Bukhara, emirate of

Bukhara, emirate of, former state, central Asia, in Turkistan, in the Amu Darya River basin. Part of ancient Sogdiana, it was ruled (A.D. 709–874) by the Umayyad Arabs and played an important role under the Samanid dynasties (875–1000). It was a trade, transport, and cultural center of the Islamic world. The Seljuk Turks ruled from 1004 to 1133; later, the realm was conquered by Jenghiz Khan (1220) and in the 14th cent. by Timur. The Timurid dynasties ruled until the invasion of Uzbek tribes early in the 16th cent. The Bukhara emirate was founded by the Uzbek Khan Sheybani, who between 1500 and 1507 conquered the Timurid domains in Transoxania. In 1555, Abdullah Khan transferred the capital from Samarkand to Bukhara, from which the state then took its name. Internal feuds weakened Bukhara, it split into a number of principalities, and in 1740 it was conquered by Nadir Shah of Persia. In 1753, Bukhara again became an independent emirate but did not recover its supremacy over Khwarazm, Merv, Badakhshan, Tashkent, and the Fergana Valley. Bukhara's population consisted principally of Uzbeks (who remained politically dominant), Sarts, and Tajiks. Defeated by Russia in 1866, the emirate became a Russian protectorate in 1868. In 1920, after a prolonged battle with Bolshevik forces, the last emir was driven into Afghanistan. The Bukhara People's Soviet Republic was established (1920) and lasted until 1924. In the same year it was proclaimed a socialist republic and was included in the USSR; a few months later, however, it was dismembered and divided between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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