/fer gah"neuh, feuhr-/; Russ. /fyirdd gu nah"/, n.a city in E Uzbekistan, SE of Tashkent. 176,000. Formerly, Skobelev.
* * *also spelled Ferghana , Uzbek Farghona , formerly (until 1910) Novy Margelan , or (1910–24) Skobelevcity, eastern Uzbekistan. It lies at the foot of the Alay Mountains in the southern part of the Fergana Valley. It was founded by the Russians in 1877 as the military and administrative centre of the province of Fergana, formed from the newly conquered khanate of Kokand (Quqŏn). It became part of the Turkestan A.S.S.R. in 1918, part of the Uzbek S.S.R in 1924, and part of independent Uzbekistan in 1991. In addition to its considerable industrial development—including silk and cotton textile plants, an oil refinery, and chemical works producing fertilizers and artificial fibres—the city is noteworthy for its wide, tree-lined streets and extensive parks. In 1977 Fergana expanded its city limits to absorb the chemical and oil-refining suburb of Kirgili. There is a teacher-training institute, a theatre, and a museum. About 19 miles (30 km) northwest of the city is the ancient town of Marghilon, still an important centre of silk production. Pop. (2001 est.) 183,037.oblast (province) eastern Uzbekistan, in the southwestern Fergana valley. The climate is continental with hot summers and moderately cold winters. The south is irrigated by streams descending from the Alay Mountains and by the Great (Bolshoy) Fergana and Southern (Yuzhny) Fergana canals. In the north the terrain is a combination of desert, semidesert, and marsh. Cotton cultivation and sericulture (raw silk production), with their attendant cottonseed-oil and textile industries, are important in the economy. There are cement and lime works at Quwasoy, oil fields at Chimyon, and sulfur and ozocerite mines at Shŭrsuw. Industry is concentrated in Fergana city, the capital, in Kokand (Quqŏn), and in the silk centre of Marghilon. The population was about one-third urban in the late 20th century. More than 90 percent of the inhabitants are Uzbek. Area 2,600 square miles (6,800 square km). Pop. (2007 est.) 2,788,476.
* * *