The Timeline of Central Asia aims to serve as a chronological guide offering information regarding essential developments in the Central Asian region. Within the framework of this study, the Central Asian region is defined as the following countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Each of the five Central Asian republics has its own distinctive features and unique accomplishments. However, due to many common characteristics and mutually-dependent aspects, this study provides the timeline of developments in a regional format, rather than using the conventional way of displaying information by country. The Central Asian states do not just share similar features, such as common political history and administrative experience and similar cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious identities; they also have to face many common challenges, such as national security, drug trafficking, energy sustainability, transportation of energy resources, trading routes in landlocked economies, improving transportation infrastructure, environmental pollution, labor migration and many others.
In order to provide an instrument for comprehensive understanding of developments in Central Asia, the timeline project is divided into three main parts:
- The Soviet period summarizes the important milestones and developments of Central Asian republics during the Soviet period, from the time when the five republics of Central Asia, as we know them today, came into existence as political entities within the USSR until they achieved national independence.
- The independence period outlines important events featuring political, economic, cultural and international developments in Central Asia that occurred after the breakdown of the Soviet Union and continuing for almost two decades after the collapse.
- The third period provides the description of important events and developments occurring between 2009 and 2014. Besides being more detailed, the description of the events that happened during this period is more extensive, since it is important to fully understand key developments in the region in order to understand future trends and events.