East Turkestan (also transliterated: East Turkistan; Uyghur: Sherqiy Türkistan), also known as Uyghuristan, is the part of greater Turkestan in Xinjiang, China and far eastern Central Asia. The area is largely inhabited by indigenous Turkic peoples, with an increasing emigrant Han minority. Famed merchant and explorer Marco Polo crossed Turkestan in the year 1272 CE.
The 'greater' Turkestan was subdivided into West (former Soviet Union countries) and East Turkestan (administered as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region by the People's Republic of China). The Tian Shan (Tengri Tagh) and Pamir ranges form the rough division between the two Turkestans. East Turkestan (Modern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) contains a number of historical cities of Turkic culture, notably Kashgar, Hotan, Turfan, Yarkand, Ili (Ghulja), Kumul, Aqsu, Kucha, and Altay.
An independent Republic of East Turkestan briefly existed prior to the invasion and assumption of control by the People's Liberation Army in 1949. In recent years, the region has experienced violently suppressed anti-government demonstrations and an active separatist East Turkestan Independence Movement, which the Chinese administration has classified as a terrorist organization.