Central Asia

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Central Asia *here is a term that usually covers Iran and Afghanistan, the 5 former Soviet republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), and occasionally Mongolia, Xinjiang province of China, and Pakistan.

*There, it normally embraces the nations of the Moghul National Realm, Mongolia, Persia, Turkestan and Uyguristan, together with the Russian republics of Altai, Buryatia, Qazaqstan, Tannu-Tuva and Tocharstan. In a more restricted sense it is sometimes used to mean only Turkestan and Uyguristan, though this usage is rarer.

Occasionally Tibet is included in the region as well, and even more occasionally Azerbaijan, which although technically a part of Europe, shares some common Turko-Mongol and Persian heritage with "real" Central Asia.

Three terms also in use are "Turkic Central Asia", "Mongolian Central Asia" and "Persian Central Asia", referring to the three major ethnic/cultural blocs of the region.