Turfan City (Xinjiang)

Turfan (also known as Turpan or Tulufan) is an oasis city, sitting astride the Silk Road in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. The majority of Turfan's inhabitants are Uyghur Muslims. And, although most Westerners would be hard put to find it on a map, for many centuries this city was a crucial stop on the network of trade routes that extended from Europe to East Asia. Tourism, mining, oil and gas extraction, as well as extensive agricultural production (especially cotton and grapes) are central to Xinjiang's economy today, but the minority peoples, such as the Uyghur, find themselves polically and economically marginalised.