade. Experts usually refer to them in passing, mentioning only those maps and fragmentary facts that are in line with their beliefs. The history of resolving border issues during this period is becoming more and more relevant as mutual territorial claims of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan extend. After studying expert assessments and available documents, it has been concluded that Vorukh in the pre-war period, just like before that, was connected to the “mother territory” by a strip of land and therefore was not a Tajik enclave on the territory of Kyrgyzstan.

Keywords

interethnic conflicts; Central Asia; Ferghana Valley; Vorukh enclave; Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; national-territorial division.

DOI: 10.31249/rmw/2023.02.04

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