Fergana

Fergana (Uzbek: Fargʻona/Фарғона, فەرغانە; Tajik: Фарғона, Farğona/Farƣona; Persian: فرغانهFarġāna/Farqâna; Russian: Фергана́), or Ferghana, is the capital of Fergana Region in eastern Uzbekistan. Fergana is about 420 km east of Tashkent, about 75 km west of Andijan, and less than 20 km from the Kyrgyzstan border.

While the area has been populated for thousands of years, the modern city was founded in 1876.

The city of Fergana was founded in 1876 as a garrison town and colonial appendage to Margelan (13.5 miles to the northwest) by the Russian Empire. It was initially named New Margelan (Новый Маргелан), then renamed Skobelev (Скобелев) in 1907 after the first Russian military governor of Fergana Valley. In 1924, after the Bolshevik reconquest of the region from basmachi rebels, the name was changed to Fergana, after the province of which it was the centre.[1]

The industrial base of Fergana was developed in the 20th century. Industry in the city included textile manufacturing and a nitric fertiliser plant. Some of the industrial development was a result of Evacuation in the Soviet Union during World War II.[2]

Fergana has been a center for oil production in the Fergana Valley since the region's first oil refinery was built near the city in 1908. Since then, more refineries have been added, and Fergana is one of the most important centers of oil refining in Uzbekistan. Natural gas from western Uzbekistan is transported by pipeline to the valley, where it is used to manufacture fertilizer. The Great Fergana Canal, built almost entirely by hand during the 1930s, passes through the northern part of the city and completed in 1939. During its construction, the canal and the city was widely photographed by the noted photographer Max Penson. With a western loan Fergana is able to modernize its refinery and also reduce air pollution[3] emissions.

Fergana has a cold desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWk). Winters are cool and short, with a daily average low temperature of −2.8 °C (27 °F) and a daily average high of 4.6 °C (40 °F) in January; summers are hot, with an average low temperature of 20.3 °C (69 °F) and an average high of 34.7 °C (94 °F) in July. Annual precipitation is less than 200mm, and is higher in winter and autumn.

The population of Fergana was approximately 227,000 as of January 2007. Tajiks and Uzbeks are the largest ethnic groups, with Russian-speakers comprising about 25% of the city's population.[2]

Fergana has a high proportion of Russian, Soviet Koreans and Tatar inhabitants compared to other Fergana Valley cities. With its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Tsarist-era buildings, and Russian spoken frequently on the streets, the city has a distinctly different feel from the rest of the region.[6]