Uzbeks

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Uzbek, Russian,

Islam (Predominantly Sunni)

neighboring Turkic and Iranian peoples

The Uzbeks (Oʻzbek, pl. Oʻzbeklar) are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. Smaller diaspora populations of Uzbeks from Central Asia, mainly from Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, are also found in Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, North America, and Western Europe.

Contents

Name

The origin of the name Uzbek/Uzbak remains disputed. One view holds that it is eponymously named after Uzbeg Khan.[11] Another states that the name means independent or the lord itself, from Oʻz (self) and Bek/Bak/Bey/Beg/Bag (from Turkish root meaning a noble title). However there is another theory that the pronunciation of Uz comes from one of the Oghuz Turks variously known as Uz or Uguz united with the word Bey or Bek to form Uguzbey, meaning "Lord of Turkics ".[12]

Contemporary indigenous sources usually used the term Uzbek to refer to nomads and rural peasants.[13]

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