Uzbekistan is a country in Central Asia. It is surrounded by five landlocked countries: Kazakhstan to the north; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Tajikistan to the southeast; Afghanistan to the south and Turkmenistan to the south-west. Along with Liechtenstein, it is one of two doubly landlocked countries.
As a sovereign state, Uzbekistan is a secular, unitary constitutional republic. It comprises 12 provinces (vilayats) and one autonomous republic, Karakalpakstan. The capital and largest city of Uzbekistan is Tashkent.
Uzbekistan has a diverse cultural heritage due to its storied history and strategic location. Its constitutional official language is Uzbek. Russian has widespread use as an inter-ethnic communication language and as a language of governance.
Uzbekistan is a member of the CIS, OSCE, UN and the SCO. While officially a democratic republic, by 2008 non-governmental human rights organisations defined Uzbekistan as “an authoritarian state with limited civil rights”.
These fascinating color photos were taken by Erhard K. that show street scenes of Tashkent and Samarkand in 1968.