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Turan (tōränˈ) [key], desert lowland, shared by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, S and E of the Aral Sea. The Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers divide it into the Kara Kum desert in the south, the Kyzyl Kum desert in the center, and the Aral Kara Kum desert in the north. The region has very little precipitation and is sparsely populated, except in the irrigated oases along the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, where cotton, fruit, and rice are grown. Part of the region is used for sheep grazing.

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

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