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Soviet Colonialism in Central Asia

Courtesy Reuters

ALMOST in the center of Asia, and far removed from the oceans, are two great basins of continental land, once the home of a civilization rivalling that of Cairo or Cordova, and even today an extension of the Moslem East. They were known until recent times as Russian and Chinese Turkestan. Both are ringed round by some of the world's highest mountains, and where the mountains stop the plains fade into desert or inland sea; both are traversed by rivers which do not reach the ocean; both are inhabited in the main by people in whom a Turkish strain may be said to predominate. To distinguish these Transcaspian peoples from the Turks of Turkey and the Caucasus it is convenient to speak of them in general as the Eastern, or Central Asian, Turks.[i]

More specifically, those of Turkish stock living in the U.S.S.R. are divided into Kazaks,

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